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Unread 07-30-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: England
6 posts, read 28,342 times
Reputation: 12
Default Single English guy visiting Cali for 10 days, what is one to do???

As the title suggests I'm taking a short break from the UK to Cali in September. Can you believe it, its mid summer right now and its chucking down the rain! Hence me wanting to pack my bags! My plan is to travel from north to south, along the coast, visiting a few places along the way.
So I'll be flying in to LAX and most probably be staying in Santa Monica for the first night as I'm popping into a studio on Ocean Drive the next day (work related) I was then thinking of renting a car and driving up to San Fran, stay there for a night or two, and then traveling south along the coast visiting the odd place on the way for a night or two, and checking out the things to do (depending on the area) finishing in San Diego for the last few days to chill on the beach/bars/clubs etc. Could I make the trip by bus to stay on a budget? What are peoples experiences on buses throughout Cali, would they be a better/cheaper option to a car?

And like the title states I'm a single guy, so looking to visit a few popular bars/clubs/local attractions in any areas really, be great to meet some professional, classy woman (age range being 20-30) Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that you'll only ever meet woman in bars/clubs etc but its a start right? seeing as I don't know the areas and will feel a little lost along the way.
I really cant wait to go, just looking for as much info as I can and hoping you guys and gals can help

Ta muchly

J
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Unread 07-30-2009, 09:50 AM
 
12,021 posts, read 9,819,613 times
Reputation: 4269
Well in Santa Monica check out the pier area and the 3rd Street Promenade & not too far away Venice.
When driving up the coast on to San Francisco, I suggest you check out the Hearst Castle, the Monterey Aquarium, Carmel (for its beautiful white sand coast line) & the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
While in San Francisco, take a ride on the cable car as well check out the Cable Car Museum. SF is also famous for its Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf area, Alcatraz (former island prison), Angel Island, Coits Tower (for its wonderful view of SF), Lombardi Street (the famous crooked street), the view from the glass elevator of the Fairmont Hotel in the fashionable Nob Hill area or the rotating bar view from the Marriot Hotel in the Financial District.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,893 posts, read 7,230,026 times
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Big Sur is a must!
Eat at Nepenthes.
Visit Henry Miller Library.
Monterey Aquarium is the tops.
Head up toward Santa Cruz ... walk in Nisene Marks Park in Aptos.
Board Walk in Santa Cruz? maybe .... if you like rides and stuff and lots of tourists.
Head up to San Fran on coastal 1.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Northern CA
249 posts, read 536,204 times
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Smile Vary your route

Sounds like you have sufficient time to see more of California than just the central/southern coast. I suggest you leave LA via Interstate 5 (I-5) over the "grapevine" (term for the pass thru the mountains-nothing to do with wine) then drive up Highway 99 thru the San Joaquin Valley to about Fresno where you can readily access Kings Canyon, Sequoia and, most importantly Yosemite National Parks. All are in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Yosemite is world reknowned, but the other two have the giant sequoia trees that are a must see.

If you have time, continue up 99 to Sacramento, then head east to Lake Tahoe-an alpine lake of incredible beauty and clarity. Then proceed west via Highway 50 or I-80 to San Francisco and complete your coastal trip. The other responders have mentioned the primary sites to see along the coast. One additional one I might offer is the Spanish mission at Santa Barbara. Its a beauty. Probably the most attractive (IMO) of all teh missions. You'd learn a lot of CA's earliest (Spanish/Mexican) history by visiting there. Besides, Santa Barbara is beautifiul on its own.

Good luck. Let us all know how your trip turns out.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 02:04 AM
 
Location: England
6 posts, read 28,342 times
Reputation: 12
Guys thanks for the comments, I now feel overwhelmed with things to see/do! Thats a good thing though!
I have been to San Fran, LA, San Diego before, when I was a teen and absolutely loved it! SF always stuck in my mind more vividally - Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf, Pacific Heights etc, just wanting to go back and capture the beauty of as much of the state as I can, in my own perspective and cram as much into my trip as possible whilst still trying to stay on budget!
The places you guys have mentioned sound incredible! I was thinking of Yosimite, now its a MUST! And I was'nt even sure where Lake Tahoe was! And I love everything Spanish/Mexican as well so the Spanish Mission sounds great, although what are "The Missions"? And also how long would the drive be down the coast, stopping between towns etc

Thanks in advance,

J
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Unread 07-31-2009, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
2,041 posts, read 1,573,338 times
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I like Jaybee's suggestions/route but I would go clockwise - up the coast first, then inland so that when you are driving the Pacific Coast Highway you are on the inland side of the road rather than the ocean side, especially since our roads are the opposite of yours. One other note, by Sept cool autumn weather will have arrived in the mountains so warmer clothes will be needed there, but Sept is the warmest month in SF.

