San Francisco to Los Angeles late January

Old Oct 14th, 2021, 02:05 PM
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Patty those numbers are shocking. You can also tell who hasn't been to the Monterey Peninsula in a while, LOL.
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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 10:53 AM
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Here's more California butterfly information that you may find interesting, including more about Monarchs.


https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...ed-butterflies


Crellston, sorry about the detour from your original question.
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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 12:02 PM
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Sadly, there were NO monarchs at all in January 2021 in the Pacific Grove survey sites. So to take it back to the original topic, you can scratch the suggestion from Gardyloo that Pacific Grove is the best location. You may still see the odd few floating around your abode in Pasadena, however I think those clusters in that stock photo (?) are a thing of the past.

San Francisco to Los Angeles late January-wmtc-data-2020_1.jpg

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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 12:55 PM
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Regarding sights close to Pasadena, the County Arboretum in Arcadia is also nearby.

A good way to visit both (on specific dates) with a minimal charge would be to join the Pasadena Audubon Society as a family ($30 for the year). You can join online a few weeks before you arrive, using your friend's address. No need to be a local resident.
https://www.pasadenaaudubon.org/?q=join

They have resumed monthly walks with free admission on specific dates, to both the Huntington and the Arboretum. Typically you enter as a group and afterwards you can stay as long as you like. The Huntington is only the grounds, however most of the buildings are still closed anyways (COVID).
https://www.pasadenaaudubon.org/?q=fieldtrips

The Huntington also has free days the first Thurday of every month, tickets released the last Thursday of the prior month at 9 a.m.

Although I used to work Downtown, I have not gone for a while. The homeless situation has gotten exponentially worse, unfortunately. Sights there I might have recommended would include First Street and the Japanese American Museum in Little Tokyo, Grand Central Market on Broadway and Angel's Flight, the Central Library and "Spanish Steps", Walt Disney Concert Hall (Gehry design), Union Station, Olvera Street and the Chinese/American Museum, City Hall, the new Cathedral, and some of the art museums if you are into that (Broad/MOCA). Probably more stuff that I can't remember at the moment.

As far as Chinatown, it is not really a center for Chinese anymore. East of Pasadena is where the best Chinese restaurants are now. But there are other things happening in Chinatown now.

Check downtownnews dot com for current events and restaurant reviews.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 15th, 2021 at 01:34 PM.
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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 03:01 PM
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Since Pasadena is my stomping ground, here are some ideas within two hours of you (and many closer) to perhaps visit.

Historic Los Angeles Farmers Market
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/his...t-los-angeles/

Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/sel...fic-palisades/

Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Pacific Palisades ... highly recommend the tour I highlight below
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/hol...ery-hollywood/

Lotusland - Santa Barbara (Montecito)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/lot...ara-montecito/

Descanso Gardens (15 minutes from Pasadena)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/des...da-flintridge/

Getty Center (about a 40 minute drive (depending on traffic)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/get...y-los-angeles/

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens - San Marino (city next to Pasadena)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/hun...on-san-marino/
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/hun...on-san-marino/


Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/the...fic-palisades/

Mount Wilson Observatory
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/mou...-mount-wilson/

Central Library (DTLA) - free tours ... gorgeous interior
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/22655-2/

A few Pasadena area Restaurants

Union (great Pasadena Italian) noisy inside, but they now have tables outside, but it could be cold when you come
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/union-pasadena-ca/

Hippo (Highland Park)
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/hip...hland-park-ca/

Musso & Frank Grill (Hollywood) - lots of history here ... Must have a martini
https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/mus...-hollywood-ca/

I have a lot more restaurants on my website ... Arts District in Los Angeles has some spectacular restaurants (Dama, Bavel, Factory Kitchen) these days. Also on the website. It's a little gritty there, but the food is well worth the effort.

Have fun!

















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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Sadly, there were NO monarchs at all in January 2021 in the Pacific Grove survey sites. So to take it back to the original topic, you can scratch the suggestion from Gardyloo that Pacific Grove is the best location. You may still see the odd few floating around your abode in Pasadena, however I think those clusters in that stock photo (?) are a thing of the past.

Attachment 5977
There was a giant, odd Monarch in PG several years ago. The trees have been trimmed back due to safety for humans. Virtually none of the real thing.



