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  1. Default San Francisco to Yosemite - a place to stop enroute?

    Hello All,

    This is my first post on this forum since discovering it a few days ago.

    I have been agog with the useful tips and info that you chaps have provided and it's helping me loads with planning my first proper roadtrip to the USA.

    I'm flying to San Francisco with my girlfriend for 2 weeks and looking to do a circle route out to Vegas via Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, get married in Vegas, PCH 1 and back to SF. Picked up loads of info on all aspects of the trip from reading these pages, still have questions but propose to build on simple answers first and ask other questions in the relevant forum instead of asking loads of questions in one go.

    The good news is we both managed to get the time off to fly from England to do the trip. The bad news is that it's all pretty last-minute and we're going to be arriving on 2 September, Labor Day weekend, so I expect everywhere will be havoc and booked up.

    Get into SF airport about 6pm and looking to hire a car and escape the city immediately and head towards Yosemite (will do SF town for three days on the way back). We'll have had about 20 hours of plane and car journey by the time we touch down in SF so we'll be pretty tired and don't want to do that much driving that night.

    We'd like to find a little village(?) along the route to spend the night. Nothing fancy just a place to lay the head and allow us to get on with it in the morning without having to find our way out of a town. From reading on here it looks like we'll be taking the 580, 205, 120 route which from SFO to Yosemite runs at 170 miles according to Streets & Trips so somewhere past the halfway mark would be good.

    Anybody have any suggestions?

    Also, with Labor Day weekend, are we actually going to be able to move on the roads out of SF on Saturday evening or will we be snarled up for hours?

    Thanks to everybody on here who has already made posts, we've thoroughly enjoyed reading the info and it's helped us no end in planning our last minute trip.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default First the good news..

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The good news is that the biggest travel times for the holiday weekend are Friday night, Saturday morning, and pretty much all day monday. So, if you are arriving Saturday evening, you shouldn't have any significant problems.

    The bad news is finding a hotel could be difficult. This is one case where I would strongly recommend making reservations in advance. After your 20 hour trip, searching for a hotel with a vacancy on a busy weekend will not be something I would look forward to.

    I would also recommend looking much closer to the SFO airport. If your plane is scheduled to land at 6, by the time you get through customs and pick up your car, you probably won't be on the road until 7-8, even later if your flight has any delays. Getting halfway to Yosemite would require another 2 hours of travel, which could easily mean you have to start your trip with a lot of night driving while tired and jet lagged.

    I'd start by looking for a hotel right near the SFO airport, where you can get rested up, so you can enjoy your trip and get out on the right foot. And of course, if you need help finding hotels, you can always use the Travel Reservations section of RTA.

  3. Default

    I've stayed at a few hotels in different areas around there over the years.

    There's a large block of hotels just north of SFO (San Francisco International airport), and quite a few in San Mateo just south of the airport. These are either just off the 101 freeway (which runs past SFO) or El Camino Real road which is about 1/2 mile west of 101. So you have lots of places near the airport.

    If you want to go a bit farther, there are a reasonable number of moderate to good hotels in the Dublin/ Pleasanton area and Livermore areas on the other side of the bay. You cross the bay, go through a low range of hills and go into the Livermore Valley area. A quick check with a map showing lodging in the area (Google Earth) shows quite a few hotels in that area, ranging from a Hilton to Motel 6 (a goodly range). These are quieter, more suburban areas out of the urban core of San Francisco or San Jose.

    As was pointed out by MidWest Michael, you'll be driving later in the evening, you'll probably be fairly tired, and you'll be driving on the other side of the road than you are used to. I wouldn't put lodging too far away -- and the Livermore area at about an hour away is about the limit I'd guess.

  4. Default

    Cheers, Larrison and MMichael,

    Had thought about staying next to the airport and might do it - a comfy little Travelodge with a free shuttle is less than a mile away.

    Had looked at Livermore and its environs but it's just a name on the map and didn't know if it was a vandal/rough area, etc. Some of the towns along the route to Yosemite have been motel vandal hotspots according to reviews from tripadvisor.

    We'll see where we get to.

    Cheers, chaps.


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