Personally I would skip Alcatraz and head north over the Golden Gate bridge to Muir Woods and maybe even Bodega Bay if time allows.

Whatever your choices I hope you have a fabulous trip without breaking the bank.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Northern CA
249 posts, read 536,204 times
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Default Missions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaminator View Post
Guys thanks for the comments, I now feel overwhelmed with things to see/do! Thats a good thing though!
I have been to San Fran, LA, San Diego before, when I was a teen and absolutely loved it! SF always stuck in my mind more vividally - Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf, Pacific Heights etc, just wanting to go back and capture the beauty of as much of the state as I can, in my own perspective and cram as much into my trip as possible whilst still trying to stay on budget!
The places you guys have mentioned sound incredible! I was thinking of Yosimite, now its a MUST! And I was'nt even sure where Lake Tahoe was! And I love everything Spanish/Mexican as well so the Spanish Mission sounds great, although what are "The Missions"? And also how long would the drive be down the coast, stopping between towns etc

Thanks in advance,

J
OK, so I'm "working without a net here". California students learn about the missions in 4th or 5th grades. That was 42 years ago or so!

The Spanish who originally settled (well, in terms of Europeans) Mexico and what is now the Southwest US, used catholic churches (I think Franciscan sect) to educate, influence and perhaps "tame" the natives as they spread north from Mexico proper. These "church outposts" became the center of commerce and "civilization" and were called "missions". They had large "ranchos" (ranches) and agricultural operations to sustain the priests, natives and travelers.

I think there were 21 of them established in California-along a road called the "El Camino Real"; or "King's Highway". I think between the 1770's and about 1820. Many were founded by Father Junipero Serra. They were to be a days walk (20 miles or so) apart. They stretch from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north. Many have been painstakingly restored. It was an important period in California history.

Apologies to those better informed if I've mis-represented any info.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,893 posts, read 7,230,026 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaminator View Post
Guys thanks for the comments, I now feel overwhelmed with things to see/do! Thats a good thing though!
I have been to San Fran, LA, San Diego before, when I was a teen and absolutely loved it! SF always stuck in my mind more vividally - Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf, Pacific Heights etc, just wanting to go back and capture the beauty of as much of the state as I can, in my own perspective and cram as much into my trip as possible whilst still trying to stay on budget!
The places you guys have mentioned sound incredible! I was thinking of Yosimite, now its a MUST! And I was'nt even sure where Lake Tahoe was! And I love everything Spanish/Mexican as well so the Spanish Mission sounds great, although what are "The Missions"? And also how long would the drive be down the coast, stopping between towns etc

Thanks in advance,

J
You could do a nice "loop" starting in S.F.
After you've seen enough of San Francisco, head east on HW80 and visit Lake Tahoe. You'll travel over Donner Pass where the Donner Party met their fate.
And Donner Lake is beautiful.
Down into Truckee and then over to Lake Tahoe (HW89?).
After you've absorbed that beautiful lake, etc., head back over to HW80 to Reno.
Once over there, head south on HW395 (a beautiful drive) and finally enter Yosemite from the eastern side of the Sierra up, up, up, ... Tioga Pass and ultimately back down into the valley of Yosemite on the western side.
You must see the valley.
Once you've left Yosemite, you head back to the coast and it's a fairly straight trip back and then, once you hit the coast, you can wind your way down to Big Sur, do your thing there and head back to S.F. going back on same HW1 .... through Carmel, Monterey, etc., up through Santa Cruz, continue on coastal 1, through Half Moon Bay and eventually back to San Francisco.
There.
I just gave you your itinerary.
It's a good one. Truly.
Happy Trails.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
2,041 posts, read 1,573,338 times
Reputation: 3774
Quote:
Once over there, head south on HW395 (a beautiful drive) and finally enter Yosemite from the eastern side of the Sierra up, up, up, ... Tioga Pass and ultimately back down into the valley of Yosemite on the western side.
You must see the valley.


Excellent idea. The eastern side of the Sierra's is so different from the western slopes. If you can also manage a swing into Kings Canyon it's beautiful too.

Check out photographers Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell for some splendid images of the Sierras.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,893 posts, read 7,230,026 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
Quote:
Once over there, head south on HW395 (a beautiful drive) and finally enter Yosemite from the eastern side of the Sierra up, up, up, ... Tioga Pass and ultimately back down into the valley of Yosemite on the western side.
You must see the valley.


Excellent idea. The eastern side of the Sierra's is so different from the western slopes. If you can also manage a swing into Kings Canyon it's beautiful too.

Check out photographers Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell for some splendid images of the Sierras.
Yes, good.
Here's a link.
ansel adams sierra nevada - Google Images
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