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itinary for travel around california with baby!

dublin
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itinary for travel around california with baby!

Hi

I'll be travelling around california for 4-5 weeks this summer with wife and 9 month old son

looking for some advice on putting an itinary together. Will be flying to san fran so thinking of staying there for a week or 2 (take in napa and yosemite) and then travel down to LA at our leisure and then on to vegas/grand canyon. Hoping to maybe stay in apartments as would be easier with baby.

Any suggestions? hope we're not mad planning this with baby! which websites best for apartments. planning on renting a car (or RV - good/bad idea?)

all advice greatly appreciated

San Jose, California
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1. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

Fabulous that you have so much time. I have to admit - I am a little jealous :) And I don't think you are crazy to plan this trip with a baby - now if you were planning to see everything in a week and a half, I would say you were nuts. But with 4-5 weeks, you can take your time and have a nice relaxed pace.

Yosemite will be your limiting factor with regard to lodging - things fill up very quickly, including campgrounds. So I would see what sorts of reservations I could get there and then plan the rest of my itinerary around that. You said that you are planning to stay in SF for a week or two and see Napa and Yosemite from there - Yosemite is at least a 4 hour drive from SF, so I would definitely recommend not using SF as a base to visit Yosemite - stay a few nights near Yosemite itself.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are also great to visit - Yosemite is more spectacular in that the valley with its granite cliffs and waterfalls make a tremendous impression, however Sequoia and Kings Canyon are less visited and have quite a few charms of their own. You might consider adding a couple days there to your itinerary.

For your trip down to LA, I would recommend taking the coastal route (Hwy 1) from at least Monterey south - this will take you through Big Sur, which has terrific coastline. The Monterey area is worth a few days' visit as well. In that area is also the Santa Cruz mountains - in Yosemite and Sequoia (if you go) you will see the Sequoia species of redwood. In the Santa Cruz mountains, you will see the coastal redwoods - different trees, different habitats.

Since you are planning to go to LV and the Grand Canyon, you can either go from LA to LV (by car or plane) or you can go east from Yosemite, over Tioga pass and down the east side of the Sierras. Just depends on how you decide to route your trip.

Regarding wine country - Napa and Sonoma are close to SF, so very convinient and there are some terrific wines there. One thing to consider are the other wine areas of California - Sierra Foothills, Santa Cruz Mountains, Carmel Valley, Santa Ynez valley - all of which are great.

The RV versus rental car question - I'd go with the rental car for convinience and flexibility. Our campgrounds are almost always significantly outside of towns, so not terribly convinient for sightseeing except in the particular parks where you stay. And everywhere you go, you'll need to drive the RV.

Newbury Park...
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2. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

Just a comment regarding the wineries, the wineries in Paso Robles and Los Olivas area (near Santa Barbara) are more kid / baby friendly in general as long as your child is well behaved.

I am not sure what your budget is for a hotel, but when traveling with our kids, we like Embassy Suites as they have the second room (a bit of a break once the baby is down for the night or nap), breakfast included (hot made to order eggs, etc) and an afternoon reception with snacks and wine/beer - also nice when you are at the hotel while the baby rest/decompresses.

If you don't already have one - invest in a baby backpack. It is a lifesaver at airports, hiking in Yosemite and even getting around the cities. Ours always liked being at peoples eye level and were much less fussy than when in a stroller.

Have a wonderful time.

dublin
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3. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

many thanks juxie + november moon thats really helpful. one more thing would you recommend hotels or apartments (know of any websites?); just with a baby it would be handy to have microvave/laudry facilities but then again presume good hotels could help us with these requests

thanks again

Uden, The...
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4. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

Are you flying from SF as well? Maybe also put your question on the new Road Trips forum. For rentals maybe try www.vrbo.com No use to rent a RV if you want to stay in apartments. No apartments around Grand Canyon. Flagstaff will be closest or Sedona but I strongly advice to stay at the rim one or two nights. You should make reservations for GCNP and Yosemite far in advance. Car or RV? I prefer a car and hotels, other people hate hotels and prefer an RV. RV's are not allowed to drive through Death Valley in summer but it prob will be too hot for the baby anyway.

Tet

San Jose, California
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5. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

Check out this site for Yosemite West - these are privately owned homes and condos very close to the park (you actually go into Yosemite to get to them).

http://www.yosemitewest.com/

For hotel chains that have kitchen and laundry facilities, seperate rooms, etc. check out Marriott Residence Inns, Springhill Suites, and Extended Stay. There are others as well, but those are the ones I am familiar with.

Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

eogo, I would suggest you look into Marriott Residence Inn's as they have a kitchenette, and others in their line of hotels on the list below. They are similar to Embassy and have more locations in some areas.

You will need a car seat in CA for the baby, so either bring your own from home, and check it in with the luggage, or pick up one when you arrive in the States.

www.marriott.com/corporateinfo/glance.mi

7. Re: itinary for travel around california with baby!

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