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Drive the Northern California coast

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Drive the Northern California coast

My husband and I (both 70) are planning a Sept. trip to Northern California. We will be flying into and out Oakland. We have 9 days. Ay suggestions for an itinerary . Thank you

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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1. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

Welcome Janet to TripAdvisor, now let's play 20 questions :)

So 8 nights? What is your budget per night for hotels? Where are you coming from? What kind of sites/sights do you like?

When are you arriving into OAK and when do you leave? Do you have an interest in Wine Country? (because my loop would probably be coast out and back through Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley) How many hours a day are you willing/wanting to drive?

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

OAkland to Santa Rosa. Schultz museum (peanuts).

Mendocino / Fort Bragg coast

Did you want to drive all the way to Crescent City and visit Redwood National Park? Do you mind driving twisty winding roads?

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3. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

We don't mind driving on twisting roads but not all the time. Yes we would like to see Napa valley and Redwood National Forrest. We would like to not drive more than 4-5 hrs a day. Also my husband would like to go to Lake Tahoe. Arriving Sept. 10 th leaving Sept. 19 th.

Napa, CA
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for Napa
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4. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

The Reno Air Show affects lodging even at Lake Tahoe so going before or after the weekend of the 14th would be best.

Are you spending any days in San Francisco itself? If so, that might preclude driving as far as Redwood National Park which is near the Oregon border. 8 nights is not enough time to do it justice if you are going to the Napa Valley, Mendocino Coast, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco as well.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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5. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

I am sorry, you need to carefully look at a map and the mileage you are talking about.

You cannot fly into and out of Oakland and in 9 days go to the northern redwood forest, and Tahoe and back.

Please read the TOP Questions on the right of the screen...like '"northern California itinerary", so you understand the distances you are considering to cover, and then come back with specific questions.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

Hi Janet F and welcome to the forums.

If you spend no time in San Francisco itself, you can do:

Day 1 - Napa

Day 2 - drive to Eureka area (5 hours)

Days 3 & 4 - Redwood NP

Day 5 - Mendocino

Day 6 - drive to Tahoe all day (about 7 hours)

Day 7 - Tahoe

Day 8 - drive back to SF/Oakland

Day 9 - fly home

Too much driving for me and not enough seeing . . . but maybe it will work for you?

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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7. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

For a little less driving, but still see the redwoods, drive as far as Garberville and see Avenue of the Giants. Close to Napa/Sonoma is also Armstrong Redwoods.



Day 1 - Arrive, Drive to Napa and check into Best Western Elmhouse Inn for 2 nights


Day 2 - Napa Valley

Day 3 - Drive from Napa Valley to Mendocino by the coast and check in for one night, perhaps Little River Inn (there is a lot of lodging choices)



Distance from Napa to Mendocino is: 141 miles, 3 hours

Day 4 and 5 - Drive the ocean route to Garberville is 80 miles, 2 hours (but will take a bit logner to see the ocean sites), checking either for 2 nights



Day 5: Avenue of the Giants -


Day 6: Leave Garberville and go to Folsom, California

Check into Larkspur Landing


There is a movie theater and restaurants nearby

Driving distance is: 240 miles 4 1/2 hours or so

On drive there you can see Clearlake area


and close to Folsom is Marshall Gold Mine Sight


Distance to get to Folsom is: 4 and a half horus

Day 7

Short 90 minute drive to Lake Tahoe - check into hotel;

perhaps take a lake cruise, explore the lake, take a day drive and see Virginia City

Check in for 2 nights




Day 8

Lake tahoe

Day 9: Drive from lake Tahoe for your flight home

Edited: 16 August 2013, 08:33
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8. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

Thank you for all your great suggestions. We are looking forward to a great trip.

9. Re: Drive the Northern California coast

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