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What to do in California in 12 days?

Noosaville...
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What to do in California in 12 days?

My husband and I are planning a trip to the States in August. We are more interested in parks and the Napa Valley than big cities like LA. We have never been to the States before but are going for our son's wedding. Unfortunately our time is limited. Would love some advice on what should not be missed. Thanks

San Francisco...
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1. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Napa Valley in in Northern Ca while LA is in Southern Ca and you are posting in the SF forum. So I am confused as to where you want to spend your time ? Where is the wedding going to be and do you have 12 days including the wedding ?

If you like nature and Wine Country, then Napa Sonoma Valleys, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Monterey Carmel, Cambria would be places I would suggest but it all depends on where you need to be. Are you interested in SF as well ?

Perhaps some more details would be good. It would also help to read up on TA or an online guide about our State so you will have a better idea of what to do

You may then want to come up with a straw plan and post in the California forum as this is the SF forum for all things just about San Francisco.

Edited: 22 May 2012, 04:48
Washington State
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2. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

>> Would love some advice on what should not be missed. <<

I think the only thing that should not be missed is your son's wedding! Anything else is extra.

Here is the link to the California state forum for your overall itinerary planning: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29-Califor…

Noosaville...
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3. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Thanks - I agree entirely!!

Ontario
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4. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

It depends on how much of your 12 days are allocated to your son's wedding and also how much time you want to spend driving and if you want to have a base from which to tour or stay in a different place every night.

A fairly reasonable loop would be to drive from SF down the coast seeing Monterey and Carmel, Big Sur and turn inland at Cambria.

Go through the Paso Robles wine region (not as famous as Napa but very pretty and with very good wines) then head over to Yosemite National Park.

Drive back to SF passing through historic Gold Rush Country.

If you want to go to Napa this is not on this loop but it is not far for a side trip from SF.

Another possibility - you can easily spend all your time touring wine country North of SF - Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Healdsburg and Russian River.

There are lots of state parks in the area (just check to make sure the ones that interest you are still open).

Go over to the coast and visit Mendocino, Bodega Bay and Point Reyes and all th sights in between.

You can see the big Redwoods at Armstrong Woods or Muir Woods (closer to SF).

Noosaville...
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5. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Thanks so much for all this information. Our son is planning on having the celebration in Vegas!!! - That does not appeal much to us so we will stay there only a short time, but perhaps we could take in the Grand Canyon before or after the wedding?? I have noted your suggestions down and will consult a map (which I'm yet to get).

Ontario
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6. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Oh my - Vegas will be hot in August! There are some very interesting road trips to be done from that area but I can't say that mid summer is the best time to do it.

The Grand Canyon will be cooler and is certainly accessible (though still a pretty lengthy drive - about 5 hours) from Las Vegas. The thing with the Grand Canyon is that unless you plan a hike or something, the general reaction when you get there is maybe 10 minutes of marvelling over the grandeur, the incredible colours and then it's "okay, let's go get some lunch" and you're done. So, if you do go, make sure you plan to do more that just go see it - it's a long way to go for 10 minutes of oohing and ahhing.

Yosemite is about a 7 hour drive from Las Vegas. You could also fly into either SFO or a smaller airport close to where you want to be and then rent a car. If you fly into SFO and rent a car then fly home from SFO you will not incur drop off charges for the car (because you would be picking up and dropping off at the same location).

You have one of the best maps right at your finger tips - just go into Google maps on your computer. Play around - it's very interactive.

Limerick...
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7. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Do not miss Hoover Dam.

Take a small plane tour over Grand Canyon.

Drink lot's of water in Vegas.

You won't believe how HOT it gets in the summer.

Lymm, United Kingdom
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8. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

I recently very much overstretched a few days in California, on the back of being out there for a week for business reasons. The important thing to note is that California is BIG. If you're driving then just going from LA to SF can easily take six or seven hours in any sort of traffic.

My trip went as far north as Arcata and as far south as LA, and everywhere in between. A lot of time was lost on the road and, in hindsight, it was crazy to attempt those distances. Napa / Sonoma / Calistoga is a beautiful area and not to be rushed, and of you are heading there from Vegas, that's a fair old trip you have already.

Grab google maps, plot out some ideason where you'd like to go and then check the distances. You may need to drop a few spots once you get a feel for the scale of the trip.

Edited: 23 May 2012, 17:01
Noosaville...
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9. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Thanks to you all for your advice and comments - much appreciated!

How hot in temps does Vegas get in August??

San Francisco
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10. Re: What to do in California in 12 days?

Avg. high 103F. Low is 74F. Meaning, it doesn't cool down that much.

http://www.vegas.com/weather/averages.html