San Francisco, Redwoods, Big Sur

Jan 20th, 2013, 04:28 AM
  #1  
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San Francisco, Redwoods, Big Sur

Looking for ideas for a trip in June with our 14 year old son to SF, wine country, redwoods, Big Sur... attractions that would be fun for all. I like driving, views and wine... he likes adventure. We would have 5 days. Thanks for any advice.
tobioakes is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:54 AM
  #2  
 
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The best of the Redwoods are best the farther north you go, but that would eat into most of your 5 days.

Consider doing a Segway Tour in San Francisco, cable cars, chinatown(kites, fortune cookie factory, eat dim sum), north beach district, fisherman's wharf. I like the night tour at Alcatraz-longer tour with less people.

If you go South, I would go all the way to Monterey. In route you could do Big Basin(this place does have some fairly large trees-go by your map, do not go by GPS or Fodors guidebook as they direct you to the coast part of BB State Park-90% of the people are interested in the main artery of the park, which is a totally different road to get to it). Go kayaking at Elkhorn Slough-this place is just awesome. See Monterey Bay Aquarium-another aweesome place. Point Lobos is a really good place to go hiking and be near the ocean.

If you go north. See Muir Woods. This has some nice trees and is somewhat of a rainforest effect. Point Reyes National Seashore is a really good place. I like to tidepool there @ McClures' Beach. Lots of hiking and options there.

Now, if you really go north to see what I call "the real redwoods", then go to Prairie Creek area. Hike the James Irvine Trail thru Fern Canyon all the way to the Gold's Beach. Having hiked most of the major hikes in nearly all of the national parks west of the Mississippi, this one would be in my top 3. It is a fairly easy hike as it is pretty flat. While there see the Roosevelt Elk near the visitor center.
If you go this far, be sure and spend a few hours at Patricks Point State Park. Specifically go tidepooling at Palmers Point(which is located in Patricks Point State Park), also see Agate Beach there. Check in advance to see when low tide is going to be.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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You can see some nice large Coast Redwoods south of SF in Butano and Big Basin State Parks. If you are looking for a cheap place to stay about 50 miles south of San Francisco, I liked the HI Hostel at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
DW and I stopped in Pescadero to pick up some food to cook in the hostel kitchen. The next morning we went out and saw some big trees and then took a walk on the beach before going to Monterey.
If you want to drive over the GG bridge, go to Muir Woods which is a bit more developed than the State Parks.
Please understand the difference between Coast Redwoods and the Giant Sequoias which are found in the Sierras.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 06:54 AM
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The wineries of Sonoma are absolutely gorgeous, but it might be a little boring for a 14 year old. However the Coppola winery in Geyserville would be a treat for both of you. It's a bit over the top as far as a winery, but there is lots to see there - Godfather memorabillia, a mint condition Tucker car, etc. There's even a huge swimming pool! You can take your son into Geyserville for lunch, a tiny 'wild west' kind of town with a good pizzaria.
In San Francisco, I can't imagine any 14 year old boy who wouldn't love the Alcatraz tour, just reserve at least a day in advance.
zootsi is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #5  
DAX
 
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My favorite pizza place in San Francisco: Tony's Napoletana in the Italian town (North Beach)
It's always crowded because they serve incredibly good pizza made in different types of ovens, Tony the owner won a few gold and silver medals in Italy for his pizze. http://www.yelp.com/biz/tonys-pizza-...isco?start=720

There's a short easy hike with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate which starts from the golf course by the Legion of Honor museum. http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/visiting

Farmers Market at the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero on Thursday and Saturday mornings is great for a lunch stop. http://www.yelp.com/biz/ferry-plaza-...isco?start=240

Lunch at the Cliff House may be worth the dramatic day time view of the Pacific Ocean
http://www.10best.com/destinations/c...e-cliff-house/
DAX is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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You should make a reservation for Alcatraz much more than 1 day in advance. It does sell out.

You can have lunch at the Cliff House and do the Land's End Trail the same day. It's a beautiful walk, easier to get to if you have a car.
sf7307 is online now  
Jan 20th, 2013, 10:51 AM
  #7  
 
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5 days really isn't enough for the major Redwoods areas in far northern California plus the other things you want to see/do.

You say 'fun for all'- but not much 'fun' at wineries for a teenager. Unless it absolutely must be Napa/Sonoma -there are wineries (and Redwoods) south of SF.

W/ just 5 days you could do 2 full days in SF and 3 south of town. Based in Monterey/Carmel you could see the Aquarium, Big Sur, redwoods, beaches/surfing, wineries and more.

You should book Alcatraz as soon as your dates are firm.
janisj is online now  
Jan 20th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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W/ just 5 days you could do 2 full days in SF and 3 south of town. Based in Monterey/Carmel you could see the Aquarium, Big Sur, redwoods, beaches/surfing, wineries and more.

Yep. We drove down to Monterey from Seattle earlier this week, intending to continue on to LA for several days on the beach (not in the water, just staying at the beach.) After 24 hours in Monterey we decided to scrub the LA part of the trip and reallocate those days back to the Monterey Peninsula.

The aquarium is amazing, Big Basin is fine for redwoods, Point Lobos State Park (just south of Carmel) has wildlife and walks galore; lots of great restaurants... it's really ideal. Drive down past Big Sur to the Hearst Castle. LOTS of things to do.

Big Sur yesterday: www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8398417251

Monterey aquarium the day before: www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8399420880

Local resident, San Simeon: www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8399408100
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 21st, 2013, 03:17 AM
  #9  
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Thank you! Great ideas. Sounds like south of SF is best.
tobioakes is offline  
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