A few quick questions! San Francisco to LA
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 20, 2013 9:45 PM Last Post By: JoanR
Apr 20, 2013 5:44 AM
A few quick questions! San Francisco to LAMy family is taking its first trip to California this July. We will have around a week (maybe 8-9 days) flying into San Francisco and out of LAX. We are renting a car and don't mind a lot of driving in order to see a lot of a state we may never get a chance to revisit. We are looking for a balance of parks and cities.
1. Which tentative itinerary makes most sense?
San Fran-->Yosemite-->Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP-->Monterey-->Pacific Coast all the way down to LA.
San Fran-->Big Sur-->Yosemite-->Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP--> LA
2. Basically, is it worth the time (on a limited schedule) to drive all the way down the Pacific Coast Highway? Or can you get a feel for the area by driving down to Big Sur then heading back to Yosemite and going straight to LA from there?
3. We only have about 3 days to spend between Yosemite and Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP. I've heard there is no way to do Yosemite well in a day so should we do 2 days in Yosemite and 1 for the other two? Or 3 days Yosemite and skip the other two?
Thanks for your help!
Edited by: zachd16
Apr 20, 2013 7:03 AM
1Of the places you list, the best place to drop is Kings Canyon/Sequoia. It's requires more of a detour, and is very similar to Yosemite.
The other consideration is the Yosemite lodging issue. Summer is very busy, and it may already be too late to book some, or even all, places.
If you can, I would go with this:
2 days SF
2 days Yosemite
1 day to/in Monterey
1 day to/in San Luis Obispo
2 days LA
This is still very rushed, but gets you most places you want to go.
If you have nine days rather than eight, add a day to SF or LA. You could also take away a coastal day, and/or take away a day from Yosemite and spend it to the cities.
Apr 20, 2013 7:14 AM
2I agree with bzookaj about dropping SEKI however I would prefer to stay on the coast in Cambria or Pismo Beach rather than SLO (never been a big fan). Cambria is 5-10 minutes from Hearst Castle, also there are some good wineries you could visit in nearby Paso Robles. In Pismo Beach you can rent dune buggies to drive on nearby Oceano Dunes or take a Hummer tour.
Apr 20, 2013 8:42 AM
3Your #2 is a good option.
You can drive down the Big Sur coast from Carmel about an hour and turn around back north.
It is stunning to look at from the other direction too.
If you have time, stop in at Point Lobos.
You might drive on Hwy 1 all the way from SF. Hard to link to from the City. Look at a map or GPS.
The drive from Monterey to Yosemite is a good one, but there are a few route changes. Again GPS or MapQuest.
Kings Cyn Sequoia is best as a hiking destination. See sequoias at Yosemite's southern gate.
Apr 20, 2013 9:29 AM
4If your 8-9 days includes the time you're planning to spend in SF and LA, you'll need to drop something out of your itinerary, and I agree that it should be Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Here is the route from SF to Yosemite through Big Sur to LA. Bzookaj has the timing right for the bare minimum that itinerary deserves.
Apr 20, 2013 9:32 AM
5Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Apr 20, 2013 9:49 AM
6Thanks to all for the advice!
I know we may be a little behind on getting reservations around Yosemite but should we also book in SF, along the Pacific Coast, and LA in advance? We usually like to just drive until we get too tired and find the nearest hotel (not too picky). Would that work for this route, or will it all be too crowded for that?
Apr 20, 2013 10:08 AM
Apr 20, 2013 11:04 AM
Apr 20, 2013 8:59 PM
While you lose flexibility by booking ahead, you usually get cheaper prices and more options, as well as the comfort of knowing that you'll have a bed waiting for you somewhere.
Apr 20, 2013 9:45 PM
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