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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    San Simeon to Yosemite: CA-1 to Cambria, CA-46 to Paso Robles, CA-46 to CA-41, CA-41 through Fresno to Yosemite. Depending on what time you get to Yosemite, you can spend a night in Oakhurst or proceed into the park. You are looking at about a 5 to 6 hour drive.

    DV to GC: CA-190 out the east entrance to CA-127, turn right, then an immediate left on Stateline Road to NV-160 in Pahrump. NV-160 to I-15, 1 mile north to I-215 to I-515 to US-93, cross Hoover Dam. US-93 to Kingman, I-40 to Williams, AZ-64 to GC. This is about a 9 hour drive, you can stay in Williams or Tusayan (expensive) or in the park.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default To consider.

    The Hearst castle tours get real busy I do believe so you would really need to book one in advance to guarantee a spot. The thing is that although it isn't far from SF, the coast road is slow going and very scenic and you will want to allow plenty of time stops which could take most of the day up if you don't want to be rushed. Could be tricky, but I would see what time the later tours start and consider booking.

    As you are arriving in SF at night, you could book an airport hotel. We have stayed at the Best Western Grosvenor and thought it good value for money. It also has a free shuttle bus service back and forth to the airport. Parking charges downtown are expensive and can also be added onto your downtown Hotel bill. You could spend both nights at an airport hotel and take the shuttle bus back to the airport and use the BART rail system downtown which would also mean you wouldn't need to pick up your car immediately, or try to find a Hotel with parking included. There is a choice of budget Hotels around Lombard/Gough Street that has such things. One that we have used is the 'Buena Vista motor Inn' which we found good value and in quite a good location, it's fairly basic but clean with nice rooms and the free parking.

    We travel by RV and that's what we use in the National parks but here are some lodging options in and around Yosemite. As mentioned, Williams, Flagstaff or Tusayan offer lodging options around the GC but you can check out National park options here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    It looks like Hearst Castle tours run quite late in August. The last Tour 1 appears to start at 8 PM. It lasts for about 2 hours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, United States
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thank you both very much for the driving/hotel/tour recommendations. I really appreciate your help. I will look into booking the tours in advance for both Alcatraz as well as Hearst Castle.
    Dave, I'm going to look now at your hotel suggestions for SF and try to book something. As far as Yosemite goes....(coming from San Simeon), would you suggest finding lodging for 2 nights before the park around Mariposa or Oakhurst, in Lee Vining after the Tioga Pass, or splitting one night in each place before heading onward to Death Valley? I was really just trying to find ONE hotel because we are jumping around enough as it is ;)
    Btw....does my itinerary look OK to you guys? Does it appear too rushed or do you think its manageable and can be enjoyed? :) I want to make sure that we remember this is a vacation and that it feels like it! :D Thanks again!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I just looked at the cost of staying in the park at Yosemite in August - it's very costly. Even the canvas tent cabins at Curry Village are over $100 a night. I would probably spend the first night in Oakhurst and the second night in Lee Vining. Then again, if you feel like spending about 250 bucks to spend 2 nights in a tent cabin, it would be very convenient and centrally located.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Fancy a treat ?

    Definitely one night either side of the park unless you decide to stay in it, which for one night I would make it night one. On arrival I would head up to Glacier point [spectacular] and visit Wawona grove if poss [get an early start from San Simeon !] and next day spend until after lunch in the valley before heading over Tioga pass. The difference your time in the park would make would be quite significant by spending at least that first night there, a Treat ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, United States
    Posts
    17

    Default :)

    Thanks guys! Sorry it's taken me a bit to reply. First chance I've had to pick this planning back up again. I'm going to take your advice & stay one night in Oakhurst and one in Lee Vining....unless I can find a good deal for the first night IN the park! :)

    With all this said & done....do you think I have a good itinerary here? We really want to enjoy ourselves!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default You will love it !

    The only thing that can stop you having a great time is YOU ! You are going to see some incredibly amazing and diverse scenery as you move around. You will have plenty to keep you active, but nothing that is too exhausting to enjoy. You might not accomplish everything on your 'wish list' in the smaller detail as you continue planning, but you will come across the unexpected and meet friendly people along the way, both of those are the small ingredients that make a good road trip, Great !!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, United States
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Aww thank you Dave!! I'm so excited....now if only I could escape this cold weather & jump straight to August!!! :) On a happy note, I've booked everything! Curious to see how many times I'll change this between now & August. ;) Anyways...this is what I have (some prepaid and some we pay at check in) Will book tours closer to dates:::

    8/12- JFK to SFO via Virgin America..check in at Hilton San Fran Airport...rent car
    8/13- San Fran...Alcatraz, Sites, etc. 2nd night at SF Hilton Airport
    8/14- leave early & head down PCH to San Simeon...Hearst Castle tour, etc, Stay overnight in San Simeon at Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
    8/15- Drive to Yosemite later in the afternoon. Stay overnight in park at Curry Village :)
    8/16- Yosemite...Head over Tioga Pass later in day and stay overnight in Mammoth Lakes at Best Western High Sierra
    8/17- Drive to Death Valley & stay overnight at Furnace Creek Ranch
    8/18- early start driving to Grand Canyon. Stay overnight in Tusayan at Red Feather hotel.
    8/19- Grand Canyon (free night...may stay overnight again or head on to Vegas, still undecided.)
    8/20-Drive to Las Vegas....Stay at Mirage
    8/21- Las Vegas- Mirage
    8/22- return car...fly home LAS>JFK Virgin America. :)

    Did I do OK???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Small adjustments.

    You did OK !

    Two things I would recommend, one of which you are already considering. The first would be to leave San Simeon as early as comfortably possible and get to Yosemite early PM. Arriving at night and then getting to Mammoth next day will leave you starved of time at this gem of a place. As you head through Oakhurst and onto the South entrance, you could stop at Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoia's, but then you really have to head up to Glacier point before going to Camp Curry, it will save back tracking and valuable time next day. That will give you time to explore some of the Valley floor in the morning before starting to make you way over Tioga pass.

    The same for the Grand canyon, it will be close to a full day getting there so I would at the very least spend that 'free night' in Williams or Flagstaff and continue to Vegas next morning.

    In case you need any further encouragement, I give you Glacier point !


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