San Francisco and area questions

Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:11 PM
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San Francisco and area questions

Hi. I'm planning a family vacation to SF next summer. I'm thinking of the following itinerary: SF, San Jose (Raging Waters water park), Big Sur and Yosemite.

I know SF can be cold in July. Will we freeze at the water park?

Also, I know all these places can be very crowded, especially on the weekends. If we had to be over the weekend in one of these places, which would have the least crowds?

Mapquest indicates that it is a 5 hour drive from Big Sur to Yosemite. How accurate is this estimate?

Thanks, Karen
letsgetouttahere is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:46 PM
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I would say that time is fairly accurate. We drove from Yosemite to Monterey and it took about 3 and 1/2 hours. It took about 1 to 1 and a1/2 to get down to Big Sur - that is with stops along the way to see the views, etc.
salgal is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Not to worry about freezing at Raging Waters in the summer -- daytime temps in that area are usually in the upper 90s.

The least crowded spots will be the biggest ones (plenty of room for folks to spread out) -- San Francisco, Yosemite and Big Sur.

Have a _great_ time!
auntiemaria is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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You will not freeze at the water park. SF is right on the Pacific while SJ is inland and much hotter. You can check a weather site ( for average temps for each city and see what I mean.

Unfortunately, all of those areas will be crowded on weekends. I think the impact of the crowds will depend on what sorts of activities you want to do in each place.
Marilyn is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Welcome to the land of micro-climates. SF can be cold and foggy while SJ feels like an oven.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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Average July/Aug high in SJ is 84, avg low is 58 (and rainfall for the month .06in). When I used to take my kids to Raging Waters, temps were usually pretty reasonable, though it might get a bit cool in late afternoon if the breeze picked up. More reliably hot weather could be found farther inland at the waterslides at Manteca (on road to Yosemite), and I think there are also some up in Concord.

Of places for the weekend, I think Yosemite suffers the most from the weekend crowds, SF the least (there are crowds at any of them, but the city infrastructure handles it better).

Monterey gets pretty crowded on weekends, I'm not sure if the weekend/weekday split is as noticable down in Big Sur.

Avoid driving away from the Bay Area on Friday evenings (or toward it on Sunday afternoons); the traffic can be a pain.
curmudgeon is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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I was thinking along the same lines as curmudgeon...Manteca Waterslides are on the way to Yosemite (you almost have to drive right past them). You may want to consider going there instead (unless there is a specific attraction or slide at Raging Waters).
kikahead is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 02:39 PM
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Curmudegeon --

You mentioned higher traffic to San Fran on Sunday afternoons (which I will be experiencing soon fr. Yosemite). I'm wondering if this is folks returning home, or people coming to visit San Fran. Could you say more specifically what timeframe?
LadyVic is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 03:55 PM
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The traffic on sundays is due to people returning home to the Bay Area from the mountains. Afternoon traffic is heavier than morning traffic. The last 2 years we have left Yosemite by 11 on Sunday morning and been fine. We go in May, so the traffic in general isn't as heavy as it is in the summer. Still, by getting on the road soon after breakfast, you shouldn't hit much traffic at all. As a bonus, you will get to your destination earlier in the day and have time to wander around a bit, which will probably be a good thing after sitting for hours in the car.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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There is a mass exodus from the bay area on friday afternoons as people head out to various areas for the weekend (Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Monterey, etc), and the mass return on Sunday afternoon/evening. The sunday traffic tends to be more spread out, so unless it is a holiday weekend, it is probably not worth fretting about too much. I-80 is the biggest problem; from Yosemite you would be coming in on I-580 which isn't as bad. As J_Correa says, earlier in the day will have less traffic.
curmudgeon is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:10 PM
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We were in Yosemite last summer, and stayed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Traffic headed east out of the Bay area on Thursday afternoon was at a crawl (it was also the beginning of the 3-day 4th of July weekend!). So, to echo the previous suggestions, avoid the weekend getaway traffic! Also, my advice for Yosemite lodging...stay in the Valley!!'ll avoid the long drive in and out each day, and enjoy your stay much more. Lodging is pricey, but, is worth it. We liked Yosemite Lodge. But, you need to book NOW for next summer! Yosemite is awesome...enjoy!
dean56 is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2004, 02:37 PM
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TEMP INFO: We live in this area. In the summer it can be almost 100 degrees in San Jose and you can drive 1 hour and 15 minutes to the Monterey Peninsula and it will be 60 degrees in Pacific Grove. I do it often. It will be warm in the inland areas but cooler in SF and Monterey Peninsula. You just have to know where you are going to be and doing what.
traveldawg is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2004, 11:27 PM
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If anybody really wants weather info, go to a weather website, including the old fave :

Looks like your collar is a little too tight, traveldawg.

San Jose hits 96 a couple days, and as jsuri noted, it's mostly perfect weather in the valley. Many people fortunate enough to have bought acreage early (ourselves inlcuded) have mini-vineyards at their homes. The area is long known for its agricultural past.

Tom Cruise once rented out the entire Raging Waters park for his family for about $72,000 for the day.

There's also a great waterpark in Concord, CA - a similar distance from SF to SJ - called Splashdown. Great fun!!

Manteca has a waterpark. THIS is where you'll find 100+ temperatures.
TripleSecDelay is offline  
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