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Planning trip to San Francisco, Yosemite and Highway 1 drive

Planning trip to San Francisco, Yosemite and Highway 1 drive

Old Mar 7th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Planning trip to San Francisco, Yosemite and Highway 1 drive

We will be in California from June 2 - 6 (unfortunately that is all the time we have!).
After our visit to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, we are thinking of flying out to San Francisco on June 2nd (early flight), renting a car and driving out to Yosemite Nat. Park that day. Then our goal is to head to the coast and drive along Highway 1 back up to San Francisco by June 4th.
We have reservations in San Francisco (Hotel Nikko) for June 4-6. So my question is, between June 2-4 can we do the following;
1. Stay 1 nite in Fresno (June 2) and then the next morning head out to the coast (possibly start out in San Simeon - would like to see the Hearst Castle(?) and work our way up to Carmel. Is the castle really worth it?
2. Stay 1 nite in Carmel (June 3) and then head to San Francisco early June 4th.

I realize we are being too ambitious so I would like your opinions:
1. Should we skip Yosemite and just do the coastal drive, if so, where along the coast should we start, what is really worth seeing along the coast? If we do this maybe we should fly into another city south of San Francisco (possibly LA but actually I would like to avoid LA) and work our way up to San Francisco.?

Your thoughts and ideas would be very much appreciated. Thanks.......
aydakoprulu is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I don't really see Yosemite in your plan. I see flying to San Francisco on the 2nd, and staying in Fresno on the 2nd. So you mean fly to San Francisco, drive to Yosemite (4 hours), see Yosemite, drive to Fresno, all the same day. That's crazy if you ask me. Either go to Yosemite for a couple of days, or go to the coast for a couple of days. A couple of days is too short to do both.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Can you fly to Monterey instead of San Francisco? Either way, you could base yourself in Monterey/Carmel for the 2nd and 3rd, drive south toward/past Big Sur, enjoy Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove, and make your way to San Francisco on the 4th.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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California is much larger than most people think it is.....With your current itinerary, you'll be spending ALOT of time in your car. sf7307 has a much more realistic itinerary.
tenthumbs is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Chose either Yosemite or the Monterey area. You don't have time for both.
Placename is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Yep. Either the coast or Yosemite. Not both. I would choose the coast as you would spend less time in useless driving if both are equal. Unless you are a fan of expensive tacky I would skip San Simeon. If that is the reason for the coast go to Yosemite.
JCarlinsv is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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I probably wouldn't go to Hearst Castle on such a short trip, but I don't think it's at all "tacky".
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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My first Q would be - why would you stay in Frenso vis a vis spending the night in Yo (say the Village area, enjoying the rest of the day when you arrive, the evening and the next morning.

And I am one who likes to see as much as possible the first time - so I would not discourage you from driving a lot, but
if you really wanted to be a road warrior - I would suggest trying to add another night to this "survey" type trip, and maybe cutting out one at the Hotel Nikko in SF.

You could drive from Yo over to San Simeon - and that would be maybe 5? hours in the car (it's only 240 miles but much of it is on 2 lane road)- and the part on 46 - after Paso Robles - and over to the coast is nice - and you can see a number of wineries along the way (for future reference. )

You could still probably take late afternoon/possibly evening tour of Hearst Castle - which I think is worth it - http://www.hearstcastle.org/ - or one the next morning - and you could spend the night in San Simeon - or nearby/cuter Cambria.

Then - the next morning - you are on your way to Carmel/Monterrey for the 3rd night, driving through beautiful Big Sur. Also see other posts in here about things to do there - but the Aquarium, adjacent Cannery Row and the 17 mile drive are the tops on my list.

The next day - after a nice breakfast in say Carmel? - it's about 2 and a half/3 hours up to SF.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Hearst Castle is magnificent, not tacky. Winchester Mystery House is tacky.
Placename is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Agreed, Placename. I'm just sorry I didn't have time to do more tours when I went there!
tenthumbs is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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You simply do not have time for Yosemite - it is 4+ hours from SFO not counting sorting out the rental car. So count on 5 tiring hours from plane to Yosemite Valley. Staying in Fresno is ludicrous/crazy -- and staying in Yosemite Valley probably isn't a practical suggestion since it is quite late to find rooms there.

Stick to the coast . . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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I would stick to the coast too. Fly into San Jose or even better, Monterey if you can find a good flight. Spend both free nights in the Monterey area - Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove.
november_moon is offline  
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