Suggestions for Yosemite Trip

Old Jun 25th, 2013, 09:34 PM
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Suggestions for Yosemite Trip

Hi,

I'm taking a trip to Yosemite the week of August 13th. We're staying in CA until 8/19 or 20. RIght now, we have a place in Yosemite from 8/13-8/16 (am checkout), but I'm wondering where to spend the remainder of my time. There's so many choices, but everything's a bit spread out, so it's hard to decide. I'm East Coast, so 3-4 hours between places seems like an eternity! It's my first vacation in CA, and my husband's first trip to CA and the west coast, so I don't want to blow it!

We both like hiking, sightseeing, being active but not overly so. We are not campers, and won't be bringing camping supplies with us. I'm not sure whether to stay in the Yosemite area and do things in that vicinity, or if it's a fun trip to head towards the coast and spend a few days there. Also, is it advisable to fly in and leave from the same airport, or perhaps fly into one and leave via another? I'm not an experienced travel planner. I definitely want to fly into Fresno, so we can get to Yosemite in a reasonable time, but not sure where to fly out from, based on not having set plans yet.

Thanks in advance for any advise or suggestions!
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 09:43 PM
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We went to Yosemite a few years back and flew in and out of SFO. Arrived at SFO, rented a car and drove out to Yosemite for a few days, headed back to the coast and traveled down Highway 1 to Monterey/Carmel/Pebble Beach. Stayed here for a few nights and then headed back to San Francisco for a few nights and departure. This wasn't too much driving for a week. There are many hotels/lodges outside of the Yosemite entrances or within the park itself. Yosemite and the coast are spectacular - do both since you have not been to CA before!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:05 AM
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I would do pretty much as suggested above. Yosemite 3 days or so, Coast 3 days or so and then San Fran 1-2 days.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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My wife and I took an Amtrak train to Fresno and took a taxi over to the airport (FAT) to rent a car to go to Yosemite.
Consider returning the car to FAT and then going to the Amtrak station and taking a San Joaquin train to Emeryville with an Amtrak bus over to San Francisco.
Allegiant airlines flies several times a week to Fresno from a couple places. You will have to check their website to see if that would work for you.
The other way to get to Yosemite without a rental car would be to take Amtrak to Merced and a YARTS bus to Yosemite.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Having a rental car would give you so much more flexibility. The only issue with flying into one airport and out of another is the possibility of a rental car drop of charge (because you are not returning the rental car to the same place). If flying into Fresno is too expensive, an alternative might be Sacramento(SMF). It is a beautiful drive via Hwy50/Hwy49 to Yosemite through the California Gold Country (http://www.historichwy49.com/mainmap.html).

I would definitely go over to the coast from Yosemite.

Welcome to California!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Since you've never been here before, then Yosemite/Monterey-Carmel/San Francisco is a great itinerary.

Do you already have hotel/accommodation reservations in Yosemite?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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Oh, just reread and see that you do have accommodations secured - where are they?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of the input! I found a private rental inside of Yosemite on AirBnB. It's an apartment in a two unit house near the intersection of 140 and 41 inside the park. I considered staying outside of the park, but I wanted to maximize my time having fun, and all of the "official" Yosemite Park lodgings that weren't tents were full .

I don't think I could manage to fly into SFO and drive to my Yosemite rental in one day. I'm flying from the east coast, and 4 hours of driving on top of 7+ hours flying is just too much. That's why we're thinking of flying into FAT. It wasn't that much more for a round trip than SFO. I don't even think I've ever driven for 4 hours before! I was limited on what I could get availability-wise with my Yosemite rental, so we have to go there first.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Are there any commuter trains that go from Fresno to near Monterey or SF?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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We haven't booked our flight yet, so nothing is set in stone except the Yosemite lodging.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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When you visit the west you have to open your mind to doing a lot more driving. Everything is much more spread out. I have friends that don't think they can drive more than 4-5 hours in a day and it really limits what all they can see and do with their time. You can do it.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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When you visit the west you have to open your mind to doing a lot more driving. Everything is much more spread out. I have friends that don't think they can drive more than 4-5 hours in a day and it really limits what all they can see and do with their time. You can do it.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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>>

Not sure what you mean by "commuter train", but there is Amtrak from Fresno to San Francisco.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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I think we've come to the consensus that we're going to stick closer to Yosemite on this trip. My husband seems to think that trying to include the coast into this trip might be pushing it a bit, and he wants to make sure we have enough time to really appreciate it. Thanks for all of your suggestions!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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sf7307- where I am, there are commuter trains run by the state highway admin that take people to and from major metro areas. (Baltimore-DC, Western MD-DC, NJ-NYC, etc). Amtrak is separate from these trains. They don't run 24/7, but are more for people getting to and from work. I was just trying to avoid the bus.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 05:47 PM
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Connie- I really appreciate your faith in my driving! However, I'm totally wiped when I have to drive over 2.5 to 3 hours. It's like work to me. I wish I liked to drive, as it would make this trip easier, but both my husband and I hate driving and see it as a chore to be endured.
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