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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 06:17 PM
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I prefer to stay in Pacific Grove
Second this, the appeal of Carmel escapes me, it’s kind of jungly. Pacific Grove has some fantastic views.
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Old Oct 16th, 2021, 08:33 AM
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I would argue against the idea of an excursion up the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada to Lone Pine, Bishop, Mono Lake, etc. The first part (to Lone Pine, Manzanar) would be easy (if not terribly interesting), but in late January, your chances of being hit by snowstorms in the Bishop area and north are fairly high, and driving conditions can become treacherous. Weather forecasts beyond 24 hours aren't particularly accurate, so you'd need a Plan B and perhaps a Plan C.
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Old Oct 16th, 2021, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I would argue against the idea of an excursion up the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada to Lone Pine, Bishop, Mono Lake, etc. The first part (to Lone Pine, Manzanar) would be easy (if not terribly interesting), but in late January, your chances of being hit by snowstorms in the Bishop area and north are fairly high, and driving conditions can become treacherous. Weather forecasts beyond 24 hours aren't particularly accurate, so you'd need a Plan B and perhaps a Plan C.
I agree. There are some higher places along 395 as Jean mentions. I have friends in Bishop so on occasion have stopped overnight to wait out icy/snowy conditions but not something to contend with on a schedule.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 12:58 AM
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Sorry for the delay in coming back. A combination of moving from one house/pet sitting project to another and me not getting to grips with the new Fodors. I had been relying on email notifications but they only seem come through occasionally??

Anyway, about to take a very impatient Old English Sheepdog out for his walk now so will work through the suggestions received so far when I return.

For now though re mlgb’s #1 suggestion of " a meetup during your time based in Pasadena" Absolutely, let’s make that a priority!
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 05:41 AM
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Thanks all for so much great input. As always, the responses generate as many questions as they answer!

Highway 1 road trip

Using google maps I have estimated a total drive time of 12 hours from SFO where we pick up the rental car to Pasadena. This pretty much follows H1 along the coast all the way to Santa Babera
  1. So far, what I am getting is that we should definitely make Carmel or Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsular our first stop, correct?
  2. Does two nights at the end in Santa Barbara at the end seem reasonable?
  3. That leaves two nights somewhere in the middle but where? My first thought is Cambria which maybe provides the option to head inland to the wine areas if the mood takes us and it seems to have more interesting options accommodation wise, or perhaps Morro Bay. Any opinions?
I think two night stays makes a lot of sense for us on this trip. we can head out on sides trips as well as visiting places en route between locations. I was tempted by a series of one nighters as we did in our last road trip around New Zealand but that was in a motorhome and it was over two months.

I did misunderstand the comments re Yosemite so thanks for putting me straight. I have explored the options of visiting there immediately on picking up the car from SFO and spending a couple fo nights there and then returning and starting as above. However, that is a 9 hour round trip and I think we would be keen to get started on the coastal trip. The other alternative, which I will retain as an option, is to head there as a return trip from Pasadena but that seems an hour or so further.

Will return shortly with more questions re trips from Pasadena ...


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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 06:55 AM
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Mlgb - Would clearly love to get together when we arrive in Pasadena lets get that sorted.

Thank your for suggestions for trips out of Pasadena. and for accomdation suggestions which I have added to my “short” list. Also for the Steakhouse rec. menu looks great !!

I think what we are looking for, given the time we have, is maybe a two night trip. Loved the photos I have seen of Joshua Tree so that may be a decent substitute for a visit to Yosemite. presumably this would entail staying in Palm Springs which as far as I can tell is a two hour drive so we could get in some hiking on the day of arrival and on our one full day. will check out the lodging options there. Do you think it would be possible to cover Death Valley and JT in a two night trip?. I am guessing desert scenery most of the way - worth seeing or a bit tedious. (I recall going from San Pedro de Atacama to Iquique in Chile . The first 2 hours I was enthralled, the next 12 hours of looking at sand , not so much!)

Grand Canyon and Zion are tempting but just too big a chunk of our time. If we hadn’t already been to Las Vegas, I may have stretched a point.



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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 06:58 AM
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Thanks Maitaitom - I subscribed to your blog a while ago and will check out those eating places and see how the correlate with out friends suggestions. She rates the Pasadena Chinese food as good as anything in China or Hong Kong! A visit to the farmers market my be must on arrival!

Last edited by crellston; Oct 17th, 2021 at 07:02 AM.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Regarding sights close to Pasadena, the County Arboretum in Arcadia is also nearby.

