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Recommendations for trip in January

Recommendations for trip in January

Old Jul 30, 16, 3:44 pm
  #1  
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Recommendations for trip in January

I am looking to take my wife for an anniversary trip to California in January. It will be our 44th year and I need ideas. I will be using Southwest because I got caught up in their fiasco and will be using their 50% off fare for my flight. I would like to see some of the national parks and drive some of the Pacific coast road on the trip. I have decided to spend one night in Monterey and see some of that area. Looking for recommendations of which airport to use when fling in form NOLA. Planning to spend 3-5 days between San Diego and Sacremento and was wondering if someone familiar with area could give me recommendations for which cities to stay in and what to do in each area. TIA
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Old Jul 30, 16, 5:02 pm
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Can you use the credits to book two separate one ways, creating an open jaw?
Driving back and forth between northern and southern California to manage a r/t in and out of the same airport will eat up 2 of your days.
You could fly into OAK, spend the night in SF, drive down Highway 1 through Big Sur, spending the 2nd night in Santa Barbara, continue on to LA for a couple of days, and end your trip in San Diego, departing out of SAN.
If you can't book that way and have to do a r/t, consider dropping the car at SAN (in this example), and taking an intrastate flight back to OAK. The drive back up north on the Golden State Freeway is a slog.
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Old Jul 30, 16, 5:24 pm
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The OP could also fly into San Jose, the closest airport to Monterey that Southwest flies into.

Also need to keep in mind that on rare occasions, the Coast Highway can be obstructed by mudslides, so alternative routings should be researched in advance.
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Old Jul 30, 16, 5:25 pm
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I can do one way on SW instead of R/T. Will be getting rental and have not done different return point before and do not want to pay an exorbitant amount for that option. Was thinking of spending one night in Monterey and see Big Sur with the rest of the trip open. If weather allows would like to see Sequoia National Park since I have always wanted to see the redwoods. Trip is open at this time and I am just looking for suggestions. Trying to plan romantic trip with sightseeing.
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Old Jul 31, 16, 8:42 pm
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Keep the weather in mind when planning a trip for January in California. The weather varies quite a bit around the state depending on geography and elevation. Coastal Southern California is well reputed for its mild winters. Daytime highs generally reach into the upper 60s and occasionally into the low 70s, and rain is rare. The southern deserts can be a tad warmer. The central and northern coasts will be cooler, and rain/clouds much, much, more frequent. The high mountains will be blocked with snow. Several mountain pass highways will be closed for the season, and other may be subject to chain restrictions at any time.

A few specific thoughts:

1) Driving the Pacific Coast Highway can be beautiful any time of year. Allow yourself at least a full day for it, if not 2. In the winter it helps if you can be flexible... the drive is much less fun on days with heavy rain. Plan 1/2 day to see Hearst Castle.

2) I don't see any reason to fly via SMF unless you have family or business in Sacramento. I suggest your northern terminus be SJC (closest WN airport to Monterey and the central coast) or SFO (to visit the amazing city of SF itself plus any of the nearby attractions).

3) Parks-wise, Yosemite Valley will be open, but it'll be cold and snowy. It's beautiful in the winter; just don't expect to be able to do a lot of hiking. Death Valley will be open, and the weather will be mild. If you haven't been before, the winter is a great time to go! Also consider Joshua Tree National Park and some of the Indian lands around Palm Springs.
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Old Aug 4, 16, 11:55 pm
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That's a lot of territory to cover in 3-5 days. Too much driving, in my opinion.

I would choose either:
Northern California = Bay Area-Monterey<->Yosemite/Sequioa, or
Southern California = San Diego-Santa Barbara-LA

Regardless what you choose, if I'm around when you're in Monterey, I'd be happy to get you and your wife into the Monterey Bay Aquarium with guest passes.

Congratulations on 44+ years together!
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Old Aug 6, 16, 9:47 pm
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Thanks for the advice and offer to help. I had narrowed it down to the northern you suggested. Had someone to guide me through San Francisco and wanted to spend one night in Monterrey and see Yosemite/Sequoias. My wife decided she does not want to fly after the last trip we took so I may have to cancel my plans. Thanks for the offer for the aquarium and I will wait a while and maybe try to change her mind about flying.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 1:15 am
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How about an Amtrak trip. North to Memphis, northeast to Atlanta, or west to Tucson?

Do let me know when you plan a trip to Northern California.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 1:21 am
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Btw, not sure if you checked into hiring a paid guide, but for future reference, there are regularly scheduled free walking tours through the SF public library.

http://www.sfcityguides.org/index.html?bypass=True
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