View Full Version : Stopping in CA on way to HI suggestions

08-26-2006, 01:23 PM
Hi, we'll be flying into Oakland, picking up a car and staying in SF where we are meeting friends. We'll have most of Monday, all of Tuesd, Wed and Thurs and flying out on Frid am. We'll spend Monday in SF and then plan on driving to Yosemite. I'd like hotel suggestions for Tuesday night. Once we leave Yosemite (might spend both Tues and Wed there), we're heading toward Monterey, and then back up to SF to drop off our friends and over to Oakland Thursday night for our flight out on Fri am.

I'd like suggestions of what to see on the way to both places, and hotel suggestions. Anything on the way to these places, that are must sees? In SF, for sure I want to take some sort of tour, see Fishermans Warf, and ride the trolly. Where would we go to catch such a tour?

We plan on flying out as soon as we get back from HI..however, we're using SW free air, and in the back of my mind, I'm thinking..so close to Disneyland..should I just rent a car one way and spend a couple days there? Is it so much smaller than DW, I would be disappointed?

Ok, edited to add, that for very little, we can continue on from OAk (after HI) and fly into Ontario..and then fly home from there. I had planned a trip to DL once, and had lots of info, but it's all gone, since we didn't go. Is there transport from Ontario Airport to DL, or would we have to rent a car? Oh, what am I getting myself into? I dont' remember which hotel was the better one (and inexpensive to stay at). This trip is getting longer and longer

08-26-2006, 02:25 PM
this one is gonna make my head hurt. Usually your hotel will set up a bus from the airport to hotel. The Candy Cane Inn is a the most popular/best? hotel and the one you are likely thinking of. Disneyland is not as small as you think and should be experienced. There are many rides that are better (HM and PotC) and others that are only at DL (Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Mr. Toad) Also California Adventure is like a mixture of everything at DW. It is a lot of fun and very enjoyable. You'll need at least 2 days in the parks (one for each) but the more the better. I don't know where the tour your thinking of may be, but Pier 39 is a good guess, its the most tourist friendly place in SF. Don't forget to try Dim Sum in Chinatown, it's tasty.
Oh and if possible, fly into SNA (Orange County/John Wayne) if possible, its closer to Disneyland.

08-26-2006, 02:34 PM
My head is hurting too. Setting up three vacations in one, hurts LOL. I did look and we can fly into sna. Is there transport from that hotel? Looks like Howard Johnson's is a considerable savings over the Candy Cane Inn, and their reviews look similiar. Oh, gosh, what am I getting myself into?? I find myself looking for the cheapest tickets, already extending our time til Oct 7th (leaving home Sept 18th). Someone stop me!!

this one is gonna make my head hurt. .

08-26-2006, 03:02 PM
ah...saved by the voice of reason, and back just asking about SF and Yosemite. Once I started adding it up, I realized I could go to DW for the same price for a longer period of time.

So, about a hotel room near Yosemite..any suggestions?

Claire L
08-26-2006, 04:33 PM
Yosemite View Lodge is lovely, although the 140 is probably still closed due to a rock slide, but that does make the area very quiet and the drive into Yosemite is so easy. We were there in June for 3 nights and fab lcoation.May even be some good discounts due to the rock slide!!

Claire ;)

08-26-2006, 07:08 PM
Rock slide? what's the 140?

Yosemite View Lodge is lovely, although the 140 is probably still closed due to a rock slide, but that does make the area very quiet and the drive into Yosemite is so easy. We were there in June for 3 nights and fab lcoation.May even be some good discounts due to the rock slide!!

Claire ;)

08-26-2006, 07:56 PM
140 is a highway, rock slides are masses of hard rock that fall onto roads and stop traffic; usually coinside with heavy rains.

08-26-2006, 09:21 PM
140 is a highway, rock slides are masses of hard rock that fall onto roads and stop traffic; usually coinside with heavy rains.
I know what a rock slide is :) ..I just hadn't read anything about it being a problem (enough to drive away visitors) at Yosemite. So, I assume Rt 140 is the road into Yosemite from SF, and it's closed?

08-26-2006, 09:48 PM
just temp. and theres a bunch of ways into yosemite, but that one is the most popular.

08-26-2006, 10:01 PM
Not sure what you are looking for in a hotel - there is a couple ways going into Yosemite. We stayed at Tenaya Lodge - very nice but is 4 Star so you pay over $200. Location was good. In Montery we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, nothing great, but location good, I thought a bit pricy for HI at $125 - walking distance to Monterey Bay Aquarium. Also was a very nice hotel across from us on the water - Portolo Plaza - but of course that was more! In SF just walking up & down the wharf, seeing street show at Pier 36, and walking over the Golden Gate Bridge is nice. Can take the Trip to Alcatraz or other Bay tours - but be warned bring sweatshirt/jacket often cold in SF.

