We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Delaware
Level Contributor
88 posts
31 reviews
Save Topic
10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Flew into SFO Thurs June 16. Hubby, son 18 and daughter 11 and me.

Stayed one night at Argonaut on Waterfront. Great location, really nice room.Thurs night walked around Wharf area. Enjoyed the Wharf entertainers-esp the spray paint artisits. Very cool! and had dinner right there at Coppinos. Better than you might think for a touristy place. Had lunch there again on Fri.

Fri am did Cable car (empty at 8 am), really fun. Did Go Car tour--really fun way to see a ton of the city at your own pace, but without driving a car (parking hassle) or riding a bike (hills are tough!). Cost $250 for 2 1/2 hours for 2 cars.

Drove to Yosemite in afternoon, leaving Mountain View Ca at 2:30, arriving Yosemite View Lodge at 8:30 with a dinner stop. Traffic was horrible at several different points. Had a 2 BR apt at Yosemite View Lodge for 2 nights, Fri and Sat, which worked out GREAT. This is like having an apt at a resort--several pools, hot tub, etc. Much nicer than I thought. Apt was only $20 more per night than a double queen room--about $260 per night.

Saturday am-Did Glacier Point bus tour one way out of Yosemite Lodge at 8:30 which takes you to top. Hiked down Panorama Trail. Very difficult, more so than I anticipated. Hubby and I SOOO sore for 3 days, but must say, worth it. No crowds at all at top or along the way. Terrbile crowds on Valley floor at 5 when we got down. Grid lock with shuttles and cars. Tip- walk any where you need to get--it will be faster. Great pizza dinner at the Degnans Cafe at 6.

Sunday morning rented bikes at the Lodge and rode all over the valley floor. Spectacular.

Drove back to SF--left at 2, arrived at 6:30 with a dinner stop.

Moved in to a 2 BR house through VRBO at Waller and Divisidero for one week rental (cost $1255 for week). Had driveway, so no parking prob. Worked out great to have so much room and kitchen for breakfasts.

Mon am in SF--drove over Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Had lunch there-took 1pm ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island. Beautiful ride and views. Did tram tour there. Very interesting history and great views of SF, Alcatraz, Bridges, etc.

Tues am drove down the coast on Hwy 1 stopping for views. Had lunch at the grill at Pebble Beach Golf course. Very nice food and service.

Stopped in Santa Cruz-great beach day, played some beach

volleyball on nets set up on public beach. Fun!

Toured Point Lobos State Reserve. A must do! Amazing views, lots of sea lions and seals. Incredible rock formations. Spent 2 1/2 hours.

Checked in to 1 Br suite at Big Sur River Lodge. Very nice. Not as rustic as I thought it might be. Had a so so dinner in the Pub there.

Wed am--incredible breakfast at Deetjens. A MUST MUSt do. Great food, service, atmosphere. Just go. Can't stop thinking about it.

Hiked at Limekiln State Park. Quiet, beautiful, prehistoric-like. Old redwoods, creek. Loved it. Solitude.

Lunch at Nepenthe-loved it. Great food, service. Views diminished by fog, but memorable. Just go. There are 2 restaurants there. Either would be great.

Hiked at Pfieffer State Park. didn;t love as much. Hot dry trails, crowded, no view to speak of.

Back to Big Sur lodge for pool time. Great outdoor pool. Sunny and warm enough. Very nice resort.

Thurs am-drove north to Monterey to do Aquarium. Had breakfast at a Denny's there--typical, and fine. Aquarium is great. Spent 2 hours.

To Santa Cruz for lunch with my cousin, a surfer dude who lives there. Watched surfers. Fun.

To Google in Mountain view to visit son who's interning there--he gave us a tour and we had dinner there. VERY cool.

Back to house in SF.

