Our family of 4, including boys 10 and 12, will be flying to San Franciso for spring break. This will be my 7th trip to the SF area, hubby's 2nd, and my boys first. We will be home basing it in Mountain View with my Aunt Jane. I have now become a Tripadvisor junkie researching this trip! Please check over my itinerary and I have several questions at the end:
4/8- Arrive SFO 7:00 pm, get rental car,and spend night in Mountain View with Aunt Jane
4/9- Day game Giants vs. Braves and Mel's Drive Inn
4/10- Cross Golden Gate Bridge and tour Muir Woods. Travel east to Modesto, Blue Diamond Almond Factory (can you tour?), (or, is there another type of agricultural tour along the way?) and then on to Yosemite Bug "Rustic Resort" for two nights (private room with bath $75/night)near Midpines.
4/11- Yosemite all day. Would like to take the guided 2-hour bus tour and maybe breakfast or lunch at the Ahwahnee. Hubby says he is not hiking...maybe he will change his mind.
4/12 - Travel up 49 and tour Columbia/Jamestown/Gold country. Travel back to Mountain View.
4/13 - San Francisco! Sea Lions, Alcatraz, China Town, Cable Car Museum, Lombard St. Sour Dough Bread, Wave Organ
4/14 Exploratorium? NASA Ames Space and Mars Center/Wind Tunnel in Mt. View?
4/15 Noon flight back to east coast.
The goal: see Yosemite and the gold country since NONE have done that! And, visit Aunt Jane!
Questions: Are there any agricultural tours along the way to Yosemite, or is it not worth it? The YARTS transportation bus stops right at the Yosemite Bug and it is an hour trip to Yosemite with stops. We would take the first bus out and the last back. Would it be better to drive in instead? (Cost of bus trip is the same as park entry, and no driving!) Would snow/chains then be an issue? Would it be better to see the Mariposa Grove of trees since none of us have been to Yosemite, and then omit Muir Woods? Would those roads be open? If we omit Muir Woods, should we try to get into the park the first day (4/10)? And then do what? Would a good alternative be to stay 4/10 in/closer to the park and 4/11 in/near Jamestown? I can change reservations at the Bug but the price is right and food available.
Breakfast or lunch at he Ahwahnee? I have one very picky eater so this trip is not a culinary experience.
What should we "must do" midweek in April in Columbia or Jamestown? I have checked sites for local activies. None mid week.
Our last day is a "down day" but we are willing to go back into the city.
Thanks so much!