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LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

London, United...
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LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Hello everyone! (Please note I mean SF - not LA - as the first destination in the subject line! Apologies.)

Thanks to the hugely helpful Trip Advisor SF to LA Coastal Road Primer I've managed to get a rough plan for my trip to California in September... But I still have a few questions, and would really appreciate any expert opinions...

Below if a rough itinerary. I'm interested to know whether you think it is, firstly, manageable and sensible. And secondly, whether you think I'm rushing (or even spending too long in) any particular place. Thirdly, am I missing a "must-see"? The aim of the holiday is to take in the scenery, do some hiking, a (little bit of) beach time and some city exploration.

Thanks in advance for any help! Kat

1: Arrive in San Fran

2: San Fran

3: San Fran

4: San Fran > Napa

5: Napa

6: Napa > Monterey

7: Monterey

8: Monterey > Cambria/Pismo Beach/Morro Bay???

9: Cambria/Pismo Beach/Morro Bay???

10: Cambria/Pismo Beach/Morro Bay??? > Sequoia

11: Sequoia

12: Sequoia

13: Sequoia > LA

14: LA

15: LA

16: Leave LA

Edited: 06 July 2014, 17:11
London, United...
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1. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

(Please note I mean SF - not LA - as the first destination in the subject line! Apologies.)

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Sequoia and not Yosemite?

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3. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Yes - have been advised that Sequoia is a bit quieter (and arguably just as beautiful) than Yosemite... I'm sure that Yosemite is really lovely, but as we only have time to go to one of the parks, I'd prefer to go to the quieter one. Hope that makes sense?

San Francisco...
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4. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

SF (better abbreviation for San Francisco) and then Napa and then you could do 2-3 days in Yosemite National Park imho and that of Puter's I think and then Monterey for a day and then either Pismo or Cambria for one day (more than enough) and then hit La for 4 days

There are parts of YNP that are busy but there are so many part of YNP where one can hardly see people. So yes it is crowded but unless a theme park which one skip and go to another one with shorter lines -- YNP is like no other. But if you feel you need to be in a less crowded park sure go to SEKI via the itinerary you have but one day in Cambria is enough and then you can cut across to SEKI

Edited: 06 July 2014, 17:40
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5. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Thanks for the help. Will definitely have a second look at Yosemite. So my takeaway so far is just one night in Monterey. Would you recommend spending a night or two in either Cambria/Pismo Beach/Morro Bay? Or anywhere else on the coast? Don't really want to rush it...

Also, when it comes to Napa, where should we stay? Is it best just to base yourself in one place and travel to different wineries from there?

Thanks again!

Santa Clara...
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6. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Usually folks do one night in Monterey/Carmel and the second in Cambria/SLO/Morro/Pismo before moving on. So you're planning for 2 more than usual on this Coastal Route. However, you can certainly fill your time depending on interests.

I also third the suggestion of not missing Yosemite. September will not be a mad zoo and you can definitely find more quiet places. But the valley views are not to be mimissed for first time visitors. Having said all that, lodgings would be a first priority if you are reconsidering.

For specific recommendations on each area like Napa lodgings, go to that specific forum. Use the CA to nail down your itinerary which you're doing here.

Welcome to CA and happy planning.

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

Sequoia is very nice, but Yosemite is world class. I would not miss it. Do go to the Yosemite forum to get information. If you decide to go it is important to get lodging way ahead of time. Also, if you were going to Sequoia for the ancient trees, there is a grove of them in Yosemite.

Because it is so beautiful and popular, ortions of the park can be crowded with people, Yosemite Valley, for instance, but at 1190 square miles, (3081 sq. km) there is much of the park where you won't feel crowded

Look at some Ansel Adams photographs of Yosemite...

http://tinyurl.com/ms7yctf

San Francisco...
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8. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

you should check out www.visitnapavalley.com for where to stay and what to do. Yountville is central if you will to the valley from the city of Napa to the city of Calistoga and both those cities have wonderful places to stay. All depends on your budget. One spot in napa valley should do for most people. If you do want to spend 2-3 days in Napa and then see another wine country then Sonoma would be great and then would I suggest moving hotels. but for most with a short vacation in CA -- just do a couple of days in one spot in Wine Country and if you have time 2 days in the Monterey/Carmel area and one day in Pismo or Cambria . Pismo more for a family , Cambria for a couple.

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9. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

In September, Yosemite will be a different beast than in July.

I would go to Yosemite, rather than Sequoia.

Plenty of places to find tranquility in Yosemite, especially if you are willing to walk 1/4 mile away from a parking lot

LA
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10. Re: LA, Napa, Monterey, ???, Sequoia, LA

I agree that you've got a lot of time in Monterey/Cambria/Pismo beach.

If you were really looking for a sunny warm beach experience, I'd spend a couple of nights in a southern California beach area- Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach. The water will be warm enough for swimming and there should be surfing going on to watch.