California Trip (two weeks) - need outdoors ideas!
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 10, 2013 10:56 AM Last Post By: willysnoutredux
Oct 7, 2013 3:28 PM
California Trip (two weeks) - need outdoors ideas!I am at the very beginning of planning a trip out to California! I'll be there for the first two weeks in May 2014 and want to see as much of the natural beauty of California as I can without rushing it too much.....that said, I am interested in everything from hiking/camping/kayaking/even vineyard tours - I know I could spend the whole two weeks in one place, but for the sake of finding a balance there, does anyone have some great ideas/stories of places I "have to see"?
I have started a pretty quick list of redwoods, yosemite, etc. on my avelist account. Let me know what you would add and feel free to provide detail :)
Oct 7, 2013 4:07 PM
1Check into Healdsburg. Tons of wineries around town. You can bike out to the Alexander Valley wineries or kayak on the Russian River. (There's even a riverside beach in town) You can see the giant Redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods
State Park, about 20 miles west toward the coast, and then continue on to the spectacular Sonoma County Coastline.
Salt Point State Park is one of the most beautiful spots on the California Coast (snorkeling, kayaking here) and it has a
campground (Reserve ahead) All in all, you can pack in a fantastic 10 days without driving hundreds of miles between attractions.
Healdsburg is about 15 miles north of Santa Rosa..
Oct 7, 2013 4:20 PM
Oct 7, 2013 11:15 PM
3Will you have a rental car? Sorry if that sounds like a ridiculous question, but you'd be surprised by how often we've given detailed advice to people here, only to find out later that they intended to use public transportation. Also: How much money (in USD) are you comfortable paying for a hotel room per night, and what is your maximum? Thanks.
Oct 8, 2013 7:14 AM
4The only vineyard tour (that is, touring the grapevines) I know of is at Benziger Winery near Sonoma. They have a tram tour of their vineyards. You'd need a car to get there.
If you mean touring wineries in general, then there are bike tours of a number of wine regions. Napa and Sonoma are the most popular.
Elkhorn Slough between San Francisco and Monterey, is a very popular site for sea kayaking. Kayakers routinely see lots of wildlife, including sea lions and sea otters. There are a number of commercial outfitters. You can just rent a kayak or you can join a kayak tour. Car needed to get there.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Oct 8, 2013 11:05 AM
5Two weeks, if you focus them on outdoor activities rather than cities, is enough time to do some exploring. For redwoods, I vote to head far north, up to Humboldt Redwoods or Prairie Creek Redwoods state park. There's great kayaking up there too, on the Eel River near Eureka & Arcata, or the Big, Little and Albion rivers near Mendocino.
At the other end of the state, consider the southern California deserts, including Joshua Tree and Death Valley. The latter will be pretty hot by May, but you can see the valley parts in morning and then head up into the mountains (the highest peak is over 11,000') for mid-day.
Oct 9, 2013 8:33 AM
6What to do in the first two weeks in May will depend a lot on how much total snowfall there is in the Sierra this Winter . If there is a good amount the waterfalls in Yosemite are the premier California outdoor scenic site but the mountains will be the playground of Alpine & Nordic skiers and Tioga will not be open and rafting will also be later. In those circumstances coastal redwoods activities would be the place to be .
Have a great trip !
Oct 10, 2013 10:56 AM
7In other posts, the OP writes about coach surfing through Europe. If he ever comes back to this thread and answers my question truthfully, I won't be surprised if he doesn't have a car.
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