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California two week road trip...planning help!

(7 Posts)
holidayhelp1 Tue 12-Jun-18 20:05:56

I'm looking for advice from anyone who has travelled to or lives in California / San Fransisco please, am after some route plan tips smile

It's all a bit last minute but we are lucky to have the chance to stay for four weeks in the SF area and then have two weeks travelling in an RV over the summer.

For the first month it will just be me and 2 DC during the days (8 and 10) as DH will be working. We are moving around a bit and have booked accommodation in the below places for that month so any idea of things to do around there for just me and DC would be fab, I'm a little nervous about this bit, we do have a full week in SF so I'm hoping it'll be easy to get around - Mountain View - Santa Cruz - Half Moon Bay - Muir Woods - San Fransisco.

However I'm stumped when it comes to planning a route for the two weeks in the RV, is it too far to hope to make it to the Grand Canyon? I know it's a bit late in the day to be booking actually inside Yosemite etc. but I'm hoping there will still be places available around, not sure if that is wishful thinking.

Thanks, I'm excited and hope it will be amazing for all of us...but also if you have experience of this and it is a completely insane idea and we should rather be checking into motels please feel free to tell me that too.

Everything will need to be at a fairly slow pace as I am disabled. I was unsure about going but the DC already knew it was a possibility and if we don't do it a) we may not get the chance again and b) I can see it being dragged out at my 60th birthday party...'remember that summer we could've spent in America' grin so am just going with it and will deal with the problems as they happen!

holidayhelp1 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:34:19

One wee bump!

Ricekrispie22 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:35:17

The most visited museum in San Francisco is the California Academy of Sciences. It's one of my personal favorites too. There are several fun activities for both kids and adults. Walk through the four-story rain forest, see a show at the planetarium or watch the fish swim at the large Steinhart Aquarium. You can also step in the earthquake simulator to feel what it's like to be in an earthquake.
A stone's throw from the Academy of Sciences is Golden Gate Bridge. It's a good place to find a shady spot for some lunch. You can hire paddle boats in the lake. Also inside the park is the famous Japanese Tea Garden which is great for exploring.
Another fun thing to do in San Francisco with kids is tour the Golden Gate Bridge. Walk through the outdoor museum. You can then spend some time walking across the bridge to get a better feel for its size. If your kids and you like biking, you can also rent a bike for the day in Fisherman's Wharf and bike over the bridge.
The Exploratorium is a hands-on, educational museum for kids of all ages. Here you can visit hundreds of exhibits where you will learn things such as how electricity works, what causes earthquakes and how important everyday things are made. It's a great way to spend the day in San Francisco with kids.
Tour the WW2 submarine USS Pampanito at Pier 45. Right next to Pier 45 in Fisherman's Wharf you will find the Musee Mechanique. This is a fun stop for anyone that loves antique music boxes or 80s video games such as PacMan. It's free to enter, but does cost money to play. It's the perfect kid friendly stop.
The San Francisco Bay Cruise is a 60-minute trip around the bay. On this tour, you will ride under the Golden Gate Bridge past Alcatraz and get some great views of the SF skyline. It's a great activity for anyone visiting San Francisco for the first time.
Angel Island is a small, national park in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. The only way to get here is by ferry. On the island, you can hike, bike or spend some time admiring the views around the bay. Angel Island is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city.
In addition to the Aquarium of the Bay, you will also find several other family friendly activities on Pier 39. You can ride the carousel or walk through the Mirror Maze. You can even go on a 7D Experience that includes a roller coaster type ride that moves in sync with the activities on the large, movie screen in front of you.
The Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco is one of the newer additions to the SF museum scene. This modern, high-tech attraction opened just a few years ago and is a perfect pick for the entire family.
If you are looking for some of the best views of downtown San Francisco and the surrounding areas, then head to the top of Twin Peaks. This outdoor, free SF attraction is in the centre of San Francisco, so you can see all the way from the SF Bay to the Pacific Ocean. You can also get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
One of my favourite free things to do in San Francisco with kids is taking a stroll down crooked Lombard Street. They will really enjoy watching the cars zig-zag down the steep hill, following the curves of the red brick road between the beautiful green gardens. This is a quick, but memorable activity, as they've surely never seen another street like this one. From here, you can easily head to other attractions.
You'll have an amazing time. I'll be able to help you out with a route when I've go at a bit more time,

holidayhelp1 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:58:57

RiceKrispie this is an amazingly helpful list thank you. Lots of things that I hadn’t found on my Google travels but that are right up my DC street!

ajandjjmum Thu 14-Jun-18 17:14:19

We did a road trip a couple of years ago - had great fun!

DH and I flew in to San Francisco and after one night in an airport hotel headed into Napa for a few nights R & R. We then drove to Yosemite - it was very busy as the Obamas were there! We then travelled to Mammoth, and on to Lone Pine where the John Wayne movies were filmed.

This was right at the entrance to Death Valley, which we drove through starting very early one morning, and from memory arrived in Vegas mid afternoon - with lots of stops.

Our DC (in their 20s) joined us in Vegas, and after a couple of days (Mariah Carey show and sky diving in the desert), we headed out to the Grand Canyon. Amazing.

We then drove to Santa Monica on the LA coast for a few days, before making our way up to San Francisco via the coast road.

It was a great trip, although if I'm honest, was made so successful as we threw money at certain aspects (sky dive/heli trip over the Canyon). I lived on Trip Advisor and picked up loads of info from there.

Have a brilliant trip - very envious!

holidayhelp1 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:34:28

Your trip sounds like it was great! I’m prepared to throw money at things @ajandjmum to make it all easier and get the most out of it as we’ll only be doing it the once, although not sure about skydive, might be a bit beyond me grin

What time of year did you go? Wondered whether August would be too hot for Death Valley. Did you stay there or just drive through, does it take long?

holidayhelp1 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:35:50

Would help if I got the username right when I attempted the tag function @ajandjjmum blush

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