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California Road trip Sept 2014

Leeds, England
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9 posts
186 reviews
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California Road trip Sept 2014

Hi,

We've been busy trying to get the first draft of our California road trip sorted, and would appreciate your opinion, and any suggestions for changes.

There will be just the 2 of us travelling, and our interests are mainly sightseeing, not too bothered about big cities (though we love SF!) so want to see some of the state.

We'll have 21 days or so for vacation, so here's our plan so far:

Fly in to Las Vegas,

Las Vegas - 3 nights (to include Grand Canyon)

Fly Las Vegas to San Diego (Driving all the way from here)

San Diego - 2 nights

Anaheim - 1 night

Santa Barbara - 1 night

Cambria - 1 night

Monterey - 2 nights

Bass Lake - 1 night

Yosemite Village (or close by) - 2 nights

South Lake Tahoe - 2 nights

Clearlake - 1 night

Napa Valley - 2 nights

San Fransisco - 3 nights

Home from SFO

We are interested as to whether you think our days stays are about right. For example, if 2 nights in Napa Valley is too many etc.

Also quite interested in seeing the Giant Redwoods - where would be the best place to see them on this route?

Thanks all

Julian

Chula Vista...
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2,617 posts
104 reviews
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1. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

Hi Julian,

Welcome to the Road Trips Forum.

On the whole, your trip looks quite reasonable to me with a few comments:

Given your stated goal of not spending much time in the cities, I'm not sure I would include Anaheim (unless you're a Disney fan and that's the purpose of your stop). I'd take that night and add it to San Diego instead (but I'm a bit biased because I live there).

Also, when you enter Yosemite National Park from the south, as you will on leaving Bass Lake, you'll pass by the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which is quite impressive. To see redwoods along your route, you may want to stop by the Muir Woods in Marin County on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge leading into San Francisco.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mg.htm

http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

Finally, when looking for flights between Las Vegas and San Diego, check out Southwest Airlines, as they're a discount carrier with nearly hourly flights between the two cities. They won't show up in search results on Kayak or Expedia, so go directly to their website:

http://www.southwest.com

Enjoy your trip.

Zed

Chula Vista...
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2,617 posts
104 reviews
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2. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

Hi Julian,

I forgot to include in my original response the fact that Monday, 1 September 2014 is a national holiday, Labor Day. That three day weekend will be the last unofficial weekend of the summer travel season, so if you happen to be here then, make sure you have reservations wherever you'll be.

Zed

Leeds, England
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9 posts
186 reviews
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3. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

Thanks for the replies Zed.

Yeah, the Anaheim stop over is my Disney fix, I'm afraid!

Thanks for the tips, really useful, as is the info on the redwoods.

We are planning on going last 2 weeks of Sept, so will miss Labor Day.

Off to check out Southwest now!

Thanks again,

Julian

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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23,524 posts
5,363 reviews
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4. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

For redwoods, I would probably scratch staying at Clear Lake and stay around the Healdsburg/Russian River area. You could then go to Armstrong State Park to see the redwoods. There is the town of Guerneville nearby or you could stay in Healdsburg possibly at the Best Western there.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450

http://www.drycreekinn.com/

http://www.guerneville-online.com/

You could still drive through Clear Lake on the way there.

Leeds, England
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9 posts
186 reviews
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5. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

Great links and info, thanks mini!

6. Re: California Road trip Sept 2014

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