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Old 26 Jul 21, 07:35 PM  
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#21
Pumpkin Pie
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Originally Posted by landandword17 View Post
It does depend a lot on who is travelling. We don't have children/teens with us and hated Monterey. Couldn't wait to get out of the place and fell in love with Carmel the minute we turned onto the Main St. The restaurants, inns, shops, beach, art galleries, coffee shops and number of places that are independently owned with the owner on site are all major plusses for us and it would be on the list of dream places to retire to should we win the lotto. That being said if we had children with us we would be staying in Monterey as they would prefer the aquarium and Cannery Row over the more adult-oriented, ''boring'' to most kids, Carmel. I think there's quite a few such cases in CA where you have 2 adjacent places, one more adult-oriented and one more family oriented.
Before I retired, beside my desk, I had a laminated photo we took of footprints on Carmel beach. It was a great photo and it reminded me why I worked - to go to places like Carmel.
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Old 26 Jul 21, 08:48 PM  
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#22
vegboatride
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Originally Posted by Princesa View Post
Thanks everyone! Ill definitely sit and read through trip reports with a pen and paper once weve moved house this week!
I did a mini trip report of our California trip in February 2020 if that helps
Happy planning! So many beautiful places
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Old 10 Oct 21, 05:44 PM  
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#23
Princesa
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So Im starting to put together a plan and would love help from other people, as usually Id get input from DH but obviously cant if Im planning the surprise.

Ive looked at dates and it will have to be two weeks in august next year. We have a wedding mid August and need to be back in time for school. So Im thinking 15th August. If I have to fly from London, wed probably have to go down the day before and stay overnight.

These are places Id like to visit after reading through the comments and doing some research . Ones marked with * are must dos and everything else is if it would fit in or make sense:
Sam Francisco*
Big Sur
Yosemite
Monterey
Calico Ghost Town
Salvation Mountain (if its on the way, dont think its worth driving far out to)
Disney*
Hollywood/LA*

Am I putting too much in there for 14 days? Does anyone have any tips or ideas, or know where I should stop off and stay while planning the car trip bit? I like it he look of the Madonna Inn that people have mentioned.

DH is also big into cycling/mountain biking, but Im not sure if this is a wise idea to plan an activity in for him?
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Old 10 Oct 21, 05:57 PM  
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#24
cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by Princesa View Post
So Im starting to put together a plan and would love help from other people, as usually Id get input from DH but obviously cant if Im planning the surprise.

Ive looked at dates and it will have to be two weeks in august next year. We have a wedding mid August and need to be back in time for school. So Im thinking 15th August. If I have to fly from London, wed probably have to go down the day before and stay overnight.

These are places Id like to visit after reading through the comments and doing some research . Ones marked with * are must dos and everything else is if it would fit in or make sense:
Sam Francisco*
Big Sur
Yosemite
Monterey
Calico Ghost Town
Salvation Mountain (if its on the way, dont think its worth driving far out to)
Disney*
Hollywood/LA*

Am I putting too much in there for 14 days? Does anyone have any tips or ideas, or know where I should stop off and stay while planning the car trip bit? I like it he look of the Madonna Inn that people have mentioned.

DH is also big into cycling/mountain biking, but Im not sure if this is a wise idea to plan an activity in for him?
Have a look at the California N to S 2018 trip report in my signature and that will cover the bit down as far as LA, SFO, Monterey, Madonna Inn etc. That may give you a start.

It has hotels within it, but if you look at my cancelled Pretrip reports in the California section x3, all near the top, then you may get plenty more hotel ideas. Certainly, I think that we improved with our SFO choices!
I would add that there are quite literally dozens upon dozens of hours of research involved in these decisions that I came to and it would be nice to see it was not wasted!

I would be tempted to scrub Yosemite in the event that you are set on 14 days as we did.

Happy research!

Edited at 06:03 PM.
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Old 10 Oct 21, 06:57 PM  
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#25
Princesa
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Thanks! I did have a read through your 2018 trip and found it very useful, thank you. Ill have a look through your other plan too
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Old 10 Oct 21, 07:09 PM  
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#26
cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by Princesa View Post
Thanks! I did have a read through your 2018 trip and found it very useful, thank you. Ill have a look through your other plan too
Plans x 3 actually! Covid has been rather unkind .. they are one below the other and all have different hotels, places visited etc.
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Old 10 Oct 21, 08:09 PM  
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#27
enjibenji
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I could easily spend a year in California and still not do everything. We love it there, from San Francisco to Solvang, San Simeon to Santa Monica, we haven't got any further south than LA as our 2 planned trips to San Diego was cancelled due to covid. We love Palm Springs and the desert. Death Valley and Yosemite will take your breath away. If you are planning on staying in any National Parks you would need to book a minimum of a year in advance as they sell out quick.
Have fun planning 😊
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Old 10 Oct 21, 08:53 PM  
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#28
porridge
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Im planning for next summer. 2 weeks San Francisco to la. I think itd be hard for you to fit in Yosemite to be honest. Ill tell you what our rough plans are
3 nights San Francisco
Then pick up car and drive highway 1, stopping off at viewpoints etc along the way.
1 night Carmel
1 night cambria
1 night Santa Barbara
3 nights Burbank
5 nights Anaheim.

Car parking is very expensive in San Francisco, so picking up the car after.
The drive from San Fran to la via highway one, Ive heard, can be 9 hours plus stops - hence the 3 separate stops, plus it gives us more time so were not rushing.
From Burbank were doing universal, Warner bros, Hollywood. You can also visit six flags from there.
Anaheim were doing 3 days of Disney and a day at Laguna beach.
I think Yosemite is a good 3 hours each way from San Fran.
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Old 11 Oct 21, 04:56 PM  
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#29
lesley1960
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We have been twice , first time SF and then flew to Maui for a week , sounds awful but was under whelmed by Maui ( except for the whale watching , amazing ) the extra 2 hour time difference and 5 hour flight , after the long flight to SF was too much for me . I would recommend SF , and go north , its beautiful

We have also donr SF and south as far as Morrow bay , whale watching in Monterey , amazing whale watching . We stayed in Carmel , I would suggest to stay close enough to walk into the town ...its hilly ! .
We drove down the coast road , cant understand why people rave about it tbh . It was incredibly hot when we went , so not much of a view as there was a lot of haze
We cut across country to Yosemite , I would have liked more time there ( went with other people who found it boring ) travelled about and saw many many many many large trees
As I said it was very hot , rivers and waterfalls dried up and the hills were alight
I have said this many ties , for an incredible holiday you should go to Alaska , we drove from Fairbanks to Anchorage over a week , and ten picked up a cruise for the inside passage to Vancouver
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Old 11 Oct 21, 05:07 PM  
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#30
Lostbrain
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California is huge and beautiful, weather is amazing. Id go for a month if I could. Did a 10 day road trip about 15 years ago, actually did a bit of Phoenix and Arizona, did Grand Canyon and Vegas, on the map it looked reasonable, but it was an epic amount of driving!

Highlights were definitely Death Valley Id love to go back and spend a couple of days there. Beautiful coastline too.
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