10 days on the West Coast
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 6:13 AM Last Post By: 55vineyard
Sep 18, 2012 2:26 PM
15For good or bad, the hantavirus seems to have put off the visitors to Yosemite and the accommodation remains wide open even at a weeks notice.
We are thinking of taking @bzookaj's route south from SF to San Luis Obispo and then on to Yosemite for two nights in the Housekeeping Camp. As its a 5 hour drive from the coast to Yosemite, to take our time travelling down the coast we are thinking of staying for one night just inland from Carmel and another night near Paso Robles which is mentioned above for wine.
Is it worth spending a whole day travelling down the coast and losing time in Yosemite? Is Paso Robles the best place to stay?
Thanks again in advance :)
Sep 18, 2012 3:21 PM
I'd try to keep at least two nights in xYosemite.
Oct 3, 2012 10:47 AM
17I thought I would leave a trip report to feed back on what worked out and what didnt.
I recommend a Mustang convertible as a hire car for your inter city travels. It really added to the fun, but watch for the limited boot space.
The Big Sur drive south was quite spectacular (though not in the same league as Yosemite). "17 Mile Drive" is a waste of time if you are also going to drive down Big Sur. Paso Robles is a good place to stop for the night- good weather and some nice places to eat dinner and have breakfast.
Yosemite is as special as everyone says. We stayed for 2 full days and nights and it wasnt enough. Housekeeping Camp beats Camp Curry hands down as far as I can see. The waterfalls arent very active in September but this didnt bother us at all. The advantages of being there in low season made up for that. Buying food in a supermarket outside the park is probably a good idea. You can purchase cheap "ice chests" to keep the food cool. BBQ-able food didn't seem to be easily available within the park. In Housekeeping Camp most people bring folding chairs so they can sit around the fires.
Napa/Yountville were disappointing. I would not recommend them.
What are we talking about here? Some very pretty valleys planted with grape vines that have been commercialised to within an inch of their lives. Want to go and taste wine in a fake Italian Castle with underground torture chambers or a replica of ancient Persepolis ? This is wine tasting Vegas style. I am sure there are many serious wineries out there too, but many can only be visited by appointment.
Many Yountville restaurants are surrounded by so much car parking space they look like out of town MacDonalds. There is a tacky faked up trolley car bussing people around the one street "town". Yountville's overall impression is rather like a very well maintained Outlet Village.
I find Californian wine in general and Napa restaurants in particular to be absurdly poor value for money. Restaurants usually have wines starting around $60. The wines I tried in the $60-$80 range didnt have any special character. Sadly wine in California was a waste of money as far as I was concerned, comparing very poorly with Australia, NZ or Argentina. Perhaps our experience would have been different if we had tried out ones listed by @nutraxfornerves above.
Within SF - the Ferry Building food trucks on Thurs/Sat were great. Tartine, "Commonwealth" and "Flour + Water" were excellent. Sushi is quite average in SF despite the port.
Hope this helps.
Oct 3, 2012 11:47 AM
18Thanks for the trip report!
However, in California, you can (usually) bring your own bottle, for a (usually) nominal fee ("corkage"). I wouldn't bring Two-Buck Chuck to the French Laundry, but for a casual meal, buying a $10-20 bottle and bringing it with you may be a much better deal.
Oct 4, 2012 6:13 AM
19Hope you got to try some of the wineries around Paso Robles, they have some very good ones and lots of good reds, not commercialized like Napa. Tasting fees are less than Napa also.
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