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  1. Default Looking for ideas out west.

    A little background...

    Never done a serious road trip before. I'm from the East Coast and have been in San Francisco, CA the past 6 months. In that time I haven't had a chance to see nearly as much as I would like out here. I'll be returning to NC permanently (at least I plan to) in a few months and really really want to make the most of my remaining time. I have from 15 Dec to 22 Dec to travel. Not as long as I would like.

    My itinerary is completely open. It will be me and my 90lb lab. I am planning to have a bed to rest my head every night, but I'm not going to travel extravagantly either. I'm not completely opposed to hostels, but I am 27 and not looking to be woken at 3am by a drunk Aussie.

    Suggestions, from places I must see, to hole in the wall restaurants in po-dunk towns, are welcomed. Bonus points if it's a great place for my pooch.

    I know I could have dug through a number of threads and found some great ideas, but I wanted to give you adventurers an opportunity to share :)

    I'm pretty excited!

  2. Default The "California Loop"

    If you only have a week, you ought to do the "California Loop". Basically its a loop trip through Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, LA (which you may not have time for), the Coast 1 from Santa Barbara to Monterey.

    Some "you gotta stop here" places on this, are the above scenic sites like Yosemite Valley, Death Valley, the Mojave, Big Sur. But I'd also add in a couple of California Missions (Santa Barbara for example), Pismo Beach, Hearst Castle, Monterey Bay, Carmel, etc for specific color on the trip. There are some other places on this route you may not have time for, that folks will ask you about not going to... Hollywood, San Diego, California Gold Country, etc.

    Other places not too far from SF that are places you'll regret not going to, include
    - Redwoods National Park area (there are a bunch of California State Redwood Parks up there too..)
    - Napa Valley (just so your friends won't say "you were 2 hours from Napa Valley and never went??")
    - Mt Shasta & Crater Lake.

    Once you pick out a route route and destination(s) I'm sure we'll all chime in with detailed suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default In just as week... ought to do the further away stuff first.

    That would include:

    Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, LA, Santa Barbara, Purisima Mission (Lompoc).

    The closer locales such as Monterey/Carmel, Napa Valley, Gold Country, Redwoods (Big Basin and/or Muir Woods) you can do over a weekend, assuming you have a couple of days in a row to take short, overnight trips. One of our favorite places for a short jaunt when we lived in SF was to get a room, or camp in Half Moon Bay, just south along the coast. Good restaurants, small town ambiance, and wonderful scenery.

    Too bad you have to leave the west coast, but NC isn't too bad.

    Have a fun trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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