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San Francisco > Lake Tahoe > PCH > Los Angeles Road Trip

Old Jun 6, 16, 10:16 am
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San Francisco > Lake Tahoe > PCH > Los Angeles Road Trip

I have reading through all the great advise in this thread. I am also planning a trip to SF, Lake Tahoe and LA in July long weekend (7/1-7/9).
I am flying from Columbus, OH and landing in San Jose airport on 7/1 at noon. SF: I am planning to stay in SF Union Square area for 3 nights and will be visiting SF for almost 3 days.

Lake Tahoe: I will be driving from SF to Lake Tahoe on 7/4 evening, will stay in a hotel that night. I am planning to see Lake Tahoe whole day on 7/5. I am planning to drive from Lake Tahoe the same evening and stay at OAK or SJC airport hotels.

CA1 Drive: Starting the drive on 7/6 morning, will cover, Monterrey, 17 mile drive, Carmel, Bixby bridge and some more that day and thinking to stay in Cambria on 7/6 night.
Next day (7/7): I will start from Cambria, cover many places and thinking to stay in Santa Barbara that night.

LA: Will start from Santa Barbara on 7/8 morning, will see the town and then some spots in LA. Will stay in LA on 7/8. I do have a flight from LA in the evening of 7/9 so probably will be seeing some more places in LA before going to Airport.

I will have my wife and my mother (57 years) and we want to see beaches and mountains. Not much interested in Hearst castle. Is this plan looks good or you guys recommend any changes based on your experience.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 12:00 pm
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I think it is a good plan. Have fun
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Old Jun 6, 16, 2:14 pm
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If I were you, I'd spend the night of July 6 in the Monterey/Carmel area, after exploring Monterey and Carmel, and driving the 17-Mile Drive, and drive from there to Santa Barbara on July 7.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by animesh42001 View Post
I have reading through all the great advise in this thread. I am also planning a trip to SF, Lake Tahoe and LA in July long weekend (7/1-7/9).
Your plan looks good to me. Have fun!
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Old Jun 12, 16, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by animesh42001 View Post
Lake Tahoe: I will be driving from SF to Lake Tahoe on 7/4 evening, will stay in a hotel that night. I am planning to see Lake Tahoe whole day on 7/5. I am planning to drive from Lake Tahoe the same evening and stay at OAK or SJC airport hotels.

...

I will have my wife and my mother (57 years) and we want to see beaches and mountains. Not much interested in Hearst castle. Is this plan looks good or you guys recommend any changes based on your experience.
If you want to see mountain vistas, planning your travel to-from Lake Tahoe during the evenings strikes me as counter productive... It is a 3+ hour drive without traffic.....which is not a good bet on a holiday like July 4th. Moreover, American July 4th celebrations generally involve fireworks....and Tahoe South Shore's display is usually done out over the lake and spectacular .....attracting big crowds. I'd plan on getting to Lake Tahoe and in your hotel *before 5 p.m.* if you don't want to hit traffic up there.
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Old Jun 12, 16, 5:49 pm
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Also if you want to see mountains, I would make a pitch for taking US395 out of Lake Tahoe and going through Yosemite to get back to the Bay Area. Mono Lake is pretty interesting too.
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Old Jun 12, 16, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Also if you want to see mountains, I would make a pitch for taking US395 out of Lake Tahoe and going through Yosemite to get back to the Bay Area. Mono Lake is pretty interesting too.
OP is flying home from LAX.
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Old Jun 12, 16, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
OP is flying home from LAX.
OP also said their current plan after Tahoe is to overnight near OAK or SJC before driving down CA-1, obv. nothing in what I said forces them to end their trip in SFBA
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Old Jun 12, 16, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
OP also said their current plan after Tahoe is to overnight near OAK or SJC before driving down CA-1, obv. nothing in what I said forces them to end their trip in SFBA
It might be worth considering overnight in Yosemite if there are any rooms to be had and then picking up CA-1 at Monterey.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
It might be worth considering overnight in Yosemite if there are any rooms to be had and then picking up CA-1 at Monterey.
Thank you all for your suggestions. I am now thinking to take 395 to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe (looking for a room in Yosemite instead of SJC/OAK on 5th night).
I will then drive from Yosemite to Monterrey on 6th but I think that will be whole day drive on 6th July. Then I will have to stay in Monterrey on 6th July instead San Simeon. And then I will have to drive from Monterrey to Santa Barbara on 7th July. Is it doable considering many pit stops for sight seeing and photos ? Again I am not interested in Hearst Castle.

