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vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

Farmington, Missouri
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vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

I would like to take a northern California vacation with my family in the summer of 2015 (must be summer). It will be me, my wife, and two teenage sons (age 16 and 18). We will fly into San Francisco and include Yosemite in the vacation. We will have 7 days to spend in California. Which would be a better trip? Option A: San Francisco to Lake Tahoe region to Yosemite to Sequoia and back to San Fran or Option B: San Francisco to Big Sur to Yosemite to Sequoia and back. Likely will only spend one full day in San Francisco. We to see the sights. Small hiking. We like adventure and to see beautiful scenery.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

If you come mid June-Sept on, i would do lake Tahoe and enter from the East entrance from Lake Tahoe. It's a very scenic drive. In May, tioga pass might not be open then.

But Big Sur is also very pretty and it all boils down to whether you like coast more or mountains more? If you want to do actual swimming with no fear of dangerous waves, opt for Lake Tahoe.

San Francisco
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2. Re: vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

Tahoe may pale in comparison to Yosemite. I think if you're looking for an overview of the scenery of northern California SF->Yosemite->Big Sur is a great loop.

Is this 7 full days (as in 8 nights)? And flying into/out of SF? Doesn't make for much time anywhere but can be done. I'd probably drop Sequoia though.

Sacramento, CA
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3. Re: vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

I agree with WD. SF- Yosemite - Big Sur.

You don't have time for Sequoia NP but you can catch some coastal redwoods between Santa Cruz and SF.

You don't want a car while in SF. Parking is expensive and a car is unnecessary...actually a hindrance. Rent the car when you leave the city.

San Francisco, Ca
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4. Re: vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

With 7 days total, you barely have time to really cover both Yosemite and San Francisco. If you want to add something, I'd add Big Sur (as it's very different from Yosemite, whereas Lake Tahoe is also mountain scenery). I think 3 nights SF, 2 nights Yosemite, 2 nights Big Sur would work well and give you 1 full day in Yosemite and Big Sur.

But there is far more choice of accommodation in Lake Tahoe (and therefore more crowds) than in Big Sur, so check accommodation style and pricing before making a final decision. And book Yosemite now, as their accommodations fill up a year in advance!

5. Re: vacation choices-Big Sur or Lake Tahoe

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