08-26-2006, 10:13 PM
Thanks Heidi. I'm hoping to find a less expensive hotel in Yosemite (but clean of course), since all we'll be doing there is sleeping.

08-28-2006, 12:22 PM
Your choices for hotel *in* Yosemite are very limited:

The Ahwahnee (4 star, but VERY expensive)
Yosemite Lodge (nice large rooms, but more like a fancy motel!)
Curry Village hotel rooms (similar to those at Yosemite Lodge, only there's not nearly as many)
Curry Village cabins with bath (rustic, but clean and serviceable - this is my favorite place to stay)
Curry Village cabins without bath (rustic, small, but fully enclosed - you have to go outside to the communal bathroom)
Curry Village tent cabins (small, can't keep *any* food or toiletries inside because of bears, and have to use the communal bathrooms. Bedding is provided.)

El Portal is the closest lodging you'll find outside the Valley - there's a number of hotels/motels there. It's probably a 30 minute drive to the Valley from there.

As others have stated, highway 140 is closed west of El Portal...but from San Francisco you'll be coming in on Highway 120, so that doesn't affect you. Going out to Monterey I think you'd still go out 120 - not that you have much of a choice. Highway 41, which goes out towards Fresno, would take you too far south, I think.

Have a wonderful time - I love Yosemite!


08-28-2006, 01:11 PM
Can't help with Yosemite, I have lived in N.Ca or N. NV. my entire life and have never been :blush:

We were in Monterey last year and stayed at the Monterey Bay Lodge, it is a small motel like most in the area, a little bit off the beaten path and not on motel row that IMO is just ugly. This lodge was very clean, quiet, the rooms were REALLY nice, the pool was fun with a fountain in the middle. The park with paddle boats etc is right across the street and the complimentary trolley that will take you to all the attractions can be found within about a block, also the beach is across the street.

For SFO-Tourist stuff, trolleys etc Pier 39 and the wharf area is probably your best bet.

09-03-2006, 07:33 PM
We stayed at the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite (couldn't get reservations at the Lodge). This is a rustic hotel, without the amenities of most "modern" hotels. However, the rooms were clean, staff friendly and helpful and food in the dining room decent. If you stay here, reserve a room with a private bath.

For San Francisco, if you're into history, take a tour of Alcatraz. I prefer the evening tour to the day tour. Take the cable cars and hang on the outside instead of sitting inside. Also, suggest a visit to the Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge (you can walk across it) and Ferry Building open market.

Judy from Boise
09-05-2006, 08:07 PM
Please be sure to get to DLR someday! It is a great experience.

Mary Jo
09-05-2006, 09:09 PM
Hi DMRick,

I can help you with Yosemite. I go there a lot, and in fact, just came back from staying there a few days. What are you willing to pay, and what are you wanting to do?

If you are wanting to stay in the valley, then I recommend staying in the rustic tent cabins at Curry Village. These are probably the most economical lodging in the valley. They are canvas covered cabins with twin/full sized beds with bedding & electricity. You have to go to communal bathrooms/showers, but I've stayed there often enough, and the bathrooms were clean, and there was plenty of hot water. You can also request hard-walled cabins at Curry Village or Yosemite Lodge. These would also be good - they offer rooms with private baths or shared baths.

There is also Housekeeping, but I only recommend that if you want someplace where you could have an open fire & cook your own food.

Outside the Valley there are other options. The past two times I stayed in a cabin near the Wawona Hotel. The cabins aren't cheap, but they offer every convenience, and some include internet service, satellite tv, etc. You can look at these cabins at: www.redwoodsinyosemite.com

I highly recommend the site www.yosemitefun.com -- It's my favorite non-official website about Yosemite, and is pretty up to date. There you can even read about the rockslide that blocked Hwy 140.

There are three main roads to Yosemite -- The 120 comes over from the East, and also the north. The 140 comes from the West, and the 41 comes from the South. The famous "tunnel view" that is shown in postcards, etc., is from Hwy 41 (from Fresno).

Things you MUST do when in Yosemite - you must visit Glacier Point - you can go to the links in my signature for pics to see what I'm talking about, and you should definitely visit Mariposa Grove - giant sequoia trees. The valley is magnificent - there is nothing else like it in the world.

There are big rivers there. If you have time, ride a raft down the Merced, or just go swimming there. We enjoyed Chilnualna River, near the Wawona Hotel & redwoods in yosemite. :sunny:

09-06-2006, 03:51 AM
Hi, thanks for the info and the site. We are staying in Oakhurst for two nights..the people we are traveling with are not campers, so this was a good compromise.

Mary Jo
09-08-2006, 12:44 AM
Oakhurst is good - it's 19 miles from the entrance to Yosemite, and you can go to the Mariposa Grove from there, too. Figure on about an hour drive to get to Glacier Point and to the valley.