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  1. #1

    Default Route plan for SFO to Big Sur via Carmel & Yosemite

    I am planning a road trip in January 2010 for my husband's 40th
    I am starting out in SFO and want to visit both Yosemite for 2 nights and Carmel for a night

    Is it better to plan SFO - Yosemite - Carmel and then head down Big Sur
    SFO - Carmel, then up to Yosemite, then back to Carmel to continue down Big Sur ??

    Any hints appreciated :-)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default One way trip ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Where do you finish ? If you are finishing your trip in LA for instance then going to Yosemite first makes more sense but if you are returning to SF after your trip to Big Sur etc is done then you could head down the coast as far as you are going and then head inland and up to Yosemite before heading back to SF.

  3. #3

    Default route plan for SFO to Big Sur via Carmel & Yosemite

    Sorry, I wasn't very clear :-)

    The whole trip is 13 or 14 nights. Starting out in SFO and ending up in Las Vegas for 3 nights.

    The places I am keen to take in on the whole trip are:
    SFO - a couple of nights (probably a day trip to Point Reyes included)
    Sonoma or Napa for 1 or 2 nights
    Carmel and a day spent on 17m drive and the Monterey acquarium
    Big Sur (as far as Cambria)
    Yosemite, 2 nights
    and then either a driving route through either Sequioua NP or Death Valley NP on the way to the end point of Vegas

    My only dilemma is the best order to fit them in !!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default remarkably close

    If this were a summer trip, it would be a no-brainer to do the coast first and then head east, but being winter and having to cross the Sierra to the south near Bakersfield, its a close call.

    Actually, a decision about Sequoia would be a big part of the puzzle. If you go to Sequoia, it would still make the most sense to drive the coast first, and then head to Yosemite and then Sequoia. If you decide not to do Sequoia, then its virtually the same distance doing Yosemite then Coast or Coast then Yosemite, and I might lean towards doing Yosemite first, just for a little more variety with the drive and you could drive there directly from Napa a little easier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default My suggestions...

    Weather in the mountains in January can be problematic. Sequoia could have some snow, and the roads in are two lane and windy in spots... unless you have a strong desire to see Giant Sequoias you may want to concentrate your time in other places. You can see some of the Giant Sequoias' taller but slimmer cousins, the Coast Redwoods in Muir Woods, on your way to Point Reyes.

    That said, my suggested route (and approx nights stay) would be something like:

    SF (2)
    Napa or Sonoma (1)
    Yosemite (2)
    Monterey/Pacific Grove/Carmel (2)
    Cambria (2: spend full day driving down CA 1, visit Hearst Castle second day)
    Death Valley (2: this would be a long day's drive getting here)
    Las Vegas (3)

    for a total of 14 nights.

    You could cut that long drive from Cambria to Death Valley into two pieces by switching that Napa/Sonoma night for a night in the "Sideways" (the movie) wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley area near Santa Barbara (or stay in S.B. for that matter). A smaller, more intimate setting, and without the big names and cachet of Sonoma/Napa, but still fun. Stop by the Fess Parker Winery (yes, the "Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone" Fess Parker) and ogle the coonskin cap bottle covers in the tasting room/gift shop. That drive to Death Valley will still be a long one.

    Photo: Don Casey

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