If this makes sense then I will probably change my plan. Good thing is my hote bookings are flexible so I can cancel only thing is to find hotels in Yosemite.

Please provide your thoughts on this plan. Thanks.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 11:10 am
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Regarding the Yosemite portion, the last time I did a road trip in this area I left Lake Tahoe around 5:30 AM and reached the eastern entrance of Yosemite around 8 AM.

I would definitely try to stay overnight in Yosemite to allow seeing more sights/at a more leisurely pace, but if you can't find any suitable lodging in it or nearby, depending on your tolerance/endurance for driving you could conceivably leave Tahoe, spend most of the day at Yosemite, exit to the west in the evening, and stay overnight somewhere on your way to CA152 all in the span of one very long day.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by animesh42001 View Post
If this makes sense then I will probably change my plan. Good thing is my hote bookings are flexible so I can cancel only thing is to find hotels in Yosemite.

Please provide your thoughts on this plan. Thanks.
It isn't clear from the web site whether there is availability but the Big Trees Lodge (formerly the Wawona Hotel before a franchise change) is quite nice and on the western exit road, which would be convenient for a quick start.

Edit: I eventually found the information and there is no availability on the 5th.

Last edited by MADPhil; Jun 21, 16 at 11:45 am
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Old Jun 21, 16, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by animesh42001 View Post
I will then drive from Yosemite to Monterrey on 6th but I think that will be whole day drive on 6th July. Then I will have to stay in Monterrey on 6th July instead San Simeon. And then I will have to drive from Monterrey to Santa Barbara on 7th July. Is it doable considering many pit stops for sight seeing and photos ? Again I am not interested in Hearst Castle.
Driving from Yosemite to Monterey will not take all day. Google Maps reports it is 198 miles from Yosemite Valley to Monterey, with a driving time of 3h42m not including traffic delays. You'll have time for sightseeing at either end of the trip, perhaps both.

Driving Monterey to Santa Barbara is totally reasonable as a full day trip. You will have ample time for short stops along the coast.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Regarding the Yosemite portion, the last time I did a road trip in this area I left Lake Tahoe around 5:30 AM and reached the eastern entrance of Yosemite around 8 AM.

I would definitely try to stay overnight in Yosemite to allow seeing more sights/at a more leisurely pace, but if you can't find any suitable lodging in it or nearby, depending on your tolerance/endurance for driving you could conceivably leave Tahoe, spend most of the day at Yosemite, exit to the west in the evening, and stay overnight somewhere on your way to CA152 all in the span of one very long day.
Can you please tell me what points you covered during your drive through Yosemite. I am planning to stay near Mammoth Lake or June lake and start early morning from there.
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Old Jun 22, 16, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by animesh42001 View Post
Can you please tell me what points you covered during your drive through Yosemite. I am planning to stay near Mammoth Lake or June lake and start early morning from there.
I would stop in at the Tuolumne Meadows visitor center, maybe check out the Lembert Dome area. Olmsted Point is a popular photo op. Basically, stop anywhere that looks nice But definitely leave some time to explore the main valley area, which will probably also be the most crowded, but no getting around that in the summertime really. Tunnel View is worth a stop too.

It all depends on how much time you have. I would look at

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/maps.htm

and

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm

for further ideas.

At the risk of complicating plans even further, if you do spend a night in Mammoth, you might also consider the Devil's Postpile

https://www.nps.gov/depo/index.html

which I mention only because it is otherwise rather far removed from any major metro area, but if you happen to find yourself right next to it... however there's much less to see there (in a mainstream touristy sense) so unless it would definitely be of interest then probably skip it given all the other stuff you have planned.
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