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Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

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San Francisco...
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Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

We are thinking of breaking up the drive midway and spend the night there. Where is a worthwhile stop? We've heard of an early Chinese settlement town. Is it anywhere near our route? Thanks.

NW Ohio
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1. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

It's not that far of a drive - 3 1/2 to 4 hours from Yosemite to SF. Just wasn't sure if you thought it was farther or not.

Heidi

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

I know it's not that long a drive. But we have one more day "of leisure" after checking out of Yosemite and before having to be back in San Francisco. Thanks.

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

The CA gold country is really neat - it is along Hwy 49, which runs north-south through the Sierra Foothills. If you left Yosemite valley on Hwy 120, you'd intesect Hwy 49 and could head north, maybe explore the area up to Placerville or so. There is a town on Hwy 49 called Chinese Camp, but I don't know much about it. There are bunches of little gold rush towns on Hwy 49.

Another choice would be to head to head over to Sonoma or Napa area if you are interested in wine.

You could also go to Monterey or Santa Cruz on the coast, spend the night there and then head up to SF.

virgina
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4. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

After our trip to Yosemite, we drove out to Carmel, which took about 4 hours with 2 stops. We spent the afternoon at Point Lobos State Park, which was absolutely beautiful! Then we drove to Pacific Grove and stayed in the Bide a Wee Cottages and Motel. The next morning we went to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, and we were in San Francisco by about 2 pm. We loved going to the coast!

Oakland, California
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5. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

First of all, love your picture of Lanikai! The windward side is my other favorite place in the world, alongside Yosemite.

Going to the coast is a good idea; so is heading to the Gold Country. There aren't any places to stay in Chinese Camp, but there are lots of B &B's, vintage hotels and regular hotels in nearby Jamestown, Sonora and Columbia. Columbia is a great place to visit; it's a state historic park that gives you a real sense of the Gold Rush era. You can even go panning for gold there.

San Francisco
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6. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

If I had an extra day to spend between Yosemite and San Francisco, I wouldn't stay over in between. I would pick either Yosemite or San Francisco and give it the extra day.

But if you really want a leisurely, only-on-California experience, I agree with staying at one of the Gold Rush towns. My favorite is Columbia, a preserved 19th century town that is a state historic park, with a version of living history in the old buildings; e.g. there is an actual blacksmith shop. It appears that the Columbia Hotel and Fallon House Hotel have finally found an operator, after the previous concessioners folded several years ago. This is good news for Columbia, to have these charming historic hotels open again.

http://www.briggshospitalityllc.com/

The Fallon is home to a live stage theatre where the Sierra Repertory performs in the summer and fall.

http://www.sierrarep.com/

The last time I was in Chinese Camp (a few years ago), there was a motel. It was very small, and appeared to be run by the same folks as the gas station. It was tiny, and I can't think of any reason to stay there, so close to Sonora, Jamestown, Columbia, and Yosemite, unless someone was very enamored of Chinese Camp as a town.

Sonora is a bigger place, almost a small city. It is the southern anchor town of the Mother Lode; Nevada City is the northern anchor and Auburn and Placerville hold up the middle. But Sonora has the Gold Rush ambience. with a finely preserved Main Street that runs along a hill. It has a wider choice of lodgings, shops, and restaurants, but it is also a very busy place. If you want more quaint and quiet, Columbia or Jamestown would be better.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

Wow! Thanks.

California
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8. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

I would suggest that you stay in Sutter's Creek. There are several really nice B and B's, Also Sutters Creek gives you easy access to the "real" wine area of Calif., the Shenandoah Valley. I know I am about to be attacked by the fans of the Napa/Sonoma Area.

The B&B I love in town is the Grey Gables Inn. You can look at the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Saint Germain...
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9. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

Gold country is pretty cool. You have Jamestown, Sonora and Columbia within 15 minutes of each other and a bit further down the road is Murphys, a great winery town with super restaurants. Any of these would make a good stop over with interesting things to do that are different than anywhere else in the world.

Have a wonderful holiday!

USA
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10. Re: Where to stop between Yosemite and San Francisco?

Chinese Camp isn't worth a stop but the rest is. Start with Jamestown, which has a couple historic hotels and inns. It also has Railtown state park if Arnie hasn't closed it. You can see the Hooterville Cannonball. Few miles further is Sonora then Angels Camp (Mark Twain and the jumping frog. Several other towns. Murphys is noted for wineries.

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