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half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

dallas, texas
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half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

Could you give me a good town to stop half-way for the night between SF and Yosemite...

and then also a good half-way stop point for Yosemite to Monterey.

we are leaving each place late afternoon and thought it would be good to cut the drive in half - but we need to advice on which town to stop and stay in -- and if you have any advice for moderate priced accomodations. I've splurged somewhat in SF so I'd like to keep my hotel costs down for the one night stop over towns. thanks for the input

anissa

San Jose, California
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1. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

It's not that far between the coast and Yosemite, about 4hr drive. There really isn't much need to spend the night IMHO.

There are only small towns in between for the most part. I don't know if one is a better choice than the next.

Between SF & YNP I'd say Oakdale. For the return leg, Merced. Nothing really of interest for tourists in either place. You will find basic motels and that's probably it.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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2. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

Actually, in terms of travel time, you wouldn't need to stop overnight unless you are really tired, because S.F. to Yosemite is less than 200 miles. Yosemite to Monterey just a bit more.

One thing to be aware of is that if you leave S.F. in late afternoon, you will be in the thick of the evening commute traffic, which is very heavy going east toward Hayward, Livermore, and Tracy.

From S.F. to Yosemite, Manteca is just short of halfway. It is not an appealing place; the business areas are pretty much one big strip mall, but there are plenty of places to stay, from Motel 6 on up. Oakdale is a bit farther on, a smaller and more relaxed place, but has fewer lodgings. If you have enough stamina, I would say to keep going, then you can spend your money on a nice place either in the park or a lot closer. Groveland would be a good choice if you can make it that far; or Sonora, which is just a few miles off the main road to Yosemite and a charming town.

If you haven't done so, go to the Yosemite forum and ask MacJack and Charlotte for suggestions.

From Yosemite to Monterey, IMO the most direct route would be to take Hwy 140 for Merced, local road (can't recall which) to Hwy 152 for Los Baños, the scenic 152 that goes over San Luis Reservoir and Pacheco Pass, and the exit for 101 south from 152. 101 will take you to a junction with 156 for the Monterey area.

This trip is about 200 miles, and the approximate halfway point is Los Baños, which is every bit as exciting as Manteca. If you want a more relaxing "country" place, Casa De Fruta will put you 50-60 miles from Monterey. It is a one-time roadside fruit stand that grew into a big produce market-restaurant-deli-motel-RV park complex. If you want to buy California gifts for everyone back home, you can't beat this place. The motel is set apart from the busier areas and is lushly landscaped, and has peacocks roaming around. I haven't stayed there in a couple years; I would guess the rooms may be around $90 now.

San Francisco
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3. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

I'll ditto Simbot and just add that you won't likely need reservations. There will be plenty of basic motels. Drive along until one looks good to you. That way you have more flexibility.

dallas, texas
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4. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

thank you so much for the suggestions...

San Francisco...
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5. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

You can get some really good Mexican food in Manteca, if that's where you choose to stop. Try this one:

El Jardin Mexican Restaurant

1119 S Main St

Manteca, CA 95337

(209) 825-8552

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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6. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

Frisco_RR "Los Baños, which is every bit as exciting as Manteca" Yup, two great little towns.

Los Baños ~ the baths or bathrooms

Manteca ~ lard or fat

Central Valley towns ... Why couldn't there be more names like Mariposa (butterfly) or Madera (wood)?

I grew up in one of these lovely "M" towns, so I think I'm allowed to sigh over the beauty and non-beauty of the names.

anissa ~ I also vote that you drive as far as is possible, stopping closer to your destination.

Napa
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7. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

If you stay in Groveland - there is an old bar there called the Iron Door that opened in 1852 and is said to have made it through Prohibition. Worth a stop if you like history.

San Francisco
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8. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

* "Yup, two great little towns." *

They aren't bad places. They just aren't very exciting. Many San Joaquin Valley towns are, for lack of a better word, generic. The kind of places where, if someone blindfolded you and then dropped you off, you'd probably have trouble identifying.

Whether you are going east or west, the farther along you can get, the better. As you get up into the Sierra foothills (Oakdale, Sonora, Columbia, Groveland) or closer to the Monterey Peninsula (Pacheco Pass, San Juan Bautista, even Salinas), there's more to see and do.

On the way to Yosemite, that part of the Sierra foothills is the Mother Lode, the region of the 1849 Gold Rush. I mentioned SOnora and Columbia, which are Gold Rush communities; others along the way to Yosemite or a short detour are Chinese Camp, Jamestown, Angel's Camp, and Murphy's. If you have a couple of spare hours, a side trip to one of these would be worthwhile. My favorite is Columbia.

Sacramento, CA
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9. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

Peersonally I would try to go farther than halfway to be closer to what I want to see the next day. That said, my wife and I recently stayed in Mariposa, about an hour out of Yosemite Valley. We had a very nice room at the Best Western and found the town to be kinda cute though small.

There was a very good restaurant named Savoury's.

The town has several dining options and cute little shops and is very convenient for access to the park.

10. Re: half way stopping point b/w SF and Yosemite

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