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View Full Version : Fall trip to CA - need help!!


minniesota
04-18-2007, 05:30 PM
We (DH, DD16 and DS13) are planning a trip to CA in Ocober. We plan to fly into San Fran and want to see the the sights there. Here is where we are divided. DH wants mountains i.e. Yosemite. DD wants to see DLR, well just because she hasn't been. And we don't have a perspective yet from DS.

I think we either have to decide SF south to Monterey, Santa Barbara, etc. maybe to Anaheim OR we do SF, then through wine country and onto Yosemite, then back.

We are spoiled and like deluxe accommodations. And we like it even more if the kids have their own "space".

Any recommendations on itineraries? And on accommodations?

I can plan a trip to WDW in my sleep but this one is a wee more challenging.

Any ideas???

missstcroix
04-18-2007, 06:05 PM
I am planning a similar trip for first week of Nov. I will fly to San Fran and do Yosemite, wine country and Lake Tahoe. Ds (12) and (10) have been to Calif. Disney 4 times, but we have always flown into LA or Orange County and stuck to the Southern Calif. attractions. We are also spoiled and need deluxe accomodations as well. I like Harrahs in Tahoe. Need suggestions for the rest of the trip so I am jumping on your thread!

NCRedding
04-18-2007, 07:34 PM
we just got back from California. We flew into San Jose, spent one night in the Monterey area, two nights at Yosemite, and then 4+ nights in San Fran. before DH and DD flew home from Oakland, while I finished up my conference.

The drive from Monterey to Fish Camp (just outside of the South entrance to Yosemite was not a bad drive. From Yosemite to SF was a little longer, but we were leaving from the southern part, so it took a little longer.

If I were doing the trip again, I would definitely made reservations at Yosemite on the valley floor. It took about 1 1/4 hour to get from our lodge (Tenaya Lodge) to the valley floor--the scenery was amazing, but I think it would have been more relaxing to have stayed in the park. The lodge was very nice, just isolated from food, other than in the hotel.

I had difficulty finding hotels in Monterey/Carmel that would take a one night reservation--since we were traveling over the Easter weekend.

We also spent some time at the Palace Hotel in SF--older hotel with high ceilings, bellmen, etc. I thought it was very nice, and very close to Union Square--very city-like in feel. Earlier in the trip, we stayed at the Nob Hill Motel, not deluxe at all, but they did have larger rooms, and some family suites.

I wish we had spent more time in Carmel-thought it was a great town.

Judy from Boise
05-07-2007, 08:04 AM
I guess i don't think of wine country as a great family vacation.....so I would vote the first itinerary now, and wine country for your anniversary some day !

DOOM1001
05-13-2007, 01:39 PM
I went to Northern California in October for 6 days and it was great,probably the best weather all year,sunny without clouds every day with highs the first day in the 60's and the day we left in the low 80's.I don't know how long you're going but we spent the first 2 days in San Francisco seeing the sights like Alcatraz,the third day we drove to Lake Tahoe to see the mountains and Ski resorts,even though there was little snow, it was still cool to us Florida folk.We stayed the night at Harvey's casino hotel in Stateline Nevada and went back to San Fran the next day.I hit Six Flags in Vallejo for about 5 hours on our 5th day and the last day we did a quick tour of Napa before going to the airport.

I would say there's enough to see in San Francisco for a week, so you'll have to figure out what to do and skip.I wish I would have had time to do Yosemite,I would suggest that over Wine country, as someone said that's not a great family destination! I also would have preferred Disneyland over Six Flags but it's like a 6-7 hour drive from San Fran to Anaheim.Monterey and Santa Barbara also look great,I guess I would tell you to do it all but I don't know how much time you'll be there

minniesota
05-13-2007, 02:04 PM
Thanks for the replies! I will keep them in a folder for future reference as it seems our plans have changed. My son's class is taking a trip to DC during the week we were planning for CA. So what are we going to do next? WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!! We'll spend 6 nights at the GF and return in time to put him back on a plane the next day. He's young - he can handle it! So DH and I are now thinking a SF/Napa vacation for just the two of us at another time. I'll be back on this board before I know it! Thanks again.

barkley
05-25-2007, 08:41 AM
I am planning a similar trip for first week of Nov. I will fly to San Fran and do Yosemite, wine country and Lake Tahoe. Ds (12) and (10) have been to Calif. Disney 4 times, but we have always flown into LA or Orange County and stuck to the Southern Calif. attractions. We are also spoiled and need deluxe accomodations as well. I like Harrahs in Tahoe. Need suggestions for the rest of the trip so I am jumping on your thread!

strong suggestion-depending on when in november you are going-book your hotel resis NOW. november is a very popular month in wine country (the vineyard colors are stunning), and depending on how the weather co-operates, the ski resorts try their best to open up in november (thanksgiving or labor day can both be huge weekends there).

as for deluxe accommodations in the napa area-there's allot of 'delux' places up there, and they are all very costly, but if you want a couple of suggestions (that will take kids) try 'meadow wood' or 'the vintage inn'-both are in the yountville/st. helena area (heart of wine country), if you want to stay in the sonoma area there's 'sonoma mission inn'.

if you have'nt made your plane resis yet you might want to consider flying home from sacramento intl. airport-it will save you a ton of driving time from tahoe and is much more user friendly than oakland or s.f..

just as a suggestion-if you/kids like 'jelly belly's' at all-when you leave napa and head up to tahoe you will pass the jelly belly factory on highway 80 in fairfield. their tour has been been voted among the top of the top in the u.s. (and the samples are generous). it would only eat up a couple of hours of time.

as for napa, there's not realy allot that's interesting to kids (wineries get pretty old pretty quick)-so i would'nt plan on allot of time there. if you are into eating well-check out the c.i.a. (culinary institute of america) at greystone (the old christian brother's winery)-check their website, not sure if they even take resis.

missstcroix
05-25-2007, 09:00 AM
Wow thanks for the AWESOME info and help!!!!!!!!!!!!! It all sounds so great! I am now thinking of going in mid september, and will look right into those hotels you suggested. I was already thinking Sacramento would be the way to go. And Jelly Belly sounds AWESOME! THANK YOU!

RMH
05-25-2007, 12:46 PM
just as a suggestion-if you/kids like 'jelly belly's' at all-when you leave napa and head up to tahoe you will pass the jelly belly factory on highway 80 in fairfield. their tour has been been voted among the top of the top in the u.s. (and the samples are generous). it would only eat up a couple of hours of time.

I would strongly recommend this tour. Almost 5 years later our kids are still talking about it. Plus they have all the Harry Potter fun jelly bean flavors: Ear Wax, Soap, Booger, Grass, Sardine, and of course Vomit. Can't miss with that :thumbsup2