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Advice on itinerary???

Coldwater, Michigan
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Advice on itinerary???

With my family vacation only a week away, I'm starting to wonder if my itinerary is reasonable. Could anyone offer an opinion?


Just a side note-I will probably never get to California again, so I'm trying to do as much as possible! Thanks for all of your advice and input-I was totally confused before I came across this website!!!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Advice on itinerary???

Sounds pretty good. I don't know how little your kids are but I think I would do Alcatraz instead of the SF Aquarium. You've already got the Montery Aquarium on there and it's much better.

Also, be sure to take the kids through Chinatown.

Portola Valley...
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2. Re: Advice on itinerary???

Santa Cruz w/e - you might want to drive up the coast to Ano Nuevo Park and take a walk out over the dunes - elephant seals may or may not be there - check with ranger and website. Also various beaches en route and Davenport has both a capuccino/french fries/artichoke rolls bakery/bar and the Cash House - a restaurant where you can eat.

Closer to Santa Cruz - Surfing Museum on the cliffs north of the wharf in a lighthouse (OK I see you got it Monday - I'd try to do it after Woodies on the Wharf on Sat if its open - its not far away). Also the Natural Bridges State Park has a beach for kids.

When you do the Mystery Spot - which is illusion and can be fun - if you have time go to Felton - there is an old train from Felton to the Santa Cruz beach - or you can take a logging train up the hill - but that will be half a day gone. Check out times.

Play crazy golf inside on the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz if its cold and foggy - there are pirates and things there.

When you go from Santa Cruz to Monterey you may want to make a detour into Castroville and take a break at the Giant Artichoke - you can't miss it - its a restaurant with a big artichoke outside and artichoke gifts to take home. Coffee and artichoke cake, fried artichokes, artichoke soup, etc. Or you can do it on your way from Monterey to San Francisco.

On Monday I'd add the Carmel Mission and Carmel. Put the Surfing Museum when you are in Santa Cruz on Saturday.

You might want to look at the park in Monterey on the Tuesday and take a Bicycle Made for 2 along the old rail track that people bike and rollerblade on.

In San Francisco you may want to go up the Bank of America building for a drink (or fine dinner in the Carnelian Room).

If the cable car is busy at Fisherman's Wharf get on in Chinatown and go to the top of Powell and change to the California Street line - that is usually quieter. You can get a thrill going down California Street to the Embarcadero and walk or take a Muni along the Embarcadero - only do this if you are dying to ride a cable car and you have an hour's wait at Fisherman's Wharf or the Powell turntable near Union Square - too popular tourist spots.

In Golden Gate park don't miss the new De Young Museum, Buffalo and the restored conservatory of flowers. Also the Japanese Garden there is better than in San Jose I think - there are also boats on a lake for kids in the park not far away. You may prefer the Arboretum.

Buy your Alcatraz tickets before you go - at least 3 days before - they sell out - I agree the SF aquarium is not worth it. Near Fisherman's Wharf there is a maritime museum if you want to see something. Else check out the sea lions at the end of Pier 39.

Friday you are near the Intel Museum - so you might want to see a bit of Silicon Valley History - its in Intel's offices. Also in Mountain View is www.computerhistory.org - Computer History Museum. Also at NASA there is a small museum and also the Tech Museum in downtown San Jose with Imax theater! You might want to eat in Japantown in San Jose for lunch - get a Bento Box - near Taylor Street. Shop at Fry's for high tech experience - go up Lawrence and turn on Arques for one site.

Have a great trip.

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