San Francisco to Weaverville plan

Old Feb 25th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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San Francisco to Weaverville plan

This is a rough plan for our trip in June - we have seen tickets that would have us arriving at 10:20 am -
Union Square is just for a place to park the car and to hop on cable car - not planning to shop or visit it. Fishermans Wharf and Chinatown - get in and get out!! Grab souveniors - We know its a lot for the first day - planning to drive to dark or after - assuming daylight until 9ish. I am from Marshall MO - just want a pic - most of the places we are expecting to not spend a lot of time - photo opps -

this is a rough plan - looking for place to pan for gold and lighthouse on highway 1.

• Airport
• Get rental car
• union square – leave car there
• Cable car to fisherman’s wharf –
• China town
• Drive across golden gate bridge
• Stinson beach
• Marshall CA
• Salt point state park
• Point arena – light house
• Manchester Beach State Park
• Caspar beach – Mendocino -
• Glass beach – fort bragg – spend night
• Kibesllah
• Westport-Union Landing SB
• Richardson Grove State Park
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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Ride BART into the city and pick up your rental car downtown after China town. You should save more than the BART fare and parking fee.
After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, be sure to see Muir Woods. The rest of your plan looks good to me.
If you wanted to do a price check, you could look at flying into Sacramento and renting the car there.
The places to pan for gold are generally along the American River near highway 49.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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You do not have time to see Muir Woods. (TomFuller -- have you read the rest of the days's plan??)

There is no way you can go into downtown SF, see those things, get a car, drive to Marshall, and that loooong list of parks/places in one day.

oh2doula, as I mentioned on your other thread -- you simply will not get out of SF before about 1 or 2PM (and that is IF you catch a cable car immediately which often isn't possible since they get very full). You don't even land until 10:30, so by the time you get your bags and pick up the car it will likely by nearly 11:30. Then you want to see things in SF and drive all the way up hwy 1 to Ft Bragg. Just not doable. The drive is doable - barely. But NOT w/ stops in SF, Stinson Beach, Marshall, Salt Point etc etc. Even just 5 to 10 minute photo stops will add more than an hour to your basic drive. You have also seriously under estimated the time involved getting into SF, parking, seeing anything, returning to the car and getting out of the city.

(A detour to Muir Woods will take at least 2 hours drive/park/short walk/drive out again -- so that is totally out of the question)

There is no gold panning on the north coast.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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Just so we don't re-invent the wheel here -- thought I'd post the last two entries from one of the OP's other threads:

oh2doula on Feb 22:

We are looking to arrive at SFO at 10:20 am - on Bing maps it shows SFO to Fort Bragg as 3 1/2 hours. We expect to get to hotel around sunset which for June should be 9ish. Ten hours should be plenty of time to get out of airport and hit the stops we want to hit. We dont have a problem with driving.

I know these maps can be off - is it even close??


janisj on Feb 22:

>>on Bing maps it shows SFO to Fort Bragg as 3 1/2 hours.>Ten hours should be plenty of time to get out of airport and hit the stops we want to hit. We dont have a problem with driving.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:39 AM
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tomfuller - thanks for the BART idea - I had Muir down but since its off the route and I do have so much down I took it off the list. can you recommend a car rental that is near chinatown/pier 39 area?? what about luggage?? can we take BART - rent car - leave luggage and sightsee leaving car at car rental or where could we park car?? thats why I was thinking Union Square but BART would be $8 - may be cheaper but still worried where to leave luggage and park rental car. cable car might not happen either - or what about taking one from chinatown to fisherman wharf???
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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These threads are so bizarre. Is the idea to just ignore anyone who offers sensible commentary --and go on blindly pretending if you want to see all of Northern California in one day, then ignore anyone who says you can't? I've never seen anyone hop on a cable car at Union Square in June with less than at least an hour's wait -- 2 is more likely. I can't envision any of this plan happening -- arriving on a plane at SFO at 10:30, and being on the road out of SF before very late afternoon.
If you can't spend a night in San Francisco, then I'd suggest you get your car at the airport -- drive PAST SF -- and be on your way with luggage in your car. The rest just seems like a nightmare to me. But I know that isn't what you want to hear.
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 03:01 PM
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If the object is to save money, compare the rental at the airport to renting downtown with the BART fare added.
There are 3 HI Hostels in the city and 1 across the GG bridge at Marin Headlands. Any of them should hold your luggage if you stay there for the night.
Just Google Northern California Hostels and take your pick.
By the time you ride a cablecar, have a meal and do the sightseeing you want to do in the city, stay in or within 20 miles of the city. Please remember that you body will think you are on Central Time-jet lag.
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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I'm a 36 resident of the San Francisco Bay Area (7 years in SF & 29 years near the airport). I agree with the others - your plan is impossible/foolish. You have too many "un-doable" plans. You should put a more reasonable itinerary toghether before you worry about where to pick up the car or how to get into the City.

If I were going to see the things you have planed - with only the briefest time in SF - I would:
- BART into San Francisco & stay 1 night (NeoPatrick is not exaggerating about the Cable Car lines in June)
- pick up the car somewhere downtwn the next morning and spend 2 nights up north. Even with only 2 nights, you are cutting things short.
- If I was trying to impress a friend with all the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer - I would certainly not suggest a visit to Fisherman's Wharf for someone spending less than 24 hours in The City.

