San Fran day trip - Yosemite, Napa, Muir woods, or other?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jun 2, 2013 10:15 PM Last Post By: munkitots
Dec 2, 2012 6:14 PM
BUT, what I'm thinking is, I spend my first 2 days on a day trip, then head back to town for the other two, to cover the above, and be in town for my friends' arrivals. Yosemite really appeals to me, but there are a lot of great looking options like Napa, Muir Woods, etc – I'm wondering if that's the best option? I'm in my mid 30's, female, average fitness, enjoy natural sights, walking, good food/drinking, cool bars, quirky Americana, chatting with locals – not that into shopping or clubbing.
My thinking is this:
– Not to sound arrogant, but we do have a lot of really beautiful wine country in Australia, where I'm from, and I'm not sure I'd be seeing better there – but we definitely don't have a Yosemite.
– I've read that it's apparently good timing to see Yosemite, as the waterfalls are full, and there is access to the Sequoia area
– A downside is Yosemite is further away (4.5 hours each way I've been told), and I'd do it through an organised company (Incredible Adventures – anyone used them?) so that's less cruisy and more doing what a group want, rather than just me – not a terrible thing though, I'm sure. I'd do a two day tour with a stay on site overnight.
Dec 2, 2012 6:28 PM
1For sure- go see Yosemite. As you've said it' s a unique destination- no where else in the world like it.
But there's a way you can have your cake and eat it too! You could return to The City and book a day-
tour to the Muir Woods which then takes you to the Napa Valley also. The great thing about it is the
tour company is the designated driver, so no worries about tasting too much wine.
Dec 2, 2012 6:43 PM
Dec 2, 2012 11:16 PM
- I admit I'm just answering this as an easy way of being able to find those links later on, which I happen to have need of for something ...
- But, um, your post also reminds me that although here for almost a full half-year for my own self this time around, I oddly enough haven't been to North Beach at all recently ... You know, there's also a beatnik museum there now which I remember walking past before but didn't go into ...
- Anyone know if it's worth the fee? (if it's OK to ask, keeping on topic, right, since she's interested in beat stuff also apparently) It was written up in the New York Times recently ...
Dec 3, 2012 3:13 PM
4Yosemite is incredible, however will still be covered in snow in April so unless you're bringing snow gear I'd skip it. It's also 4-6 hours from SF to Yosemite.. so that's at least two days.
I would highly suggest heading over to hike in Marin County instead. My favorite waterfall hike is Alamere Falls and is only an hour drive from San Francisco. It's ~9ish mile hike, but honestly very flat and pretty easy.
Dec 3, 2012 7:34 PM
5definitely go to Yosemite. if you are up for it hire a car and drive yourself. We went in December and found it ok being winter. It was freezing but so different to what you would see in Oz and it will be nice and quiet. Then you can drive back via the sequoia's on the way back, they are very cool indeed. We stayed at Yosemite View lodge which was just outside the park on the edge of the river and went into the park everyday.
Feb 5, 2013 7:21 PM
6Thanks everyone, this is all fantastic info – here's where I'm now at:
The other two got all like "hey we're jealous" about my Yosemite plans, so it's now been changed to the three of us going, hiring a car, and doing it ourselves, driving from San Francisco to Yosemite without a tour group. We'll allow two days, with a stayover hopefully somewhere in the centre (Camp Curry perhaps?) which will hopefully give us a good sampling of the park.
The most central road though, unfortunately, is closed in May (that's Tioga Road, it cuts right through the centre), and also the last bit of road leading to Glacier Point, past Badger Point – this is really disappointing, as Glacier Point was one of the draw cards, but I'm guessing there's plenty of equally awesome stuff we will see?... Does anyone think the closure of that road is going to destroy the trip and limit our options too much? here's the map if that helps (scroll down a bit) http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wroads.htm
Also interested in Mariposa Grove to see the giant sequoias – I can't see anywhere saying if that's accessible in May, does anyone know?
Worst case scenario isn't bad at all – it'd probably involve Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sonoma, lots of wine, cheese and merry-making – so it's not terrible if it'd be better to leave Yosemite for another time.
Thanks again for all the tips, everyone!
Feb 5, 2013 7:25 PM
sorry I forgot – downercow, this is for you :) let me know what you think of it, if you go – it's now on my list, thank you!
The Beat Museum
540 Broadway San Francisco, CA 94133
Feb 6, 2013 5:55 AM
These road closures are seasonal. If the season is warmer, they open sooner. If there is more snow, they open later. Last year, Tioga opened May 7, and Glacier Point April 20. The year before, it was June 18 and May 27, respectively. Mariposa didn't even close last year, and opened April 15 the year before.
Don't automatically assume they won't be open. Check the conditions when you get there.
Jun 2, 2013 10:14 PM
9Just a follow up on this trip – I had a ball. I ended up spending 2 days in Yosemite which was absolutely stunning and well worth the trip from San Fran (Glacier Point opened JUST in time), staying one night in Groveland, and one night in Mariposa, which were also great small gold rush towns, with cute pubs and good food in both. Very glad I went with Yosemite.
I did a day trip to Sonoma which was fantastic as well, and a really good change from the city (I went on this one -highly recommended http://www.viator.com/tours/San-Francisco/Wine-Country-Bike-Tour-and-Picnic-Lunch-with-Transport-from-San-Francisco/d651-5530GEARS) I managed to also squeeze in breakfast in Sausolito which was well worth a look, very cute, slightly cashed up part of town.
While on my own in San Fran, i also did two small food and wine tours – one in The Mission district http://avitaltours.com/tours/mission_district_food_tour/ and one in North Beach http://avitaltours.com/tours/north-beach-food-tour/ - both of which were fun and informative, opening my eyes to several small places I would have otherwise missed.
The North Beach beatnik sights were really fun, (that Beat Museum is pretty tiny and hoky, but good for a laugh if you're in the area - only takes like about a half hour to go around, very small, but had a half dozen interesting items) and the climb from North Beach up to Coit Tower, then back through Telegraph Hill to the Embarcadero, the markets on Saturday at the Ferry Building, and just the town in general were all fantastic. Saw David Sedaris at the War Memorial theatre too which was great (NOTE: don't ever attempt to walk from the theatre district back to downtown directly - went through this really dodgy section, The Tenderloin I think it's called, jumped in a cab pretty promptly).
Great trip! Thank you all for your advice xo
Edited by: munkitots
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