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Best of the west USA

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Best of the west USA

Hi there I am travelling to San Diego at the end of aug with my partner and two daughters 3 & 6 yrs old. Never been to the area. We have a couple of weeks. Was thinking the drive to San Fran, with stops at various places. Also redwoods, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite. Is this doable at relaxed pace? We can't do too much driving in one day as kids will to like it. What can you suggest? Your advise would be much appreciated thank you!

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1. Re: Best of the west USA

It would open up more possibilities for you if you did a one-way trip flying in to San Diego and back from San Francisco. (Apologies if that's what you intended anyway.)

The coast road (commonly called the Pacific Coast Highway), San Francisco and Yosemite are feasible, plus perhaps Sequoia National Park on the southward journey if you plan to loop back to San Diego.

If you planned to do a loop back to San Diego then Lake Tahoe might be just about possible provided you didn't want to spend any time in the cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento). With a one-way trip it would almost certainly be viable.

IMHO Redwood National Park would only be possible with a one-way trip and even then would involve a fair bit of driving - it's quite a long way further north. FWIW I wouldn't regard Redwoods NP as a priority because you'll see giant trees in the Mariposa Grove area of Yosemite (and Sequoia, if you visit that park).

If you haven't already done so, have a look on Google Maps where these places are, and how far apart they are. California is a big state.

There's information about the national parks on the official site http://www.nps.gov

This is a video playlist of a trip by a small family from Britain who drove from Los Angeles up the coast road to San Francisco, then Yosemite (and then Death Valley, Las Vegas and back to Los Angeles). The videos are nicely produced and will give you a very good idea of the places, and how much enjoyment they derived from their holiday:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist…

Hope this helps a bit.

Edited: 25 May 2014, 16:29
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2. Re: Best of the west USA

I agree Redwood National Park is too far north. There are places to see redwoods along Highway 1 (this road is not commonly called Pacific Coast Highway once you get north of around Santa Barbara or so), the easiest grove to get to would be Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, near Santa Cruz. Have a good time.

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3. Re: Best of the west USA

Hi Curlz79

There are some itinerary ideas in the Top Questions on the right. Read through those.

I think a relaxed pace is a great idea with young kids. I hope you have 3 weeks. Two other things to keep in mind while you're planning: 1) Labor Day weekend is quite busy with travelers. Some lodgings might have a two night minimum. Some attractions that appeal to travelers and locals will be incredibly crowded. 2) Most school districts begin their year sometime between mid-August and the Tuesday after Labor Day. So crowds will be somewhat diminished.

Here is a basic itinerary that might appeal to a family w/ young kids.

San Diego (3-4 n) - Anaheim (2-3 n) - L.A. (2-3 n) - Pismo Beach (1-2 n) - Monterey (2 n) - San Francisco / SF (3-4 n) - Lake Tahoe (2 n) - Yosemite NP (2-3 n) - ?Oakhurst? (1 n) - L.A. / Santa Monica / near LAX? (1 n)

Specifics ...

... read the relevant Top Questions on each destination forum.

... stop at the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing to see marine mammals. Otter Cam: http://seaotters.com/live

... visit Henry Cowell Redwoods near Santa Cruz on the way to SF

... get lodging in SF that includes free parking. SF is very popular in September because of the great weather and it also has lots of conventions.

... enter Yosemite's Tioga Pass Entrance and exit via the South Entrance, maybe staying just outside the South Entrance after visiting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

... Yosemite will probably be the most challenging to find lodging. Read those Top Questions on the Yosemite forum.

... You could do this loop in either direction. Yosemite is pretty far from LAX or SAN for departure, but maybe the girls would be so tired by then that they'll sleep all the way. But do not visit Yosemite over the holiday weekend.

==========

Last comment ~ rather than "the West", this is just a visit to some of the most popular regions in California. There is lots more to do & see if you want to enjoy the Best of the West.

Edited: 25 May 2014, 18:01
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4. Re: Best of the west USA

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