Hi all, after a lot of reading, browsing and questions on TA, I finally have an itinerary for our 3-week trip to California starting this September 4th that I am happy with. It will be my husband and I, both early 30’s and both enjoy the outdoors and are moderately active. Thought I will share it with you for any final comments you might have. So here it goes:
Day 1 – Land in San Francisco late afternoon, check in hotel (staying in Union Square) and have dinner, maybe at North Beach.
Day 2 – Booked The Real SF Tour, stay at Ferry Building for a while after tour (tour finishes very close), evening at Fisherman’s Wharf – have crab for dinner (any suggestions where?)
Day 3 – Take cable car to Hyde Street (a cable car ride is a must, was in SF last year when all 3 lines were closed for refurbishment!), rent bike and bike the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito, return by ferry, afternoon in Golden Gate Park, stay for Nightlife at California Academy of Science.
Day 4 – Booked Muir Woods and Wine Country tour, evening tour at Alcatraz (have tickets).
Day 6 – Short drive to Sand Habor and have a relaxed morning, MS Dixie cruise to Emerald Bay in the afternoon. After cruise drive to Lee Vining (stay overnight).
Day 7 – Start driving into Yosemite through Tioga Pass, stops at Toulomne Meadows, Tenaya Lake and Olmstead Point. Arrive in Yosemite Valley at round 1-2pm, lunch, rent a bike and go for a short bike ride in the Valley. Drive to Glacier Point for sunset, stopping at Tunnel View on the way (overnight at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls).
Day 8 – Early morning start to hike the Mist Trail (hope it is still worth it with smaller falls!). After lunch drive to Bridal Veil Falls, then continue to Mariposa Grove – probably take the tram tour to the top and hike back down. Drive to Los Banos for overnight.
Day 9 – Drive Los Banos to Monterey, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, have lunch on Cannery Row. After lunch, drive to Point Lobos State Reserve and spend the afternoon. Drive back to Monterey for overnight stay (stopping at Carmel beach for sunset).
Day 10 – Leave Monterey towards Big Sur, stopping for a photo at the Lone Cypress. In Big Sur, stops at Bixby Bridge, Hurricane Point, Point Sur Lighthouse, Pfeiffer Beach and McWay Falls. Late lunch at Nepenthe Restaurant. After lunch, another stop at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, finally stopping at San Luis Obispo for the Farmers market. Overnight in Morro Bay.
Day 11 – Booked half day kayaking trip at Morro bay. After kayaking drive to Santa Barbara. Spend some time at leisure between State Street, the waterfront and Stearns Wharf. Overnight in Santa Barbara.
Day 12 – Booked one day paragliding lesson till about 3pm. After lesson drive to Los Angeles, dinner at the Grove.
Day 13 – Warner Bros Studio tour in the morning, Santa Monice Pier and Venice beach at leisure for the rest of the day.
Day 14 – Universal Studios for the day.
Day 15 – Disney’s California Adventure park for the day (we’ve both already been to Euro Disney in Paris, but might consider getting a one-day park hopper ticket to just repeat favorite rides). Staying for World of Color in the evening. After park, drive to San Diego.
Day 16 – Booked morning whale watching tour with Adventure Rib Rides (seems really fun!) Tour the USS Midway, spend late afternoon/evening at La Jolla.
Day 17 – San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park for the day. Evening at Coronado Island.
Day 18 – Sea World for the day. Evening at Gaslamp Quarter.
Day 19 – Fly to Las Vegas at noon, check in and relax at hotel. Have Cirque du Soleil O tickets for 7.30pm show.
Day 20 – Day trip to Grand Canyon.
Day 21 – Day at leisure checking out hotels, evening at Freemont Street.
Day 22 – Relax for our final day, visit some more hotels and the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. Flying back at 8.45pm.
Love to hear your thoughts!