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Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Missouri
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Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Will be traveling to the region Mid - September for 8 full days and nights. We want to pack in as much as possible to get a glimpse of the area on our 1st trip.

Take a look below. Too much?

Saturday -

Arrive Early AM Spend day at Fisherman's Wharf.

Sunday -

Golden Gate

General Site Seeing

Alcatraz Night Tour

Monday -

Rent car/travel to Yosemite for overnight stay.

Tuesday -

Travel to Lake Tahoe and spend night in Reno.

Wednesday - Return to San Francisco

Do 49 Mile Drive

Thursday - Rent Motorcycle/Day Trip to Big Sur

Friday - Motorcycle/Day Trip to Menocino

Saturday - Trip to Wine Country or Stay in San Francisco?

Sunday - Afternoon Departure

Suggestions welcomed for time spent in San Francisco.

Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Well, besides the fact that you do not, I think, want to spend a whole day in Fisherman's Wharf, I think you are absolutely mad to think that you can do two back-to-back motorcycle tours to Big Sur and back and to Mendocino and back.

But what do I know?

do you have some maps?

Missouri
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2. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Puter - Fisherman's Wharf is just one of the things I want to see that day. Figure with that as the start, there is plenty of time for other plans. Thus the request for suggestions.

From what I can tell it is about a 3 hour drive to Big Sur. Taking time along the way and messing around before returning shouldn't be too bad.

As for the trip to Mendocino - Rand McNally is saying 4 1/2 hours but I really don't know if it is necessary to go that far to take in the coast line scenery. Just got the drive through researching on here.

Suggestions?

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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3. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

I think what you may want to consider is the following:

1) Take a Hop On Hop Off Bus tour the first day. (Note: You will get to see a lot of San Francisco and then decide what you want to do the next day. You can do dinner at one of the Fisherman Wharf Restaurants (perhaps Boudin if want something informal or Aliotos) and then save room for ice cream at Gheridelli's after. If you like ice cream, it is a must. If not, of course, you can skip - but its one of the great things about san Francisoc. You can walk from Fisherman Wharf...to Gheridelli - then call it an early night.

This will save time to change Wednesday.....and I would advise the following loop instead...

1) Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite - Note: Get an early start as Yosemite is best in the day. Get reservations in advance - Ahwahnee is the luxury with Camp Curry your basic. Book at the National Park site. If you want a nice dinner, consider reservations at the Ahwahnee. If not, grab some picnic goods beforehand and just enjoy a great evening seeing the valley. Hopefully its full moon and it can be spectacular.

2) Next day drive through Yosemite, Toulumne Meadows, and over the pass. You will get a great view of Mono Lake; there is a visitor center you may want to consider stopping at. Then drive to Lake Tahoe for the night. There is a very good buffet (all you want to eat with good food - ate there a couple of weeks ago) at the Forest Room at Harrahs. Get there early as its very popular.

3) Then depart Lake Tahoe and instead of returning to San Francisco, drive down HIghway 50. have a brief stop at Old Town Sacramento and then spend a night in Napa. Best Western Elm House Inn is a nice stay. This will save you some time and also you will be able to enjoy one of the finest dinners of your trip in Napa. We like Celadon, Ad Hoc, and a host of others....so check the Napa site for suggetions.

Then return to San Francisco to rent the motorcycle. I really don't like seeing both doing Mendocino and Big Sur in so short of time. I would pick one or the other. Since you've done Napa and Sonoma as part of the Tahoe trip, I;d probably choose Monterey, Big Sur and drive HIghway 1. Please note: it can be cold so do consider that as a factor.

Spend one last day ...relaxing in San Francisco...before your flight out. Perhaps a brief ferry trip to Sausalito to round out the trip.

More questions, do let us know. Have fun planning your trip

Fremont, California
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4. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

If you do want to see part of the coastline, consider dirving from Napa to Healdsburg and then to the Sonoma Coast to Bodega Bay on your way back to San Francisco before renting a motorcyle. This is doable...while making a separate trip to Mendocino, I would recommend against for such a short vacation.

SF Bay Area
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5. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Bear in mind that drive times assume that the roads are empty. In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, "rush hour" runs from about 7-9 am and 4-7 pm. Trying to get around on the freeways that ring the bay, or the major roads in and out, will take considerably longer than the map services say.

On weekends certain roads get clogged. The beach will be popular in mid September so if your travel plans to Big Sur fall on a Saturday or Sunday, add up to an hour in each direction.

I'm concerned that your trip as you have planned it allows you to see a lot of California but only enough time to tag each spot before taking off for the next. If you only want to say you've "been there, done that," go for it. If you want to feel why each place is prized enough to be recommended, take the time to savor the flavors.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

I go back to what I said.

If you want to take those two motorcycle tours do not try to do them, each, in one day.

Seriously, get a map.

--
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7. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

Granted that the left hand coast may be a good deal different from your home town/state/area so the temptation is to try and take it all in at once. At the same time knowing some of the distances and highways/roads involved I'd consider scheduling a vacation for when you return from your California "vacation" as you're going to need to some time to decompress, process what you took in in 8 days, and deal with the addiction to certain illicit pharmaceutical products you'll probably start needing around Day 4.

In all seriousness, you've got a fair amount of time from now until the middle of September. Invest a bit of it doing some web-surfing to try and condense and prioritize the list starting with what you absolutely have to see, what you're really interested in, and what can be sacrificed if time delays build up. Then post your list for some suggestions on how to refine the list and lay it out in some fashion that may save a dinosaur or two for the next generation to stuff into their gas tanks.

8. Re: Itinerary Opinions - Too Much???

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