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jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
11571 posts

Need help planning a California coast trip.

Never been to California. My dad (RIP) used to go off to Monterey, CA when I was in my 20s and he talked about how much he enjoyed cruising the coastal roads and relaxing out there. I’m in the early stages of planning a trip out there for next summer. Would be me, Mrs jkyle , 2 stepsons (13&15), and my 4 yr old. I was thinking of making it around a 10ish (or more) day trip. I know very little of the area but so far I was considering flying into LAX and driving up to Monterey via hwy 1. Would also like to mix in a day or two at Yosemite. I realize this would entail quite a bit of driving but I know my crew is up for it. The original plan was to road trip the whole thing but better judgement kicked in. Any good itineraries or must dos for a trip like this ? Good places to stay /eat? Things we shouldn’t miss ?

Any info or tips appreciated . Thanks in advance.


kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
12237 posts

Have you looked at Pacific Coast Highway? It’s one of America’s iconic drives. We took it from LA to Monterrey last year.

Looking to plan Monterrey to San Diego in the fall.


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40
Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
35010 posts
 Online 

Fly to Vegas and rent a 4 door Jeep. Drive it through Death Valley and up to Mammoth Lakes. Spend the night on the East side. Explore Tuolumne the next day then drop into Yosemite…stay two nights, hike a ton…I’d drive to Stinson Beach through Napa. Stay the night. Drive down 1 to SF, stay downtown. Next day down to Santa Cruz…stay two nights, explore the beaches west of town and the town. Head south to Monterey then plan how TF to get back to Vegas.

Tons of stuff to see and do along the way.


SpringBokCock
South Carolina Fan
Columbia, SC
Member since Oct 2003
3060 posts

I like this idea. You could also fly into Reno - stay in Lake Tahoe - then Yosemite- Monterey-Big Sur. You are probably too late to get lodging inside Yosemite, so stay at mammoth mountain.

Do an open jaw flight. Fly in to Reno: fly out of San Francisco or San Jose.


Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
35010 posts
 Online 

Yea, you can drop down into the valley both days and stay in Mammoth or just south…tons of cool rentals over there. I LOVE the East side of the Sierras. Could definitely retire over there…NO BUGS at night is just the creepiest thing to me, so cool. You can hear the wind blow off the mountains it’s so quiet. Unreal stars.


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jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
11571 posts

I appreciate the recs fellas.. What do you think the best base would be for the coast and also for Yellowstone? I’d be willing to split the stays up a bit but would like to keep it to around 3 diff hotels /rentals. I don’t mind staying in several diff hotels but the constant packing and unpacking of stuff would piss off mrs jkyle.

Thanks again for the help.


sstig
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Oct 2003
2480 posts

Drive the PCH from Santa Monica pier north to San Fransico.
Big Sur, Montrey, Carmel, the Hurst Castle, Santa Barbara and so much more.


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WacoTiger
LSU Fan
Waco, Texas
Member since Nov 2003
3169 posts

Fly into to San Fran. Don't miss Big Sur (spend at least one night here, hike and go to the Pacific beach side of the park) and Pebble Beach. Take the 17 miles drive in Carmel. Visit Hurst Castle in San Simeon. Go to Yosemite (the park may be crowded, but try to find a cablin to spend the night). Go to San Fran for the kids and take the Red & White Boat to Alcatraz for a tour. Eat ice cream with chocolate sauce at Ghirardelli. Open the window or drive an open top vehicle (like a Jeep) down Hwy 1 from Half Moon Bay to Los Angeles. Fly home from LA. Enjoy. I did this with my family as a kid in 1972 and again with my kids in 2003. Enjoy.


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20
Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
35010 posts
 Online 

Santa Cruz for the coast and Mammoth for Yosemite.


jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
11571 posts

Thanks a bunch for the suggestions. Def got a lot more to look into now. I knew I’d came to the right place


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