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Old 07-18-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
surgefest
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San Fran/Sequoia trip....

I just wanted to through out a few things we are thinking of doing on our upcoming trip and see if anyone has done any of it and what you think or advice you can give...

San Francisco, The red and white fleet golden gate tour..... sounds like a nice way to get good views of the golden gate bridge and alcatraz.. etc...
Ghiredelli square.... pier 39.... lombard street... Golden gate bridge (what are some of the best locations to get good views of the bridge???)

Sequoia national park... we will only be here about a day tops.. what are the must see's????? Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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The bridge is very tall and easy to see from allover. The city of SF is very hilly but some views are blocked by buidlings.

Peir 39 is ok, as is the open pier just west of it. But the view is not unobstucted of the full length of the bridge.

Taking a tour or going to Alcatrak offer you prime views. Some of the ferries to Tiburon do as well.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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The boat offers a good view and you sail up and under the bridge - but, it is windy and can be crowded. Alcatraz is IMO well worth the visit

We recently went on a City Guides (free) walking tour of the bridge. We learned a lot about it plus wandered around the park on the SF side which offered some stunning views.

The Pier is very commercial, I prefer to wander other areas of the city but it does offer some great photo op's
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:35 PM   #4
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More info

Alcatraz is nice especially if you go through the audio tour which are narrated by actual former prisoners. Just order before you go because tickets sell out.

Also check out the Academy of Science Museum. So great for kids and adults that it costs ~$20 to get in.

There is also a chocolate tour and if not, go to Ghirardelli Square and try their chocolate sundae.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:08 AM   #5
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I love Sequoia. I would definitely try to see the Crystal Caverns, Moro Rock, General Sherman Tree (largest tree in the world) there is a path you can walk where the Gen. Sherman tree is that loops around dozens of huge sequoia tress, I think it's called The Congress Trail, you could continue driving to Kings Canyon at roads end and do the caves there, they are a bit more accessible than the Crystal Caverns which have a long hike down which means a long hike back up. The road to Mineral King is also off the main road that goes up to Sequoia, this is where Walt Disney had wanted to build a resort but it never happened. There isn't much there but it is scenic.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:17 AM   #6
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Cannot help with SF, but we camped in Sequoia in July. We had a fabulous time, even DW who had never camped before , and was not looking forward to it, but she said it was prob the high light of our trip.
When we go back in 2 years , we are planning another camping trip either at Sequoia or Yosimite
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surgefest View Post
Golden gate bridge (what are some of the best locations to get good views of the bridge???)
From San Francisco, go across the GG bridge towards Sausalito. As you near the north end of the bridge, stay in the right lane. At the very end of the bridge, follow the signs to exit at the vista point. There's a large parking lot there, and you can get out and get excellent views of the bridge, San Francisco, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. Note that you can only get to that vista point by going north over the bridge. You can't get there from the other side of the road.

That's one of the best views you'll find, and most tourists are very happy with it. But for an even better view, get back in your car and follow the merge lane to get back on the freeway. But as soon as you get onto the freeway, stay to the right and get right back off. That's Alexander Ave. At the end of the ramp, take a left, going through a tunnel back underneath the freeway. You'll go parallel to southbound US101 for about 100 yards, then go uphill for about 1/4 mile. There's a small parking area with space for 15-20 cars or so. Park, get out, and follow the trail for 100 yards or so (past the WWII artillery bunker). You'll be on top of a hill, directly opposite the north tower of the bridge. Close enough that you'll feel like you could reach out and touch it. It's a fantastic view, all the way from Angel Island and Alcatraz, past the city, and out to sea. The bridge is right next to and below you.

HTH,
Bob
(Resident of SF for a few years, a long time ago)

Last edited by GrandBob; 09-12-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:37 PM   #8
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Here's the view from the first Vista Point (me, my brother, and our spouses). GG bridge is to the right of the picture, not seen, but very close.



And here's a view from the hill by the WWII artillery bunker

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Old 09-13-2010, 12:55 AM   #9
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Last year we took my cousins on a trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, San Francisco, Yosemite, and then a day at Sequoia on the way back to Los Angeles.

We spent a couple of hours at Hume Lake. There is a beach there, and it's a beautiful spot to spend some time at. We then went to see the General Sherman that is located in the Giant Forest - because everyone should see it. It's the largest living thing on Earth.

