Northern California - Itinerary Critique

Dec 3rd, 2006, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 302
Sacramento Airport (SMF) is on the northeast side of the city, very much removed from the urban area, although only a ten minute drive to it. But staying at Howe and I-80 puts you right in the thick of things, so you will have to fight traffic to get out of the area the next day. Woodland is about the same distance in the other direction (it's ten minutes from the airport on I-5 North, although the highway is actually going west along this stretch).
Woodland has a great steak restaurant,
Morrison's Upstairs, on the third floor of an old hotel in the downtown area.

I-80 runs about ten miles south of I-5 along this stretch, so you can cut down to it from Woodland to Davis. This area is flat flat flat, but the steep hills are only a half hour away, between the Sacramento area and the Napa Valley. If you go to the Sonoma Valley first, you will want to take I-80 from Davis, at least. If you go to Napa first, you can take the more scenic route through the hills on hwy 128 through Winters. Winters also has a great steakhouse, the Buckhorn, on Main Street. From Winters you can either continue on 128 through the steep hills into the Napa Valley or cut down on I-505 to I-80 towards the southern end of the Napa Valley and on to Sonoma or farther to
San Francisco.
sequoia370 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I want to comment on the Muir Woods idea - since your trip is pretty busy and you may find yourself wanting to slow down a bit, you may want to eliminate the trip to Muir Woods on Day 5. Instead, you can stop and see some redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains on your way to Monterey. If you go to Monterey via Santa Cruz, then Henry Cowell state park is a short detour off your route. It is a nice park and will allow you to see some nice redwoods without taking a lot of time. From Hwy 17, you take Mount Herman Rd in Scotts Valley to the town of Felton. It is about 10-15 minutes from the highway to the park.
J_Correa is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,963
One more thing about airports: with the exception of the Napa portion of the trip, the SJC (San Jose) airport seems to be more convienent. Or possibly OAK. I would check all 4 airports from CT (SMF, SFO, OAK & SJC), and see what your prices are.
Also, if you were doing a Lake Tahoe trip then SMF would make the most sense.
trippinkpj is offline  
Dec 5th, 2006, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 370
More about airport choices. I'd much prefer to fly into Sacramento than SFO. So much easier. Renting a car at SFO can be quite time consuming.

My only comment on your itinerary is that other than for the view of downtown, I'm not so sure I'd spend time in Sausalito.
syd is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the incredible feedback. Based on your suggestions I have decided to leave Yosemite for another trip when I can spend 3-4 exclusively and will instead focus on the coast.

Day 1) Sacramento
Day 2) Sonoma (El Pueblo)
Day 3) Napa
Day 4, 5 6) San Francisco (Nob Hill Motor Inn)
Day 7,8,9) Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, etc.

This will be a much more relaxing experience all around.

Thanks again!
JSHInCT is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,854
Have a great trip!!!
Suzie is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 501
AIRPORTS: Can you fly into Sacramento and fly out of San Jose? San Jose is closer to Monterey Peninsula if you eliminate Yosemite for time.

I agree with some of the others. Well planned trip but seems to be crowded. You may want to take some of the sites out and get out of your car some.

SEVEN GABLES: Good choice. Great location in Pacific Grove. Plenty to see and do in that area.
Bob1 is offline  
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