We are a family of 5, kids are 11, 8, and 6 and are flying in from Florida for 2 weeks at the end of June/beginning July this summer. Our only definites are Yosemite (staying 4 nights in Wawona in western part yosemite) and we would like to spend time in monterey/big sur and drive the coast down to about LA.
We have no desire at all for the cities, so we will not plan to spend time in reno, san francisco or LA so any advice you have just plan on skipping those unless there is something you feel we must do there (we are open to fun).
We also want to limit driving time (we don't enjoy a lot of hours in the car), we would like to see and do a lot, which is why we are not planning a loop, figured we could enjoy time in the pretty locations more without backtracking to airport, so the reno to LA seemed reasonable. I have not booked the flight yet...so our other consideration is fly into LV to yosemite and then down the coast. Both of these flight plans are reasonable cost for us. We have also considered fly into SFO but it makes for a weird trek to yosemite (4 days after the flight in) then back over to the coast and down. But it's still an option if you point me in that direction.
1. Plan is currently, we fly in to reno on 6/24 and we have 4 nights before we check into our rental in yosemite. What to do for 4 nights in between? Where to stay and what to see? we are open to lake tahoe stop but we have been there for skiing before prior to kids (that was winter this is summer, is there fun for kids?)
2. Why do so many have plan to drive UP the coast on hwy 1 instead of down (i.e. LA to SFO) , am I missing something or doing it right?
3. After leaving yosemite we will have ~5 nights left. We definitely would like to head straight to santa cruz or monterey and stay there for a couple nights before driving down. Where else to stop and stay? What must we see in between? Fun for kids also is key.
4. we don't have plans for camping and the only booking we have made is the yosemite one. we planned to pick up hotels along the way wherever we feel like stopping. If we have too much itinerary we don't have as much fun. Is this ok this time of year?