Stu Dudley


Stay the first night near the City. Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 04:07 PM
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NP: So true

StuDudley: If only

The point actually is to get to Weaverville. SF & FT Bragg are just sort of fillers between SFO and Trinity County. The problem is (like lots of folks) not being from these parts oh2oula thinks >>since we are in the neighborhood, why not throw in cable cars, the cable car museum, F. Wharf, Chinatown, Marshall, Tomales Bay, light houses, gold panning, and all of hwy 1 for good measure>sure you can do it
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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janis, have one for me while you're at it.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Shhh don't tell anyone -- I had TWO
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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oh2doula: You shouldn't park in Union Square, because the parking there is very expensive. Hourly parking is prohibitive and even if you get a room in Union Square, hotel parking can easily run you $30/more a night.

Thus, all the savings you will achieve by renting a car away from the airport to avoid the heavy airport fees will be defeated by even higher parking fees in Union Square.

As for the HI hostels - there's one downtown (on Ellis Street), but it's in the Tenderloin area. I would not recommend that you stay in the Tenderloin area.

Another HI hostel is way up in Fort Mason (billed as "Fisherman's Wharf" but quite a walk to FW), which is very nice but very removed, so there's no easy public transportation. You'll have to plan on much time lost walking to and from that hostel.

Thus, the only one that is even half-way acceptable is the one on MASON Street. The location is not too bad and for the price of a bed, you get an in-room locker. I believe all the HI hostels also have storage lockers for rent elsewhere in the building, in case you have a lot of luggage.

The Mason Street HI hostel is about a four block walk from the Powell Street BART station - if you are planning on going into SF by BART. Once in SF, from the Powell Street station, go up Powell to O'Farrell, left on O'Farrell and right on Mason.

The idea of parking your luggage in the HI Hostel downtown is not a bad one. Certainly cheaper than renting a car and keeping your luggage in a car and parking the car.

However, it is more time consuming - and you seem to be in a time constraint.

Otherwise, I'd agree with the others that, unfortunately, you really don't have enough time to do all the things you want to do. Will you be able to allot a day or two more to this portion of your trip?
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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thanks so much everyone!! I did say rough plan - somethings (several) have been cut - panning for gold in weaverville for one and others - did not mean to cause such a stir and love the help!!
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 02:39 PM
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oh2doula: you're quite welcome!

The others are all extremely helpful Fodorites on the Bay Area. I think you just took their breathe away with all the things you wanted to achieve in less than one day! :0

Please don come back with your revised plan! I'm certain the others will have invaluable ideas for you once you can cut down your activities.

The better thing is to allot at least one more day in the Bay Area. Can you, maybe, leave a day earlier?
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 04:14 PM
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easytraveler - sorry we just can not add another day - we have vacation June 8 - 13 - graduation is June 10 in Weaverville and we dont want to cut it so close by arriving on 9th.

to be honest nervous to "come back with revised plan" - it can be brutal but I will give it a shot!!

again thanks EVERYONE
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Here ya go.

You arrive on the 8th, right?

Arrive at SFO. Go into the city. Spend the night so you can spend the afternoon and next morning seeing the city.

9th - Leave around lunchtime and drive up to Muir Woods. Then drive up to Weaverville via the expressway.

10th - graduation

11th and 12th - drive south on 101 and see as much of the coast and the other items on your list.

13th - fly home

Would that work?
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Starrs: Even that plan would be difficult. SF to Muir woods and then up to Weaverville is nearly 300 miles (this is a biiiiig state ). Driving into Muir Woods/parking/even just a short walk to see the trees and then a mad dash up I-5 w/o any other stops - would take 8 to 9 hours. Dinner/rest stops would add another hour+.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 10:07 PM
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Have you been to Weaverville before? It's a beautiful area. Mountains. Forest.
Things to keep in mind:
(A) From San Francisco, it will take you nearly 5 hours (without stops) to drive to Weaverville via I-80 to I-5 to Hwy 299.
(B) San Francisco to Weaverville via Hwy 101 North to Arcata (5-6 hours) then on Hwy 299 Arcata to Weaverville (2 hrs) will take a total of 8 hours drive time.

Get out your map and look carefully at these routes.
If you want to see the redwoods, you will be driving right through them if you take the northern driving route on Hwy 101. This area is called the Avenue of the Giants.
If you want to see ocean, your simplest option (but not the prettiest) would be to go to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The prettiest area not horribly far off Hwy 101 is Mendocino, and you could take that detour off 101 at Willetts (north of Ukiah). It is a very windy, steep road but a decent road and it is only about a half hour from 101 to Hwy 1.

I think I would arrive in SF, take BART into SF, check into a hotel, sight-see and spend the night. Then I'd head up to Weaverville the next day. After the Weaverville thing is over, I'd head west on 299 toward Arcata or Eureka, then go south on 101, walk through some easy trails on the Avenue of the Giants, then head over to Hwy 1 (the coast). Spend time in Mendocino. Then take Hwy 128 back over to 101 and down to San Francisco.
Actually, I think I'd just do San Francisco and Weaverville/
Use Google Maps for directions to get driving time estimations. This is a LOT of driving and a LOT of distance. Good luck.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 10:24 PM
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elnap: There are so many threads so it is hard to keep things straight:

Your suggestions (as reasonable/practical as they are) are difficult for a few of reasons.

• they want to see Marshall (so pretty much are limited to hwy 1 all the way)

• they want some time in Weaverville.

• After Weaverville they are flying home from SMF so if they want to see the coast, inc. Marshall, it pretty much has to be on the front end.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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I like elnap's idea to skip Muir Woods, since you'll be among some of the best redwoods up by Weaverville anyhow.

Avenue of the Giants is really a terrific experience.

The other consideration about renting a car at the airport versus taking BART is: how many are you? Forgive me if you have already mentioned the number in your party.

It now costs $8.10 per person to go from San Francisco International Airport to the Powell Street Station in San Francisco. Obviously, if there are only two of you then BART would make sense.
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