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  1. #1
    eganders Guest

    Default Pacific Coast Highway Trip LA to San Francisco and Yosemite

    We are planning a 15 to 20 day road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway starting in LA and going North to around San Francisco and the wine country then diverting to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Most likely it will be in May or early June. Being retired, I can and want to avoid the vacationing crowds.

    I would like to collect a list all the interesting sites and places to stay up the Pacific Coast Highway and see if you have any suggestions that would make me want to divert further inland. Some questions to start:

    1. Is my selection of May to early June a good time to do this trip? I want to make sure I have the best time chosen for Yosemite.

    2. Is there any compelling reason to extend my trip further North than San Francisco within my time constraints?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,325

    Default Some Hints & Comments

    A few of the sites you should be investigating for your drive north to San Francisco include Point Mugu State Park, Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive, the Aquarium and walking tours in Monterey, and the San Andreas Fault.

    May – June is a near perfect time to visit the southern California coast. The ‘rainy’ season will have just ended, daytime highs will tend to the low 70’s and nighttime lows will still be ‘brisk’ In particular, the bulk of tourist will not yet have hit the road, meaning that you can have a relaxed journey. On the other hand, that time frame can be a bit early for Yosemite. The upper reaches of the park will still be covered in snow, and it is possible that the Tioga Pass road (CA-120) will still be closed. But the waterfalls will be in near full flood, and the lower valley will be in bud, and again, you’ll have the place practically to yourself.

    How to spend your time is entirely up to you. I might be tempted to precede at least a little bit north of San Francisco along the coast if for no other reason than to cross the Golden State Bridge and visit the Marin Headlands and Point Reyes National Seashore.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-19-2010 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Things you may want to consider

    If you travel up the coast, you will either be paralleling or on the old El Camino Real (esp where CA1 and US101 share a common alignment), the Spanish route along which the Missions were founded. Several of them are worth a visit, if history is your thing. Santa Barbara (both the Mission and the town) is worth a look, as is the Carmel Mission. In all there are around three dozen, spaced a days horse-ride apart between San Diego and Sonoma.

    Hearst Castle has been mentioned, and in general I agree with AZBuck's points. If your budget has some room for expansion, I would suggest Cambria is a good place to stop; positions you for a morning visit to Hearst Castle (book ahead online!) and a leisurely drive up CA1 (*) to the Monterey Peninsula, where you could stop in Carmel, Pacific Grove, or Monterey itself. (If budget is tight, then San Simeon instead of Cambria).

    My wife and I are particularly fond of the waterfront Victorian B&Bs in Pacific Grove, but there are any number of lodging options on the peninsula.

    Across the GG Bridge you can also visit some nice redwoods in Muir Woods, close by other other sites AZBuck mentioned. A little further afield is the Sonoma and Napa Valley wine areas.

    Yosemite at that time is year is good; waterfalls should be spectacular with the late spring runoff. You may be able to get to Glacier Point, but Tioga Pass is dicey at that time of year.

    Lastly, not listed by something you may want to consider is a loop South from LA to San Diego; another town we like that can get overlooked.

    * Here is where I go into my pedantic mode. Frequently on this and other forums people will refer to the entire stretch of CA1, the coastal highway, as "Pacific Coast Highway" (AKA PCH). That designation only applies to a portion in Southern California; up North you'll get funny looks if you refer to it that way. Portions of it are designated as the Cabrillo Highway (Central Coast) or Shoreline Highway (North Coast). Generally, outside the LA area the most common term you'll hear is "Route 1" or "Highway 1".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,052

    Default Accuracy is always a good thing

    * Here is where I go into my pedantic mode. Frequently on this and other forums people will refer to the entire stretch of CA1, the coastal highway, as "Pacific Coast Highway" (AKA PCH). That designation only applies to a portion in Southern California; up North you'll get funny looks if you refer to it that way. Portions of it are designated as the Cabrillo Highway (Central Coast) or Shoreline Highway (North Coast). Generally, outside the LA area the most common term you'll hear is "Route 1" or "Highway 1"
    CalOldBlue, glad to see that you've chosen to work towards setting this term right. The weirdest thing is that I've seen people refer to WA-1 as being the PCH (not locals though!)

    Mark

  5. #5
    eganders Guest

    Default Hotels in Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood National Parks

    I would like suggestions for places to stay in Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood National Parks, preferably in the parks.

    Moderator Note: Stop creating multiple threads about the same trip. We reminded you repeatedly about this policy in the thread about your Rocky Mountain trip a few months ago, and even issued a time-out because of that behavior. For once again failing to follow the good neighbor rules of this forum, you have once again lost your ability to post.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-17-2010 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Merged Thread

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