Yosemite/Monterey/San Franciso Trip help

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Jan 24th, 2008, 05:06 PM
  #1
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Yosemite/Monterey/San Franciso Trip help

Would like advice on the best time for a 10 day trip down the coast through Monterey to Big Sur,Yosemite Park, and a couple of days in San Franciso. I have heard that May is a good time for waterfalls in Yosemite, but the coastal area may be foggy and weather may be rather cool. Would fall be a better time to visit? Is 10 days long enough to see these areas without too much hurry?
Thank you so much for any help afforded me.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Sorry for the duplicate post on this. I was trying to move this to the California section of this site and mistakenly posted it again to the United States section.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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There is only one forum -- UNITED STATES.

Clicking on a state just lets folks search for some of the threads about that state.

May is usually great on the coast - not foggy since the June Gloom/fog happens as it heats up inland in June/July.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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September is absolutely the best time of year to visit San Francisco and the California coast. That's when the fog finally leaves and SF gets its summer weather. You won't see any waterfalls in Yosemite at that time of year, but it's still a beautiful time to visit the park. Ten days is doable, but be aware that it's definitely a long drive across the state to get to Yosemite from the coast. I live in San Jose and it takes 5 hours to get to Yosemite.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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May and June are wonderful months to visit Yosemite Valley but the high country is usually still snowed in. Late Spring is when the falls are at their fullest and the wildflowers are in bloom on the Valley floor.

Big Sur is great in April and May. The hills are green and the wildflowers are in bloom. The summer fog usually comes in June. September and sometimes October is when the weather is warmest but the hills have turned brown except right on the coast.

So, to answer your question, May is a great time to visit both. Kings Canyon and Sequoia are also very nice in May. Not for the high country but for the Sequoia groves.
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Feb 4th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Just got back online after computer troubles and would like to thank everyone for the replies to my inquiry.

It looks like our trip is destined to be delayed until September this year due to scheduling conflicts with my husbands job, but it sounds like that will be a great time of year after all.

One other question reguarding the trip. If we go after the Labor Day holiday, is it practical to go without hotel reservations along the coast and in the area just outside Yosemite? This would afford us a more leisurely trip and the ability to take longer at places we enjoyed more.

Also, how far ahead do the tickets for Hearst Castle need to be reserved?
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Feb 4th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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You will be happy with a fall trip. Even though the waterfalls in Yosemite won't be at their best, you will be able to get up to Tuolomne Meadows, which you would not in May. The weather on the coast is also better.

Don't skimp on your time in San Francisco. If you do, you will regret it.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Any opinions on going without hotel reservations at this time of year?
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Feb 6th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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"Any opinions on going without hotel reservations at this time of year?"

the short answer - in general it is a really bad idea.

It is never a good idea to attempt Yosemite w/o advance reservations and made as far ahead as your dates are firm. As for the coast - the Fall is the best time of year weather-wise so things will be busier than you might think. If you are there mid-week you can probably easily find places - but nice places, usually have 2-night minimums on weekends.

Walk-up rates in San Francisco can be very high. And again - Autumn is a popular time in the city. You can certainly find rooms, but if you book ahead you can get discounts - otherwise you'll pay nearly rack rate.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 10:17 AM
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I'd definitely make reservations.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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With advance reservations, you pick the safe area, nicer hotels. Without, they pick you!
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Feb 6th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I live on the Central Coast (San Luis Obispo County). Our "Summer" weather (it never really gets too hot) is definitely in the fall, September-October being the best bet. Summers can sometimes be very cool & chilly. When it is not raining winter days can be nice, if cool. Late spring can also be summer-like, but sometimes the "June Gloom" can begin early in May. I think San Francisco is very similar. We went to Yosemite in June, and the waterfalls were flowing well....So you can take a chance on May for the sake of Yosemite. The coast is unpredicatable and can be warm & sunny or cool & foggy.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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.....I would definitely make reservations for hotels. Hearst Castle tickets are first come-first serve, so make them as soon as you know when exactly you will be there...I've known people to wait and then they were sold out, or the only available times did not work.
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