Fri am-chilled at house all morning-kinda exhausted. Went back to Wharf area to do the Pamplitino Submarine tour. Neat. Only took 30 min or so. Had lunch at Wipeout. Touristy, but fine. Did the 3:55 Alcatraz tour. Really neat and interesting. Dinner at Firenze By Night. Super expensive and kinda wasted on the kids since they just had spaghetti. Only ok, to tell the truth.

Saturady up and out early to Muir Woods. 45 min VERY windy drive from SF. Already busy at 9 when we arrived, but got a parking space right up front. Did a 2.5 mile hike that was awesome. Really deserted up on the trails, which is nice. Really takes away from a place like that when you are hiking nose to rear. LOVED it there. BONUS-- had lunch at the Cafe there and it is AWESOME. Great local, organic food, really reasonably priced. Small, so could be crowded later but we were in there by 11:15. My hubby said he had the best tuna sandwich of his life, and my yogurt and fruit parfait was amazing.

Last dinner in Haight Ashbury at All You Knead. Kinda looks like a dive but very good pizza and salads.

Sun am flew home.

Will post more details on individual forums soon.

Tracy, N.California
Level Contributor
406 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Great report! Thanks for sharing ... I live in san jose and havent been to muir woods....sad ...but i will soon visit!

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,986 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Sounds like an ideal trip to me. What a wonderful amount of time to allot to this itinerary - I wish more people would realize it takes 10 days to really enjoy it, to get the beach, the solitude, the panoramic views of Yosemite, etc., etc., plus to really see SF - this is the way to do it!

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
15,899 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

monkey - I haven't been the Muir Woods in ages either. Last time I tried, it was mid-morning on a weekday in October and there wasn't any parking. Bah! So definitely get an early start when you go.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
32,374 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Thanks for the report. It looks like me to be very useful for future travelers to your locations.. Succinct and very full of good information.

Your trip sounds great.

November_moon and monkey. Since you both live in San Jose, why don't you drive 'over the hill' to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton? No tour buses or crowds here as in Muir Woods.

redwoodhikes.com/Cowell/San%20Lorenzo.html

Delaware
Level Contributor
88 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Thank you for your positive comments about my report. I read this forum obsessively for weeks before we went so I owe you all a debt of gratitude. Our trip turned out great due to what I learned here...so thank you right back!

The best thing about planning ahead and learning alot about your destinations is that rather than locking you in to a rigid schedule, it allows you to make changes on the fly and still know what you are doing. Several times on the trip we zigged when we were gonna zag, and it turned out fine anyway.

The biggest piece of advice for just about any hike, restaurant, attraction, etc is "go early". That is the best way to zig while others zag. Bonus for east coasters traveling in California is that this is not hard to do. Due to time change, we were ofter up earlier than things were even open!

Down Under
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
7,439 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

It's always good to hear back from somebody like you who until now we didn't know you existed.

You just got into all the info that is on TA Forums, planned and researched it all and then got a great result without having to ask any questions.

I'm glad all your zigging and zagging worked.

Thanks for the great report.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
116 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Great trip report. Enjoyed reading it.

Could you tell me more about the house you rented?

Delaware
Level Contributor
88 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

On the house we rented through VRBO--it is number 303308. The house is on a residential street, a one floor high ceiling-ed Victorian with a finished basement which has the second bedroom and full bath. Beautiful back yard garden and grill. A driveway, which is nice. I just wrote a review of it on the VRBO site. We have stayed in VRBO properties several times before though this was the first time we stayed in one that is the owners primary residence. Although the owners made plenty of room for us in closets and the refrigerator, it felt a wee little bit odd. I love the idea of a house or condo compared to hotel rooms though.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
116 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

Thanks. In early process of thinking about renting a house next year, but need one that is pet friendly. Always glad to hear positives about VRBO because we have never used it yet.

San Francisco CA
Level Contributor
2,361 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: 10 Day SF/Yosemite/Coast/Big Sur trip report

I rode on the Powell Street cable car this morning at 715. There were only 6 of us in line. I passed by later and the line was around and back up to the next block. Thanks for the report and the tip - go early!