Traveling California for 3 weeks: What to do

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Feb 26th, 2013, 04:07 PM
  #1
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Traveling California for 3 weeks: What to do

Hey! So I'm a soon to be college graduate. I plan on traveling around CA for 3 weeks or so after graduation. So Late March - Mid April. I have airplane voucher I have to use before it expires. So the plan is to fly into S.F, L.A, or San Diego and out one of those 3 cities depending on my direction of travel. I'm a huge outdoor enthusiasts but I'm not going to have a car or rent one. I plan on getting around by public/public transports and rideshares.
I'll have a backpack with my tent (or a small tarp) clothes, and maybe a laptop to get rides/places to crash. Also I'm from the PNW. Not that it matters.
I'm trying to keep my budget small but can splurge when needed. Thanks for the tips!
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Feb 26th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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> I'm a huge outdoor enthusiasts but I'm not going to have a car or rent one

Sadly, without a car, Yosemite will be the only major national park you'll be able to visit. And April will not be the best time to visit either with only a tent. Do-able, but not optimal.
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisi...sportation.htm

You may decide to stay here
http://www.yosemitebug.com/
to keep costs low but still be able to survive a cold night.

There's a shuttle to Sequoia, but it does not operate until May.

You'll have to take a bus to Crescent City (VERY inconvenient), then ride public transit to the redwoods. If you can get a ride-share up the coast, TAKE IT.


You may find it more convenient to visit here
http://www.nps.gov/samo/index.htm
Transport to the edge will be easy, after that you'll have to hike.


I should mention that you could spend a week in each of these cities and have a glorious time. Using hostels you MIGHT (sorry, I've never used them) be able to keep costs within reason.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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If you could find a way, you might want to consider going to our new national park. Pinnacles NP. I haven't been, but the weather would be better there than Yosemite or Sequoia for that time. However, I don't think it would be nearly as spectacular as those. You graduate in March?
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Feb 26th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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The hostel suggestion is a good one to keep costs down. Check out www.hostelworld.com.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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You can get between some major cities via Mega Bus and if purchased far enough in advance you can ride for $1-$3.

http://us.megabus.com/

You can ride Amtrak to Yosemite from SF. Make sure to get a ticket all the way into Yosemite Valley since it's only $11 more if paid via Amtrak but YARTS from Merced to Yosemite Valley is $25.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:37 PM
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What you want to see/do is very VERY difficult w/o a car. The National Parks are mostly in remote areas w/ little public transport. Yosemite is doable staying at the BUG and using the shuttle bus in/out of Yosemite Valley -but the journey is more than an hour each way and a semi-limited schedule.

Your best bet may be the Green Tortoise

http://www.greentortoise.com/
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:49 PM
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Spiro- he must be on the quarter system to be graduating in March.
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Feb 27th, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Yup I'm on the quarter system. Graduate March 23rd. Just bought a ticket into San Fran for the 27th.
I figured out how to get to Point Reyes on a public transport system. Will definitely hit up megabus. Thanks for all the tip guys.
I'm also game for doing things in the city as well. Hitting up a Giants game. Things are starting to come together but I'm very open to anything you guys have to suggest.
As for places to sleep, hopefully I can utilize couchsurfing. If not hostels will do just fine for me.
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Feb 27th, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Opening day is April 5. Try to get tickets now. One thing we did just this last weekend in SF was go on a SF City Guides Tour. They are free and and a great way get to know the city.


http://www.sfcityguides.org/

Terra cotta Warriors are at the Asian Art Museum. Girl With The Pearl Earring and other Dutch works are at the DeYoung Museum.

Congrats on your graduation. Quarters are harder.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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There is a YARTS bus stop at the foot of the driveway of the BUG Hostel. http://www.yosemitebug.com/
They do have duplex cabins which are better than the dorm rooms.
They have a separate kitchen building with computer access.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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Sweet! Thanks for the tip on the free tour.Haha I do enjoy the quarter system. Word. I'll check out BUG hostel.
So far this is what I had in mine.
San Francisco
Yosemite
Monterey
Big Sur
Santa Barbara
L.A.
Point Reyes
Definitely am open to anything you guys have and am constantly changing things up.
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Mar 1st, 2013, 01:03 AM
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Actually after adding up the costs I don't plan on heading down to Southern CA and will stay around Central/Northern CA. And maybe cutting the trip to 2.5 to 2 weeks instead. It's all up in the air still
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Mar 1st, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Monterey/Big Sur would be somewhat similar to Point Reyes. They are different but you might want to do just one of them as they are somewhat alike.

There is a lot to do in Yosemite, just not sure what hiking trails would be open then, so don't know how long you might want to stay there. Hope you like to tent in pretty cold weather, as that a pretty good possibility.

I started to suggest maybe consider somewhere in the SW, like Moab, UT or somewhere in AZ or NM. But not having a car might not work.
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Mar 1st, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Not sure how he is getting to Big Sur, the bus from Monterey Transit only runs on weekends and not sure if it runs in the winter or not. Will only get as far as the northern edge of Big Sur. South of there you need a car, period. Hope things work out well for you.
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Mar 1st, 2013, 08:33 PM
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In case you didn't know, there's a hostel at Pt Reyes. Hiking there is fantastic. Bring rain gear just in case, although it's been really dry so far this year. I don't agree that Pt Reyes and Montery are too much the same...Pt Reyes is pastoral and woodsy, and Monterey has lots of other things to do. Have fun.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:37 AM
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If you stay in a tent in Curry Village in Yosemite - and are cold - just pile on some more blankets.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 07:08 AM
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Here is a link to the 8 northern California HI Hostels: http://www.norcalhostels.org/
My favorite hostel is the one at 10th & H St. in Sacramento.
My DW and I have also stayed at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse HI Hostel which is very scenic.
If you are staying at a HI Hostel they can easily make a reservation for you at another hostel.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I am not a hosteller, but I can tell you that the Fort Mason hostel in San Francisco is in a fantastic location.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 12:43 AM
  #19
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That's for all the good tips again. I have some solid rain gear, being from the PNW and all haha.
I actually worked this summer in the Four Corners and it's beautiful out there. Would hang out there again some day but that's for another trip. My sleeping bag is rated to 20 and I can layer it up pretty well.
Thanks!
So far the plan is
S.F.
Yosemite
Point Reyes
Monterey
Big Sur
Sacramento?
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Mar 8th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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Skip Sacramento. I live in the area.
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