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Road trip Cresent City to LA and everyplace in between questions?

Road trip Cresent City to LA and everyplace in between questions?

Old Jan 23rd, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 223
Road trip Cresent City to LA and everyplace in between questions?

Hello, Everyone here helped me plan my LA/Santa Monica trip last June that it turned out so wonderful that I am retuning to CA in July and I am in need of alot of info.

We (husband, 13 year old daughter, daughters best friend and myself) are flying into San Francisco and spending the first 2 nights there then driving to Cresent City. I know it would have made more sense to fly into Eureka BUT daughter wants us to rent a convertible and the rental agencies in Eureka don't have one available so SFO is the entry point. We will spend the 1 night in Cresent City and then start driving south. We plan to spend 1 day just seeing alot of the Redwood Forest. Maybe 1 small hiking trail but not a tremendous amount.

The last 2 nights will be back in Santa Monica which leaves me with 3 nights to spend on the road from the southern end of the Redwood Forest till we get to Santa Monica. I want to see Hearst Castle and I want to take alot of pics along Big Sur. Other than that I am up for suggestions. I would love your advice on places to see and stay along the way especially those DO NOT miss places. We are not looking for 5 star luxury just typical road trip hotels as long as they are clean.

I have pretty well decided on Cow Hollow Motor Lodge in SF and will probably stay at the Georgian (again) in Santa Monica because we loved it so much!!

Thanks for any advice, I promise it will be greatly appreciated.
AprilA is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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With only 3 days to travel from Crescent City to Santa Monica you won't have time to see or do much. It will be basically drive, drive, drive.

When you factor in any stops above SF (Mendocino, Ft Bragg, Fort Ross, Point Reyes and so on), San Simeon and Big Sur you really won't have time for too much else.

One thing to consider - you MIGHT luck out and get top down weather in No Calif. But in july it will more likely be foggy and cool/cold for most of the way from Crescent City to Monetery. At least until early afternoon when the fog might burn off. The hotter it gets inland - and July is HOT, the colder and foggier it can be along the coast.

In So Cal you'll probably have great weather - but on the north coast - not so much . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,041
Why don't you fly into Medford so you can take 199 over to 101?(Together those two make up the "Redwood Highway"). You won't be driving 300 miles north just to go south, You could rent a convertible
At the Medford Airport, I'm sure.
You'll spend a day just getting to Crescent City that you could put to better use.
bbqboy is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 301
Hi AprilA
Every time I done that trip I take a week or more there is so much to see. You do not have enough time in 3 days to take highway 1 through mendocino.
Day 1 Crescent City to Santa Rosa. Stop in founders grove the best short hike in all the redwoods, make time to drive the Ave. of the Giants.
Day 2 Santa Rosa to either Cambria, or Morro Bay via highway one (this will be a long day)make time to stop at Pt Lobos.
Day 3 Cambria to Santa Monica

Have Fun
GP is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Near Leggett (where Hwy 1 branches off, and below which Hwy 271 parallels 101) is where you can drive through a redwood tree (for a fee), and somewhere along the road nearby there is also one of those "convergence zone" places where things just don't seem to obey the natural laws of physics.

While in Crescent City, be sure to go down to the bay (sea wall area) when the tide is out and walk the beach.
DB is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 06:56 PM
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bbgboy: I checked Medford, no convertibles available. It was worth a shot,thanks.

janisj, I realize the weather thing but this is a 13 year old's trip trying to be an adult trip also and I tend to spoil my child. Besides where I live at 60 degrees we consider it top down weather, it snows here 1/2 the year and never gets hot!!

GP: thanks for the tip on the hiiking trail and the proposed iternerary.

DB: I definately will pay to drive thru the tree!! That is the greatest old postcard shot in the world!! Thanks for the location tip!

I know this seems crazy to drive so much but as I said I spoil my daughter and if she had her way totally we would stay in Santa Monica and she would surf Malibu all day and shop in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, etc all night. My husband is the one who wants to see the Redwood Forest and I just want to see the coastline as much as possible and take alot of pics (photography is my sort of hobby) so we are sort of combining alot of wants and we do not mind alot of driving. (We live 13 miles from a gas station and grocery store). We drive alot!!

We do plan on early starts and not stopping for the night till late. This is not exactly a relaxing luxury trip so even if we drive 6 hours a day we will have 6-8 hours a day to see and do.

Thanks again, I do appreciate all your advice, April
AprilA is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 302
Well, there are a lot of places to see in Redwood national Park alone, but you really won't have time for it all. Redwood Natl. Park is really three state parks joined by federal land. I would suggest definitely stopping for a bit at Prairie Creek State Park, take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of the freeway (us-101) to the Elk Prairie where you can easily see a herd of elk.
There's a nature trail here with a pamphlet giving information about the forest and the prairie, this takes about an hour, and is worth seeing, there are other interesting trees in addition to the redwoods, sitka spruce, western hemlock, vine maple, which don't occur farther south.

Also at Prairie Creek is the famous Fern Canyon, just off the beach, there's a gravel road to it, but this also takes about an hour to navigate each way, plus the time to explore the canyon. South of Prairie Creek is the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, on the Bald Hills Road, again you would need to allow an hour or so to see this. And all this is just a bit of Redwood national Park, all still north of Eureka.

South of Eureka is Humboldt Redwoods State Park, where the Founders Grove Trail and the Avenue of the Redwoods are. You should definitely see Founders Grove, it's quite short, only twenty minutes or so, and it has the fallen Dyerville Giant, once the tallest tree in the world. It's still over your head, even on its side. You could spend a good couple of hours exploring the Avenue of the Giants south of there (it runs parallel to the freeway, and you really don't see the redwoods from the freeway). You might want to stay on the Avenue for an exit or two, just to see what it's about.

Richardsons Grove State Park is the last major redwood park north of San Francisco, after that, at Legget you'll be out of the deep redwood forest (there are still plenty of redwoods to the south, but not miles and miles of redwood forest), so then you'd have three days to see the Mendocino Coast, maybe Sonoma and/or Napa Valleys, maybe Point Reyes instead, back to San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur (probably you'd want to spend the night somewhere between Point Reyes and Monterey), then another day if you want to see Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara.
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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Sequioa370: Wow thanks for so much perfect and precise info!! I am going to print it and tape it into my travel journal for reference. I really appreciate it so much, Thanks again, April
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