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California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Portsmouth, United...
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California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Hi, We are planning a road trip next June and will be hiring an RV and will have 18 days including flights from UK.

At the moment our outline plan is as follows but any tips, campgrounds etc would be greatly appreciated. Obviously we want to keep driving to a minimum with the twins on board!!

San Francisco for a couple of nights to do open top bus tour, seals at the pier & golden gate bridge

Leaving san francisco via Golden Gate Bridge and stop at Muir Woods and than maybe travel some of the way to lake tahoe stopping somewhere scenic to split the journey. Any suggestions ?

What activities are there at Lake Tahoe in June ? We are quite "outdoor' people and boys have been on boats/kayaks. Any campground recommendations ?

Then onto Yosemite for 3 nights.

We were then thinking of heading back to coast and going down highway 1 stoppign and santa cruz, monteray (seeing aqurium), big sur, Elephant Seal Rookery, Santa Barbara and flying out of LA.

We were originally thinking of having a couple of nights in LA but a few people have told us not to bother. To be honest children and cities are not a very good combination anyway!

Any advice, thoughts, feedback welcome!!

Thanks in advance :-)

San Diego...
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1. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

For planning the coastal part of your trip, see this travelogue posted by another member of this forum, of a trip which was also in June. Each photo has a descriptive caption: https:/…5621071823861282305

For deciding which RV parks to stay at, see http://rvparkreviews.com/regions/California/

One possible place to stop after Yosemite and before going to the coast is Bass Lake, either http://basslake-rvresort.com or http://basslakecampground.net

Portsmouth, United...
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2. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Thanks very much :-)

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

There is an RV travel article on the right side of the page, Top Questions. At the end of the article is some info about RV parks and selecting an RV.

Be sure to check on the specific destination forums about how to reserve a campsite and what to do while you're there. Again, the Top Questions on the right is a good place for info.

Last question... I assume that you're staying IN San Francisco to visit this city and picking up the RV after your SF tourism. I think most of the RV depots area at least an hour south of SF. Traveling back to the north, driving through town, and exiting over the Golden Gate Bridge does not sound like a great way to start the day. Maybe you can rent a car for one day when you're in SF to explore some of the regions north of SF, then when you pick up the RV you can get accustomed to the RV, shop for groceries, and drive a short distance to your first RV Park.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Thanks for taking the time to plan your itinerary. Details of what to do and see in each city are best discussed in each city or area forum as there is a wealth of info in the Top questions.

So I will stick to the overall itinerary. There is plenty to do in Lake Tahoe with kayaking and water skis and para sailing. With 3.5 year old twins perhaps some of that may not be appropriate but with our kids we have done all that including going on gondolas in Summer. Sacramento is a good stop with an great Train Museum

Monterey would be a cool spot to spend a few days with the Aquarium and elkhorn slough

Santa Monica in LA county has a great pier and beach that we have enjoyed along with our kids since they were very young.

Typically it takes a day or so after flying in from the UK to get used to the time change and with kids this young you may want to add a day to the first city in your trip. SF takes 3-4 days anyway to see.

Good Point about the RV. PNWF. I would not rent one in SF nor use that to go to Muir Woods or to see LA

Edited: 29 August 2013, 22:47
Portsmouth, United...
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5. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Wow, I have never used one of these forums before and its so helpful! We would have made the error of planning to leave SF in the RV and see Muir Woods so thankyou PNWF for that now seemingly obvious tip!

We are planning on staying in a hotel for a fews days in SF to get over jet lag aswell as to explore the city.

Belomiser, thanks for the tips re Lake Tahoe and Santa Monica. I will also look at each city forum. All so useful in planning such an exciting adventure! Thanks

San Diego...
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6. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

There are state parks that have coast redwood trees, so it is not necessary to go to Muir Woods to see them. This page has maps of where the coast redwoods can be seen: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24723

The other species is the giant sequoia, which is native only to the Sierra Nevada mountains. There are 3 groves of them in Yosemite National Park, so you can see some of those trees while you are there.

So Cal
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7. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Are you familiar with driving an RV, and what size are you planning to rent? Either way, you might want to read the TQ article on it. Some of the places you plan to visit are less RV-friendly than others.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c187230/Califo…

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

We very much enjoyed San Francisco, but you certainly don't want to try and drive an RV through the city! We drove on the freeways on the east side of the bay, across the Richmond Bridge (where they charged us a $15 toll!!! And I didn't see any warnings that this is a toll bridge) and then unhitched at the Petaluma KOA and drove into the city in our truck from there.

We camped at the Marina RV park close to Monteray, which was quite nice, but the cost was astronomical. I had Laguna Seca recommended to me, so check into that.

We also had a couple of nights at Morro Bay State Park. The campground was a bit crowed and cramped for my liking, but a lovely location.

San Francisco
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9. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

<<across the Richmond Bridge (where they charged us a $15 toll!!! And I didn't see any warnings that this is a toll bridge)>>

Vancouverite ... If you had asked here we would have advised. All the bridges in the Bay Area have a toll but they are all collected in only one direction.

To the OP .. don't have an RV while trying to visit SF. Stay here before renting the RV. Transit is good in the city and a car is not needed. An RV would be a millstone around your neck. Frankly I think traveling in one sounds like hell on wheels -- especially with two small kids and 4 people stuck in a very small space.

Each to their own of course, but don't try to be wandering through urban areas in an RV.

Los Angeles
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10. Re: California Road Trip with 3.5 year old twins

Don't rent an RV because you think it'll save you money, rent one because you like camping. Get your reservations for Yosemite camping as soon as they open up (see Yosemite forum for more information).

L.A. is a very large place (and then, there's its surrounding area). Some of it is appealing to most people (Santa Monica is great) and some of it is not.