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  1. Default California road trip

    Hi, I'm brand new to RTA so please bear with me!
    Planning a 2 week road trip in California and I want to cover a lot of bases. Is this itinerary crazy?

    San Diego
    Palm Desert
    Hollywood, LA
    Highway 1 (Monterey, Big Sur)
    Sequoia
    Yosemite
    San Francisco

    Any advice about things to add or subtract from the list? I have to see people in San Diego, Palm Desert and Hollywood. The rest of the list is flexible.

    Thanks,
    Skippy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    The places sound reasonable in a 2-week time frame. If it were possible to go south on the CA-1 (Pacific Coast Highway), it's easier to get in/out of the scenic pullouts as they're on the west side of the highway. So if you have to go north, just be careful!

    Many people enjoy seeing San Simeon - the Hearst Castle. It's not everybody's cup of tea, however.

    Sequoia and Yosemite are both gorgeous. You didn't say when this trip is (except for your post location in "Fall and Winter Road Trips"). If in the middle of winter, getting around Sequoia could be interesting, and using Tioga Road across Yosemite may be impossible -- it's never plowed.

    Out by Palm Desert is Joshua Tree National Park. Just driving through this one, stopping occasionally, may be interesting to you.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-06-2013 at 07:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Thought about a loop?

    In which month are you planning to make this trip? Is the idea to start in SD and finish in SF, or are they just the places you want/need to visit? You could do this trip as a loop. If you need to rent a car, that could save you some as well.

    It would look something like LA > SD > Palm Desert > Sequoia > Yosemite > San Francisco and make the coast road from North to South back to LA.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Loopy loop.

    I have to agree with the above, this trip has "LOOP" written all over it and would work well without adding too many miles to the trip. You have enough time to make it a fairly relaxed affair and see plenty of amazing stuff.

  5. Default

    Thank you all. The loop idea is pretty interesting. Also great tip to take Highway 1 from North to South.

    Now we just need to figure out driving times between stops and sights along the way. The trip will be in late Sept. early Oct. and could start either in LA or SF or be a loop.

    Any suggestions about places to stay? Particularly around the parks. I'm getting the idea that staying inside the parks is very expensive. About $100 a night is my price range.

    Skippy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Some places to look.

    Late Sept into Oct is a wonderful time of year to travel without the crowds, but with a good chance of nice weather. The good thing about a loop trip is you can select the cheapest option to fly into and car rental combined.

    National Park lodgings are usually quite expensive although in Yosemite you do have the options of the tent cabins. If you are averagig $100 per night you may be able make savings elsewhere and splash out on a couple of nights in Yosemite as it can be quite a drive in and out, although you will find options in Mariposa, Groveland and a little further away, Oakhurst. In fact Oakhurst might make a good stop on the way to Yosemite if coming from Sequoia NP later in the day. You might also want to check out the 'Yosemite Bug' for rustic Yosemite lodgings which are highly regarded by people who have been.

    Three Rivers has a few lodging options just near the south entrance to Sequoia NP. Cayacus and Cambria offer good options along the coast and for San Fran there are reasonable lodgings to be found near the Marina around Gough and Lombard and in easy reach of the Piers and City transport. To the right of this page you will see the RTA booking service, take a look there to get a feel of prices and read reviews by other lodgers.

    If you are planning to visit Alcatraz [recommended] it will be worth booking in advance to save standing in queues in the hope of getting on the next boat. You can find the only officially recognised booking office by the NPS, here.

  7. Default

    One more thing...

    My husband and I are in our 60s. We're both runners and in pretty good shape but not up for camping or long-stretch driving. Does the loop trip still seem do-able? I'm sure it would be if we were in our 20s but that was then...


    I checked out the Yosemite Bug which looks like a great bet once we've got our dates firmed up.
    Thanks for the tip on Alcatraz. I wouldn't have thought of going there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Easily.

    Your trip is very doable and being in good shape will help, but still wouldn't be a deal breaker if you weren't in good shape.

    As I mentioned previously, by the time you have zig zagged from the coast to the mountains it will hardly add any significant miles to your trip, probably less than 100 which is nothing worth mentioning over a two week trip. Of course, with 7 destinations in mind over 2 weeks you won't be able to spend too many days in any one place but would still be a relaxed pace by most standards of road tripping.

    Alcatraz is cool and although I have only done a daytime trip, many recommend a night time visit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default In your 60s??

    In good shape, and only in your 60s, what a great time for roadtripping. I was a senior citizen before I ever hit the road in North America, and now, more than a decade later have clocked up more than 125000 miles.... and counting.

    Of course it's doable. It's not just doable, it will be invigorating, challenging, and who knows, might even become addictive. Good luck.

    Dave mentioned the night trip of Alcatraz. I would highly recommend that. The ferry ride is great. Watching the sun sink in to the Pacific behind the Golden Gate is magnificent, and seeing all the lights come on all over SF is spectacular. The prison in the dark is more spooky too.

    When considering accommodation for Yosemite take into account the miles in and out of the park, especially on a multi day visit. With the cost of fuel, sometimes it can be as expensive to stay outside of the park.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I have stayed at the Cedar Lodge just outside of Yosemite on 140 in El Portal. First week of October, the room was $110 including tax. It's not that great a place, but it was acceptable and very convenient to the park.

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