Summer Itenerary

Old Dec 17th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Summer Itenerary

We are planning a 2 week trip with our preteen kids (10 and 13) next June and wonder if it is NUTS...can you comment?

1. We fly to San Francisco and rent a car. We plan to spend 3 or 4 days exploring the city, going to Napa Valley, Oakland and Berkely (how many days do we need?)

2. Day 5 we drive to Yosemite (already have reservations in Curry Village). We spend 3 nights there, do water rafting, hiking, horse back riding (is that too many days?...any tips on activities?)

3. Day 8 we drive to Las Vegas and spend 2 nights there...mainly because we will drive close to 9 hours from Yosemite to vegas

4. Day 10 we drive to the Grand Canyon (already have reservation in Maswik Lodge) and spend one night in the Canyon...try to see it at different times of the day

5. Day 11 we drive to Phoenix and stay 4 days in a Marriot Spa

6. Day 15 we fly back home

Any tips, suggestions etc are more than welcome as I am planning this with only having glanced at a couple of travel books...you guys are the TRUE experts

Alba
albaelena is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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Since you've already made some of the reservations, there's not much you can change. Too bad.
You ask, "How many days do we need (to explore San Francisco, Napa Valley, Oakland and Berkeley)?" Well, you'll barely scratch the surface allowing but 4 days for these locations.
Then, you ask if 3 nights (which sounds like you really only have 2 days there) are too many for Yosemite. Quite the opposite...it's too few!
I'd skip Las Vegas and drive directly to the Grand Canyon. Hey, you're already driving 9 hours, so what's a few more?
Then, I'd add one extra day to the San Francisco part and one to Yosemite (if you can add a night at Curry).
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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One question, why do you want to explore Berkeley and Oakland. Especially Oakland? Is there something special in those two cities you want to see? Four days in SF would be nice. But can understand if you want to go to Napa Valley.

I agree with Howards suggestions. And another question. Why do you want to spend 4 days in Pheonix?

Do you have family or friends to visit in Berkeley, Oakland and Pheonix?
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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Hi albaelena, since you're new here you might not have done a search yet, and I would highly recommend doing so. Countless fodorites have taken similar trips and you will find a plethora of sites in San Francisco, in addition to realizing you'll be wishing you could stay in Yosemite a bit longer. I have to agree with the other posters, and ask if you might not be able to change your ressies? One day at the GC might be enough for some, but again, you may wonder why you spent (any) time in Oakland once you see the canyon. JMO.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 03:56 AM
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Subtract one day from Las Vegas and addit on the way to Grand Canyon - stop at Bryce and/or Zion National Parks.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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Berkeley and Oakland might be part of a college tour. If not, surely take them off the list - unless, of course, it's family visits!

If you want to take the kids to wine country, I always highly recommend Benzinger in Sonoma. They have a very educational and fun tram tour through the caves and vineyards, and a lot of focus on biodymanic farming. (Plus the tastings for adults!)

I would also add a night to the Grand Canyon. Take a night off Las Vegas and just use it as an interesting overnight pit-stop, or take a night off the spa stay at the end.

I think these grand driving tours are great with pre-teens and early-teens, and I understand that if you are flying in from far away, it feels like you have this one opportunity to "do it all." Even if you make it back, the kids will be at a different place in their lives, and it would be a different experience. That said, I think 3 nights anywhere is the absolute minimum, as it is the only way you have two full days in any one place. The travel days arriving and departing don't count! Day One is for orientation, and maybe an organized City Tour. Day Two is for reservations at different attractions (such as Alcatraz) or wandering (such as through Chinatown). Just one person's opinion...

Sounds like a wonderful family adventure! Your kids should be thrilled. Have a great trip!


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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Topping for Alba
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for all the great responses!

No we don;t have family in Berhely but I thought we wanted to see the university area...my son might condisder it

As to for Phoenix we have this inexpensive offer to stay at a wonderful spa and we thought we REST there...plus we have friends we will visit.

Now my husband is thinging San Francisco and the valley with our kids won;t work....they will be 13 and 11 by the time we travel...what do you think?

I might open a post with that specific question.
albaelena is offline  
Old Dec 19th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Albaelena, I think that your children, and you two also of course, will love San Francisco!! IMHO they will be at great ages to take to SF. In fact my 13 year old grandson is counting the hours until we get there this Tuesday.

I started taking my daughter when she was just a little girl and did the same with grandsons. Never had a bad time.

I can understand you wanting to check out Cal in Berkeley for your son. Am sure that would be quite interesting for him. If you have no reason to go to Oakland I would absolutely skip that.

As far as Napa Valley, I always found that young ones are not as interested in it as the adults. Maybe others have had different experiences however.

BTW, where are you coming from? Is this your first trip to California?

Your Phoenix stay sounds wonderful to me, and it is nice that you have friends there.

Have fun planning your trip.
LoveItaly is offline  
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