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  1. Default Trip with daughter Kate To Calf.

    Hi there, I am planning a trip with my daughter who is 15. We are heading out to California. We arrive in San Fran on July 18th and leave July 24th. During this time she wants to see: San Fran, Yosemite, Kayak at Tomales, Mud spa in Calistoga, Horseback ride, and travel to LA. Now, if any of you can tell me how to fit all of this in I will be forever grateful. This is her 16th Birthday present so I do want to make it special but realistic. We are renting a car! If you have any additional ideas on some don't miss items for our trip that would be great. I think if we skipped the LA trip we could do so much more!! HELP... Thanks Kate's Mom... Jo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Week is Probably Not Enough

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    But on the other hand, 16 is a good time to start learning about the harsh realities of life. Your daughter is going to have to pick which of her objectives is the most important to her, otherwise you will simply be running from place to place without the time to really settle in and enjoy any of it. San Francisco deserves a couple of days, kayaking and horseback riding a day each, Yosemite would take at least a couple of days to get to, see and return from, L.A. is similarly 2-3 days from S.F. That's already using up 9-10 days of your 5 available days. You don't need more ideas, you need fewer. I would drop any thoughts of including L.A. in this trip, keep my tours of SF. to whatever I could accomplish in 1 full day plus whatever I might squeeze in on the days when I'm flying in and out (probably not much), and otherwise concentrate on the outdoor activities that seem to be at the heart of what appeals to Kate.


  3. Default Realistic

    Thanks for the input. So, I scrapped L.A and Yosmite. My focus will be on Northern Calf. I am not sure how long it takes to get from San Francisco to the Redwood NP. Is it realistic to fly in around 1pm into Oakland and drive to the Redwoods? Then work our way down the coast during the week ending up with a full day in San Francisco? What I don't want to be doing is "running" and not enjoying our stay.

    Thur Day 1 - Drive.....Redwoods
    Fri Day 2 - Redwoods and Eureka
    Sat Day 3 - Point Reyes - Kayak stay in Calistoga - Spa
    Sun Day 4 - still debating on 6am hot balloon ride. Horseback riding- any suggestions?
    Mon Day 5 - San Francisco
    Tues Day 6 - San Francisco leave at 1pm

  4. Default it's doable.. but a long day

    You can make it from Oakland to the Redwoods in a day's drive. But, it'll be a LONG day. If you land at 1 (assuming the plane is on time), I wouldn't plan on having gotten your luggage, and found the car before 2. From Oakland to the Redwoods is from 6-7 hours, with some stops (gas, snacks, bathroom, etc). So you won't be pulling into the Redwoods area until 8-9 that night, after a long flight. A LONG day.

    The road up is in good shape, but not a multi-lane interstate -- it can be windy and somewhat narrow in places. You can still make good time on it, but after dark in an unfamiliar area, I wouldn't put it being tired and driving too fast. I you're coming from the east coast, remember that 9 pm in California is the equivalent of 12 midnight back east...

    A full day in the Redwoods is pretty reasonable... you might stay in Eureka 2 nights, and just drive up to the northern Redwood groves around Crescent City (I'd recommend Lady Bird Grove, Prairie Creek, and Gold Beach/ Fern Grotto, among others) for the day. Bring a picnic lunch, and you'll really enjoy it.

  5. Default Oh yes, time change

    Thanks for the reminder about the time change. I don't think it is realitic to make that long of a trip considering the time change.... I want to show her so much and have so little time. I know there are hidden jems along the way from reading other threads. The only thing I know for sure at this point is other than a day in SF we will be kayaking at Tomales bay.

    Does it make sense to even try to make it to the Redwoods? I guess I need help with what don't I want to miss!?

  6. #6

    Default Where are you?

    I guess the long drive to Redwood NP wouldn't be so long if you're only coming from the other side of the country... but you talk of the time zones so I'm thinking you're coming from further afield? Where about are you flying in from?

    If you're coming from say Europe, would it be possible to fly in and drive three or four hours on the first day then complete the drive the next morning? Trust me, you'll be up at 4am anyway if you are flying long haul!

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