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Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

NJ
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Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

Any feedback on this itinerary for our August trip would be appreciated. My husband, myself and our two teenage daughters will spend 2 days in San Francisco, staying at the Stanford Court. The third day, we drive to Groveland and stay at the Hotel Charlotte, which we hear is about one hour from Yosemite. We spend the next 2 nights at the Ahwahnee Lodge. Do we need to book tours at Yosemite before arriving or is that something we can do upon arrival? We spend the next 3 nights in Aptos, just south of Santa Cruz at the Seascape Resort. Any suggestions for dining in that area?

We return for 2 more nights in San Francisco at the end of the trip. Has anyone been to Beach Blanket Babylon with teenagers? We understand one show on weekends is alcohol-free.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

Will you adopt me??

This is a fabulous itinerary at some fantastic lodgings.

You won't need to book any tours before you get to Yosemite, although you may find that you can see more of what you want to see on your own. Renting bicycles and cycling around the valley is a great way to introduce yourself to the area. Then a drive up to Glacier Point Road and a hike to Sentinel Dome along with a drive all the way to Glacier Point will get you some amazing vistas. The one paid tour you may wish to take is the tram tour of the Maripose grove of Giant Sequoias, as the tram take you up to the elevation where the largest grove is located. That tour is done by purchasing your tickets right there at the Grove.

You are going to get to see some wonderful corners of California. And Aptos is a perfect place to stay in the Santa CRuz area. We have stayed there many times and have always had a great time. I can't remember any specific dining expereinces (we rented a house), although there is a famous bakery there that everyone can tell you about that has great pastries and luncheon items. (Hopefully someone here will remember the name of it!)

BBB is terrific, and I'm sure your daughters will love it- ours did- but since the Sunday matinee is the only show you can take hem to, you'd better get to beachblanketbabylon.com ASAP to see if they have tickets available during your stay.

And welcome to the Golden State!

NY
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2. Re: Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

We are thinking of going to Aptos after our Yosemite stay in August as well. Do you know the best route to take? How long and what the drive is like?

San Mateo...
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3. Re: Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

There are 2 routes that are very similar that would get you from Yosemite to Aptos. The first would be to take Hwy 140 to Merced, then go South on Hwy 99, and then turn West on Hwy 152. The second would be to take Hwy 140 and stay on it past Merced until you get to I-5. You can then go South on I-5 until you get to Hwy 152.

They are essentially the same routes. Neither are very scenic, but they are the most direct.

San Mateo...
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4. Re: Visiting San Francisco and Yosemite

Forgot the last second half of your question. It's a fairly simple drive, although sometimes traffic can get heavy on Hwy 152 as you get into Gilroy and people tend to drive too fast on the curves. As long as you do it during the daytime you should be fine. The drive will probably take 3+ hours.