If you are only going to spend one day in Sequoia, then I recommend that you go to the Giant Forest, and visit:
1) General Sherman Tree
2) Crescent Meadown (where you can drive under the tunnel tree, and then go to the meadow, have a picnic, walk to Tharpes Log - it's beautiful)
3) Moro Rock (climb the steps for a 1/4 mile to the top of this rock -- it's worth it)

Crystal Cave is very interesting to visit, but as posted above, once you drive the narrow road to it you walk down a steep trail for a 1/4 mile, tour the cave for about an hour, and then hike back up a 1/4 mile to the road. You would have to budget time in your day to do this.

The other cave is Boyden Cave, located in Cedar Grove. Personally, I think that if you are just going to be in Sequoia for one day that a lot of time would be spent driving if you were to go to Boyden Cave. I'd recommend Hume Lake over Boyden Cave.

Have fun. It's beauiful there.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Jo View Post
Last year we took my cousins on a trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, San Francisco, Yosemite, and then a day at Sequoia on the way back to Los Angeles.

We spent a couple of hours at Hume Lake. There is a beach there, and it's a beautiful spot to spend some time at. We then went to see the General Sherman that is located in the Giant Forest - because everyone should see it. It's the largest living thing on Earth.

If you are only going to spend one day in Sequoia, then I recommend that you go to the Giant Forest, and visit:
1) General Sherman Tree
2) Crescent Meadown (where you can drive under the tunnel tree, and then go to the meadow, have a picnic, walk to Tharpes Log - it's beautiful)
3) Moro Rock (climb the steps for a 1/4 mile to the top of this rock -- it's worth it)

Crystal Cave is very interesting to visit, but as posted above, once you drive the narrow road to it you walk down a steep trail for a 1/4 mile, tour the cave for about an hour, and then hike back up a 1/4 mile to the road. You would have to budget time in your day to do this.

The other cave is Boyden Cave, located in Cedar Grove. Personally, I think that if you are just going to be in Sequoia for one day that a lot of time would be spent driving if you were to go to Boyden Cave. I'd recommend Hume Lake over Boyden Cave.

Have fun. It's beauiful there.
We are planning two days in Sequoia next week. I was wondering if the locations you mentioned are doable with small children? We have four kids, the oldest is eight years old down to our youngest who is 20 months. Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
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We are planning two days in Sequoia next week. I was wondering if the locations you mentioned are doable with small children? We have four kids, the oldest is eight years old down to our youngest who is 20 months. Thanks!
Crescent Meadow is definitely doable. The walk around the meadow is really lovely and has very small ups & downs.

General Sherman Tree is definitely a walk, but doable, and worth it - it's the largest living thing in th world.

Moro Rock might be too much with your little ones. It is a 1/4 mile of stairs going up the rock.

I also recommend going to Hume Lake. There is a beach there called Sandy Cove that is very safe to swim/wade at.

I would not recommend Crystal Cave with your little one. The hike back up from the cave is on a steep path, and might be much with a baby. I did take my kids when they were about 6 & 7, and they loved it.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #12
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In San Francisco, don't forget Chinatown and taking a ride on the cable cars.

I second the narrated walking tour of Alcatraz. It's awesome.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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How about the Walt Disney Family Museum in the SF Presidio? There's even a fabulous view of the Golden Gate Bridge from inside the museum (Gallery 8).
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:31 PM   #14
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Yes, Chinatown is a must, so is Japan Town (albeit smaller). I live in the SF bay area and I go to Chinatown quite often, love it! Alacatraz is absolutely amazing, make sure to get the narrated tour.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:11 AM   #15
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I believe for General Sherman Tree, there are 2 parking lots. The main one is at the top of the hill and there's a smaller one (might be handicapped only, but I'm not sure... also that's hard to enforce constantly) at the bottom of the hill which is a really short walk to the tree. It'll save you time and energy to go from there.

My boyfriend and I are both in very good shape and we had a hard time getting back up the hill from General Sherman Tree, and were jealous when we got down to it and saw people going up a shorter trail from the bottom!

Sequoia and King's Canyon are beautiful places and not nearly as commercialized as Yosemite... although Yosemite is amazing too.
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