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Unread 17 Jun 19, 05:28 PM  
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#1
Amion68
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Join Date: Jan 19
Mobile 2 week Cali road trip

Hi All,

Following our Florida trip we are planning on a 2 week fly drive to Cali. Ive been there a few times before and driven highway one from SF to SAN Diego.

However those trips were solo and now I will have the wife and 2 children (8 & 14) in tow. Therefore I was hoping for some itinerary suggestions?

My current thoughts are to fly in to SF and trolley it in to downtown for a few nights. Then trolley back out to the airport for a car, then spend 4 or so nights cruising it down on One to LA. There the kids will expect nothing less than a few nights to check out warner village, Hollywood, Kodak theatre etc.

Afterwhich my plans become less clear. Am thinking either a drive north east to see the GC, Death Valley etc, then up to Yosemite for the end of our trip before flying back from SF.

Does this loose plan sound doable in 2 weeks, or can it be improved on?
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Unread 17 Jun 19, 06:02 PM  
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Colette-S
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Its doable but you will be busy! Not fancy San Diego instead of GC etc?
Look into flying home from another airport as they may save a lot of driving at the end.
Good idea re hire car at the beginning, we did the same last summer in SF
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Unread 17 Jun 19, 06:31 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
We did exactly this last Easter with our boys of 15 and 12 at the time.

My trip report is California N to South at Easter and May assist you in initial planning.

We chose Easter for the flowing perceived advantages.

Lower Hotel prices.
Smaller crowds and less traffic.
Balmier weather for long drives.

The perceived disadvantage was that Yosemite May or may not be viable. We therefore excluded it.

Good luck with your planning.
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Unread 17 Jun 19, 06:31 PM  
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#4
Amion68
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Originally Posted by Colette-S View Post
Its doable but you will be busy! Not fancy San Diego instead of GC etc?
Look into flying home from another airport as they may save a lot of driving at the end.
Good idea re hire car at the beginning, we did the same last summer in SF
Ive been to SD a few times and had a friend who lived in the university district there. Was there for the gas lamp fest some years back 😎🍺

Its a lovely city, much nicer than LA imo, and some lovely beaches (Laguna etc). However the kids will want to do the LA stuff while I would like to do GC and Yosemite on this trip.

Also, I just know that SD will tempt me across the border in to Baja which we wont have time for.

Re flights, am thinking SF will work best with our itinerary, but will look at it some more. Thanks
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Unread 17 Jun 19, 10:00 PM  
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jdouds
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Hi most of your plan would be ok. Main problem would be yosemite at that time of year as most of the the high roads will be closed. You will be able to get into valley floor but not much more. Last year as an example tioga pass didn't open to the end of June . ( clearing 25 ft snow drifts ) we would suggest 3 nights San Fran then perhaps 2 Monterey and for us whale watching and the aquarium. Down coast to Santa Barbara stopping on route to see elephant seals at San Simeon . So that's 6/7 nights, 2/3 nights LA. Options vegas with trip to GC and Death Valley . To go to yosemite from there is difficult as the main route will be closed. The only other way to do yosemite would be drive there from San Fran 3.5 hours and from there go back to coast, Monterey 3.5 hours
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Unread 17 Jun 19, 10:28 PM  
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#6
Amion68
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Originally Posted by jdouds View Post
Hi most of your plan would be ok. Main problem would be yosemite at that time of year as most of the the high roads will be closed. You will be able to get into valley floor but not much more. Last year as an example tioga pass didn't open to the end of June . ( clearing 25 ft snow drifts ) we would suggest 3 nights San Fran then perhaps 2 Monterey and for us whale watching and the aquarium. Down coast to Santa Barbara stopping on route to see elephant seals at San Simeon . So that's 6/7 nights, 2/3 nights LA. Options vegas with trip to GC and Death Valley . To go to yosemite from there is difficult as the main route will be closed. The only other way to do yosemite would be drive there from San Fran 3.5 hours and from there go back to coast, Monterey 3.5 hours
Hi thanks for your feedback. I have read a few other comments about Yosemite in April so was starting to think about Vegas as an option.

My wife is sceptical, however having been there myself before I know you dont have to like gambling to like Vegas 😎. More the concern is how child friendly it is! It is an option though and we could always fly out of Vegas at the end of the holiday.
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Unread 18 Jun 19, 08:00 AM  
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cornishfrogboy
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You may not have to trolley back to the airport. We picked up our car from right next to the Bay bridge ramp as in my trip report. (Budget, Avis) That is about 250-300yds from the Powell turnaround and the Powell St BART.

Driving out on the double deck Bay Bridge is pretty awesome in itself.
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Edited at 10:28 AM.
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Unread 18 Jun 19, 11:13 AM  
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#8
400ixl
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Join Date: Mar 12
Choice of car is much better at SFO, I would Uber there as its on the way out if heading to the PCH.

You would struggle to do the loop you are considering at the pace you are thinking. If you went with:

3 Nights San Fran
4 nights PCH
2 nights LA
2 nights GC - LA to Grand Canyon South Rim is a 10 hour drive
1 night DV + 1 night Bishop - GC to Bishop via Death Valley is 10 hours with no stops to see sights.
2 nights Yosemite
Long drive back to SFO for flight home on last day.

As you can see it is getting very compressed towards the end. You could grab days back from the start though.

Alternative option:
3 nights SFO
2 nights Yosemite
2 nights Monterrey
1 night Pismo area
2 nights LA
1 night DV
2 nights GC South
1 Night Las Vegas and flight out of there

Its a lot to do in 2 weeks no matter which way you try to do it.
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