A good way to visit both (on specific dates) with a minimal charge would be to join the Pasadena Audubon Society as a family ($30 for the year). You can join online a few weeks before you arrive, using your friend's address. No need to be a local resident.
https://www.pasadenaaudubon.org/?q=join

They have resumed monthly walks with free admission on specific dates, to both the Huntington and the Arboretum. Typically you enter as a group and afterwards you can stay as long as you like. The Huntington is only the grounds, however most of the buildings are still closed anyways (COVID).
https://www.pasadenaaudubon.org/?q=fieldtrips

The Huntington also has free days the first Thurday of every month, tickets released the last Thursday of the prior month at 9 a.m.

Although I used to work Downtown, I have not gone for a while. The homeless situation has gotten exponentially worse, unfortunately. Sights there I might have recommended would include First Street and the Japanese American Museum in Little Tokyo, Grand Central Market on Broadway and Angel's Flight, the Central Library and "Spanish Steps", Walt Disney Concert Hall (Gehry design), Union Station, Olvera Street and the Chinese/American Museum, City Hall, the new Cathedral, and some of the art museums if you are into that (Broad/MOCA). Probably more stuff that I can't remember at the moment.

As far as Chinatown, it is not really a center for Chinese anymore. East of Pasadena is where the best Chinese restaurants are now. But there are other things happening in Chinatown now.

Check downtownnews dot com for current events and restaurant reviews.
Thanks for the tips. Sorry to hear of the homeless issues. the way of the world I am afraid. Same here in London. I am awaiting delivery of a guidebook so will go through that with a highlighter! Keen to see some of the typical touristy sights. Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, Malibu. Basically stuff that has been mentioned in every TV program and file since the year dot!
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MichelleY View Post
There was a giant, odd Monarch in PG several years ago. The trees have been trimmed back due to safety for humans. Virtually none of the real thing.
Good to know. Have given up on pursuit of butterflies!
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 08:27 AM
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The Thornton Portrait Gallery at the Huntington with The Blue Boy and Wiley's new work reopened October 2 according its website.

Looks like the art galleries are open, but the actual library is closed.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by crellston View Post
…Joshua Tree so that may be a decent substitute for a visit to Yosemite.
I haven’t visited Yosemite but I have visited Joshua Tree and it is more like a top state park and not really national park caliber, interesting if in the area, but probably not worth a detour.

There’s so much to see in California that it makes more sense to flesh out sights on your itinerary than add long drives to places like JT or especially Death Valley.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 09:14 AM
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"Thanks for the tips. Sorry to hear of the homeless issues. the way of the world I am afraid. Same here in London. I am awaiting delivery of a guidebook so will go through that with a highlighter! Keen to see some of the typical touristy sights. Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, Malibu. Basically stuff that has been mentioned in every TV program and file since the year dot!"

I would most definitely drop Venice Beach from that list. (I live in another beach town nearby.) Venice is possibly the worst of the worst in terms of the homeless crisis in LA. I doubt anything you've seen in London will prepare you for what you'll see in California, particularly in SF and LA, even in late January, and Venice won't look like anything you've seen on tv programs.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 09:28 AM
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Just heading out the door for a few days at Lake Tahoe . . . but I'd definitely try to fit in Yosemite. Drive from SF to Yosemite Valley via Merced and El Portal (the lowest elevation route) and stay 2 nights. Then drive across the central valley to Monterey/Carmel - 2 nights. Then down the coast if you only stay maybe one night in Cambria and Santa Barbara it won't eat up any more time . . . and while Joshua Tree is interesting it is no substitute for Yosemite National Park -- YNP is a winter wonderland.
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Old Oct 17th, 2021, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Just heading out the door for a few days at Lake Tahoe . . . but I'd definitely try to fit in Yosemite. Drive from SF to Yosemite Valley via Merced and El Portal (the lowest elevation route) and stay 2 nights. Then drive across the central valley to Monterey/Carmel - 2 nights. Then down the coast if you only stay maybe one night in Cambria and Santa Barbara it won't eat up any more time . . . and while Joshua Tree is interesting it is no substitute for Yosemite National Park -- YNP is a winter wonderland.
Thanks, I did think of that but did wonder if I would be missing out on the stretch of H1 from SF to Monterey - Is that an issue, or is Yosemite worth it?

Any suggestions for places to stay around Yosemite?

Last edited by crellston; Oct 17th, 2021 at 10:18 AM.
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