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Suggestions for 10 days in California ?

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  • Suggestions for 10 days in California ?

    Me and my gf are thinking of going to Cali for 10 days in January, maybe fly into LA and spend 4 days there, drive down to SD for 2 days and head north to SF for 4 days and fly out of there.

    Is LA to SF a nice drive ? Are parts of it coastal or through any places worth stopping off at ?

    SD zoo is known as the best in the world along with Singapore, worth the reputation ?

    My partner loves wine, where would wine country be round there ?

    What are the best places to visit/see in the State..... would you change my itinerary at all ?

    Finally, I have never driven in the States before, I know most of your vehicles are Automatics, are the roads generally pretty good to drive on...... is LA a nightmare to drive around or not too bad ?

    I know its lots of questions, just wanted to get an idea of where to head to.

    Thanks


  • #2
    Originally posted by bronx_2003 View Post
    Me and my gf are thinking of going to Cali for 10 days in January, maybe fly into LA and spend 4 days there, drive down to SD for 2 days and head north to SF for 4 days and fly out of there.

    Is LA to SF a nice drive ? Are parts of it coastal or through any places worth stopping off at ?

    SD zoo is known as the best in the world along with Singapore, worth the reputation ?

    My partner loves wine, where would wine country be round there ?

    What are the best places to visit/see in the State..... would you change my itinerary at all ?

    Finally, I have never driven in the States before, I know most of your vehicles are Automatics, are the roads generally pretty good to drive on...... is LA a nightmare to drive around or not too bad ?

    I know its lots of questions, just wanted to get an idea of where to head to.

    Thanks

    I grew up near SF. I posted a few recommendations here:

    http://forums.denverbroncos.com/show...ave-been-there

    Yes, I'm being lazy.

    LA to SF---Highway 1 (Pacific Coastal Highway). It takes about 8-10 hours. Monterey. Santa Cruz. You could also take the 101. It would be faster and you would see a different kind of scenery (still beautiful).

    Sonoma and Napa counties are the wine countries up north. I don't know about So Cal.
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    • #3
      LA to SF is a great drive but only if you take the coast. The central valley drive up the 5 is quicker but ugly as sin and boring too boot. The coastal drive is gorgeous but slower.

      January can be wet so keep that in your plans.

      Most rentals are automatic though I'm sure you can request manual if you prefer. Traffic is traffic whether it's LA, London or anywhere else. If you plan it into your schedule you should be OK. Also some GPS systems can route around traffic if you want. I recently drove from San Diego to Sequoia national park. The straightest route souls of taken me through LA but GPS took me around. It was a longer drive distance wise but shorter in time.

      My rule is I avoid LA unless I'm going to LA.

      California has lots to choose from in wine. Napa and Sonoma are well known though there are a number of smaller wineries all over.

      You'll love San Diego.

      The zoo is amazing. We get seasonal passes each year and our kids love it. They are doing a lot of construction through next summer but I don't think you would be disappointed - unless you really want to see the polar bears, all they ever do is sleep.

      An alternative is the zoo's sister park, the Safari Park. It's about 40min north of the zoo in beautiful Escondido () but a fun park all the same.

      As far as favorites, I don't know. Sequoia is amazing as is Yosemite, the drive up the coast between LA and SF is also great too. If you are in to theme parks that's covered as well. Lots to see and do.

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      • #4
        Do Seaworld and the San Diego Zoo.

        Go to Laguna Beach

        Got to Magic Mountain
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        Thank you to my grandfather jetrazor for being a veteran of the armed forces!

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        • #5
          I grew up in Napa... so yeah... if you're after wine touring? The Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Yountville, Rutherford area is GREAT!

          I agree with the "unless going to LA, so NOT drive in LA" rule. It is a MESS. But Peanut is right... the Pacific Coast Highway will yield some AMAZING sights!! If you end up in SF, maybe go out and see Pier 39 and Alcatraz. They have a great tour.

          I'm being lazy too, so will come up with a few more things later.
          *2011 BCMB Locker Room Division I League Champion*
          *Voted; 2013 & 2015 BCMBA's Scariest Mod*
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          • #6
            I do not have the depth of knowledge as others here, but I just got a warm feeling thinking about our lunch stop in Yountville. My wife and I had an instant love of the place. Famous restaurants, beautiful weather (by my standards) and located in wine country. Not a bad resume!

            And everything else already mentioned....

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            • #7
              I've lived in California for about 30 years. I was stationed in San Diego (NAVY) and got my DD214 in January of 1988, moved to Sacramento. As others have said stay on the coast in SoCal and stay away from the large cities because they are horrible. If you can go North. As far as you can. Definitely make the trip to San Fran but everything is ridiculously expensive there. Make a stop at Monterrey if you have ever gotten into any Steinbeck novels. Santa Cruz is awesome. If you really, really feel like driving a lot head up into the agricultural middle of NorCal. Beautiful country. If you really, really, really feel like driving a lot go all the way up to the extreme North and check out the mountains. You can't really see it all in 10 days so I'd suggest that you check out a tourist-y website and make an itinerary.
              Adopt-A-Bronco: Jonathon Cooper

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              • #8
                Well with wine country so close to the redwoods youll have to go see them. They are truly awe inspiring. Nevermind that walking through them, you keep expecting to see hobbits or the like...
                Glen Haven Fire

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                • #9
                  Gotta admit, looking out on the ocean, California doesn't seem as crazy as it is when you look toward the shore

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CanDB View Post
                    I do not have the depth of knowledge as others here, but I just got a warm feeling thinking about our lunch stop in Yountville. My wife and I had an instant love of the place. Famous restaurants, beautiful weather (by my standards) and located in wine country. Not a bad resume!

                    And everything else already mentioned....
                    Not sure when you went... but Yountville is even nicer now. They've put a lot of money back into the city(not that it needed it). And that whole part of the "upper valley"? Even having grown up just 15 minutes from there in Napa, I love the upper valley!
                    *2011 BCMB Locker Room Division I League Champion*
                    *Voted; 2013 & 2015 BCMBA's Scariest Mod*
                    *Voted; 2014 BCMBA's Best Avi and Most Friendly*


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