We are flying from the UK to San Francisco in 5 weeks time to begin a 37 day fall road trip in California. After spending the first night in an airport hotel and picking up our hire car the following morning, our current outline plan is as follows:-
Days 1 to 5 Sonoma Valley and Coast ( finding our feet, enjoying the vineyards and generally mooching about)
Days 6 & 7. Mendocino (Scunk Train, Redwoods, Avenue of The Giants, retail therapy)
Days 8 & 9 Arcata (more mooching)
We then haven't decided whether to continue up the coast to Trinidad or to start to make our way east to Lake Tahoe. I would really like some advice on that. As that decision will have a bearing on our schedule, things become a little fluid at this point so I will just list the places we want to go to.
Lake Tahoe (about 4 nights). We like hiking, a bit of bicycling, and will also want to take to the lake a couple of times.
Yosemite (about 4 nights). More hiking and perhaps a zip wire if we can find one.
Kings Canyon and Sequoia ( or will we have seen enough trees by then?)
Death Valley (1 night) I want to go, my husband doesn't, so this is a compromise.
We don't want to go to Las Vegas, as we have already combined that with the Grand Canyon previously.
We then want to go west to the coast. We don't want to go to Los Angeles ( no offence to those of you who love the place, but we just don't particularly feel the need to go there)
We thought that we would then head for the coast somewhere around Cambria and start to make our way north. We want to include Hearst Castle and the Big Sur and all the other honey pots along the coast. Again, your views would be very welcome about this part of our itinery.
Our final 7 days will be in San Francisco where we are meeting friends who will have just arrived from the UK for the start of their Californian adventure.
On previous road trips of a similar length we have spent a considerable amount of our time exploring back roads and small towns and we thoroughly enjoyed taking our time exploring different parts of the USA. We really don't want a whistle stop tour of all the top tourist spots, so with that in mind, any advice would be gratefully received.