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Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

We have 10 days and will begin a road trip from San Francisco to the Redwoods National Park. Any ideas on an itinerary along that route that would include family friendly stops (restaurants, entertainment, sight seeing). Kids ages 9 and 14. I have read that the Muir Redwoods is close by San Francisco. Does that mean it's not worth the drive up to the National Park?

We'd like to include Pacific Coast Hwy 1 on this route. Doable?

Thanks for any input?

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

There are plenty of redwood forests closer to SF than Redwood National Park - Muir Woods, Armstrong Redwoods, Henry Cowell...This doesn't mean that it isn't worth the drive up to Redwood National Park though - that area is really neat and definitely worth a visit. Whether or not it is worth the drive for YOU is the question though :-) It all depends on what you want to do and what your interests are.

You mentioned driving Hwy 1 along the coast - we have a very long coastline, so what part are you interested in seeing? What sort of coastal experience do you want? Hwy 1 north of SF is very dramatic - rocky coastline, crashing waves, small sandy coves here and there. It is also fairly remote and not heavily populated.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

november-moon, thanks for the reply. Our kids have never made the coastal trip, so I think anything would fascinate them. My husband and I drove part of the coastal hwy many years ago and it really was breathtaking!

If we did go part of the way up Hwy 1, any recommendations of stops along the way from San Fran to Redwoods?

Thank you!

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

The quickest route is straight up Hwy 101, which is actually called The Redwood Highway, although I think you need to get up to around Garberville before you start seeing a lot of redwoods. This route is pretty scenic in and of itself once you get up to about Santa Rosa or so.

To add the coast, you can connect with Hwy 1 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and follow the coast for quite awhile until Hwy 1 turns inland and meets back up with Hwy 101 at Leggett. Along Hwy 1, Point Reyes is a great place to stop. Fort Ross is also neat, the towns of Fort Bragg and Mendocino, along with several state parks.

Once you get back to Hwy 101, Avenue of the Giants is a must see, IMO. Humboldt state park is also great. Farther north, my favorites are Patrick's Point and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

When is your trip? Is it this July or August? Any interest in mountains too? To help answer the question about the different redwood parks, you can read tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c195829/Califo…

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5. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

We are also interested in traveling from San Francisco to either Humboldt State Park or National Reswood Forest. What is the driving time between these three points?

Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

Hi Fun-on-coast and welcome to TripAdvisor. It would be great if you'd start your own thread, as threads by two different people on two different vacations tend to become complicated! If you need assistance in starting your own thread, jsut ask and we'll be glad to help :-)

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Yer X, is your main goal Redwood NP? Or are you also going to try to fit in several days in and around San Francisco? If so, you may need to shorten your time up north. Depending upon what you have in mind for your overall trip, it might work out better to visit one of the closer groves.

Keep in mind that Redwood NP is well spread out in a long string along the far northern coast - it's not like arriving in, say, Grand Canyon and saying "we're here"! So you will have additional driving north/south no matter where you stay.

If your children are comfortable in the car and interested in scenery and getting out amongst natural attractions you can plan a good trip up and back with 10 days.

Edited: 30 June 2013, 06:00
Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

Err.....first of all.....how much time do (either or both of) you have for the trip from San Francisco to the northern Redwoods and back?

It is a time consuming drive if you want to drive the coast and make the interesting stops. It, like Big Sur, can't be rushed.

Oregon Coast
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8. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

Yer X has 10 days but I don't know if that includes any time in SF.

Santa Cruz...
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9. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

Well, there is a very nice redwood grove north of San Francisco that can be visited in a day trip, including a drive on the coast and through the Sonoma Valley vineyards. I would not go all the way to Redwood National Park from SF unless I could take two days up and two days back and spend at least a couple of days there.

Look at this day trip.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c139373/San-Fr…

This park is much larger than Muir Woods, which is near SF and it doesn't have the crowds and tour buses and parking problems that Muir does. In fact we have never seen tour buses or crowds there and have often been there by ourselves.

San Francisco, Ca
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10. Re: Travelling with kids from San Francisco to Redwoods

There are some fun, cheesy tourist stops your kids might enjoy... drive through trees, an aerial tramway through the redwoods, petting zoo, etc. I don't remember the names of the specific attractions, but Google should help.

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