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Need help planning road trip along California coast

Need help planning road trip along California coast

Old Sep 12th, 2004, 10:28 PM
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Need help planning road trip along California coast

My parents are planning on taking a week long road trip along the California coast. They'll fly from LA to San Francisco,pick up a car and drive up to Redwood National Park and return to LA by car. They are in their 60s. Any suggestions on what towns/sites might be worth stopping? Thanks.
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Old Sep 12th, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Is Redwood National Park a specific destination? If not, I would choose to do the traveling between SF and LA. Redwoods can be seen as far down as the northern end of Big Sur.
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 07:32 PM
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Thanks Micheal. No, Redwood National Park is not a specific destination. They're interested in seeing the redwoods.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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They definitely don't have to go all the way up to Redwood National Park to see some redwoods. There are plenty within an hour of SF and along the drive between LA and SF.

The closest park to SF is Muir Woods. It's nice, but due to it's proximity to SF, it can be crowded.

The Santa Cruz mountains are covered in redwoods. Big Basin and Henry Cowel State Parks are great for seeing the trees. Next to Henry Cowel is Roaring Camp which has a narrow gage steam train that people can ride through the redwoods. There are also several small towns in the area which are worth checking out.

If your parents drive from LA to SF through Big Sur, there are several nice redwood groves along the way, and some of the most spectacular coastline anywhere.

What time of year are they planning their trip?

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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Thanks. They are traveling during the first week of October.
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 04:00 PM
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I love driving Hwy1 and from SF airport would take 92 to Half Moon Bay, have a bite to eat, then on to La Honda around to Memorial Redwoods. Back down to Duarte's for a meal in Pescadero and bread and snacks to go at Norm's. Stop in Davenport, then maybe Seascape for a look and or meal in Aptos. This is a beautiful drive and can be broken up many ways for indivisual interest. Big Basin is beautiful also. Other than Redwoods, what interests them? What would they enjoy for the ideal trip?
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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They should definitely stop at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon!
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Mr. Makai & I enjoyed the coast the 1st week of October last year... perfect weather... esp. in a convertible.

Don't miss Carmel Beach and Point Lobos. We picked up a picnic lunch for our time at Point Lobos & it was a highlight of our trip!

We also enjoyed McWay Waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park... easy walk to the falls and just beautiful.

Also enjoyed a lovely walk through some very majestic redwoods in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to see the Pfeiffer Falls.

Enjoy the aroma of the cypress, and the salt air, and the redwoods... wonderful!
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Old Sep 20th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Hi nancymaat.

I have had a 30 year love affair with redwoods and have been in most of the redwood parks and groves in California and Oregon. The other posters are somewhat correct when the say there are Redwoods in the southern part of the state. However if you want to see a Redwood forest or a lot of really big trees you must get to Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Redwood national park is in both Humboldt and Del Norte. Humboldt has the most parks. It is a 5 hour drive from SF. Not what you would call a day trip. For a area of massive, easy access, Redwoods try bull creek (Rockerfeller Forest) in Humboldt Redwood State Park. The Founders grove is near by. There is a best western motel in Garberville that I have stayed at and it is a good place to stay. Ferndale has some nice B&B. Just be warned that a trip to the Redwoods up 101 is not a coastal trip. Once you get across the golden gate you do not see the coast untill you get past Fortuna. Big redwoods (for the most part) do not grow at the coast due to the salt in the air, it messes up the water transport.

Have Fun
GP
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Old Oct 17th, 2004, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for the responses. My parents finished their road trip a week ago and still talk about it. I also emailed my mom the thread and now she is a fodors forum fan.
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Old Oct 17th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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Nancy-Where did your parents end up seeing their redwoods? I am planning a coastal trip also so was just wondering where they ended up going. Glad they had a good time.
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Old Oct 19th, 2004, 11:45 PM
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Their favorite place was Jedediah Smith Redwoods State park, especially the Howland Hill Road. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Oct 21st, 2004, 08:01 AM
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now that the secret is out about Howland Hill Road just let me add that it is a narrow dirt road, dusty in summer, muddy in winter but a great place to see big trees. A great hike off this road is the Boy Scout Tree trail, some big trees in there.

Have Fun
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Old Oct 21st, 2004, 08:06 AM
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Jedidiah Smith is really a stunning park no wonder they loved it. Great place to see the redwoods.
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