Not a bike trip from San Diego to San Franscisco

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Greenflyfarmer, May 6, 2013.

  1. Shunka

    Shunka Supervision Required

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    I'll be camping outside sequoia that week 15-22 with the family. If you find yourself around there hit me up.

    At worst I'll share a beer with you and hook the two of you up with some grub, at best we might be able to set you up with accommodations for the night if you and the wife aren't averse to a tent. Might even be able to set you up in the RV.
    #21
  2. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

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    Cambria is a great place to stay. Look to visit Nitt Witt Ridge and Hearst Castle if you have time. Hotel suggestions:

    Cambria Palms - budget and moto friendly. Eat at Linn's Restaurant just a short walk from motel.

    Little Sur Inn - pricier but directly across the street from the ocean. Walk to Moonstone Grill for dinner and enjoy the sunset.

    Victoria's Last Resort - top end but very nice, romantic. I believe they will make dinner for you. Wifey might like this one! [​IMG]

    From Cambria, come up the PCH (stop off and see the elephant seals along the way) and stay in Carmel or Monterey (Victoria Inn in Monterey just a couple of blocks from the main drag - also consider visiting the Monterey Aquarium) for the evening. It's less that 100 miles from Cambria to Monterey but you will most likely want to take all day as the views a breathtaking, lots of photo stops, and look for the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer State Park, about 10 miles south of Big Sur. Lunch at the Big Sur River Inn, sit out back in the big Adirondack chairs and dip your feet in the running stream out back. They also have a hotel there too - pricey but very nice. Monterey isn't too much farther from Big Sur so I'd recommend visiting Big Sur but end your day in Monterey.

    Coming through the Bay Area, there are a tone of fun roads in the mountains - 9, 35, 84, Alice's Restaurant (a well known moto haven), Stage Rd., Pescadero Rd., and tons more! Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz isn't nearly as scenic as the more southern part that you will have just traversed so if you went inland to hit some of those roads, you wouldn't be missing a whole lot of the coast.

    Immediately north of SF, just as soon as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take 2nd exit which comes up very quickly, just past the vista point. Turn left and cross under the roadway, then go up the hill on Conzelman Road. Very shortly you will see a number of turnouts on your left which give you great photo ops. From there you can backtrack to Highway 101, or you can fart around the area called the Marin Headlands. Nice riding, a lighthouse, old battery, beaches, a marine mammal rescue place. From there, you can visit Muir Woods or consider riding to the top of Mt. Tamalpais - awesome view (as long as it's not foggy!).

    Next place of note is Point Reyes Station. There's a cafe, a bakery, a market, and if you time it right, motorcyclists to ogle . Also the option to visit Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Miles of secluded roads, forests, a gigantic empty beach, and a lighthouse. Fun place to visit, but it will impede your forward motion as the only way back out is through Pt. Reyes Station. (My personal 2cents is to forego the lighthouse. It's a crapshoot if you will even be able to see the lighthouse because of the fog and the road out is fraught with high winds, rough road, and cow pies all over the place... very treacherous.)

    The Bodega Coast Inn is a very nice place, ocean view rooms, etc. There is a link to restaurants on the site.

    Consider a stop in Mendocino. It's a cool hippie/yuppie/new age town, but mucho spendy. If you are on a budget you can head just a bit further north and sleep in Fort Bragg.

    If you go further north, definitely ride along Avenue of the Giants... it's gorgeous even in a car! Hope that gives y'all some food for fodder! :clap
    #22
  3. Greenflyfarmer

    Greenflyfarmer I'm better now.

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    God bless you man. Remember though she has 9 grand for this trip. She does tent camp but she like a hotel.

    [​IMG]

    I'll tell her about the beer though... in the end we really are hillbillies. We'll just be hillbillies in a fancy hotel. Just wait until I cannonball the beautiful people at the pool.
    Thanks man.
    #23
  4. NorCalslowpoke

    NorCalslowpoke Long timer

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    #24
  5. Shunka

    Shunka Supervision Required

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    No worries I come from a long line of hillbillies and I cannonball every hotel pool that has the misfortune of me gracing their doorway. :D

    I work in a high school but not as a teacher but as a computer tech. I'll pm you my info. If you can stop by even for a beer please do. If not no worries either.:freaky

    We'll be here http://www.sequoiarvranch.com/ in Three Rivers.
    #25
  6. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    If you stay in Fort Bragg, be sure to visit the North Coast Brewing Company:
    http://www.northcoastbrewing.com/index2.php
    #26
  7. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

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    #27
  8. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    coming north from san diego, if you want some REAL mexican food. (take out only, unless theres a dirty standing table outside) stop at

    EL TORO BRAVO, its on 19th street in costa mesa. its as close to real mexico as it gets in my town. line out the door during lunch hour, packed full of mexicans, you know its good.

    hearst castle is a must, the elephant seals are fun and free

    yosemite and gold country, sutters mill, theres a steam locomotive in sonora i beleive, it runs on the weekends.

    san francisco is nice for a one nighter, too many people to really enjoy (but my wife loves it). across the golden gate bridge, you get into sausilito, and marin. there are tons of nice driving beautiful roads up there.

    i would say to go to death valley, but it will be unbearably hot that time of year, though they do have a very nice fancyish hotel in the park.

    long story short, california isnt that big, a 15 day road trip you should be able to see whatever you, your wife, and maybe even something the boy, wants to see.

    if i had 15 days off in a row, i would try to see as much as possible, and stay in a different place every night, making the driving distances short, and the time spent seeing stuff long.
    #28
  9. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    You have lots of excellent suggestions. Your problem will be which to do and how to arrange them! I offer the following:

    Beaches
    Do your swimming in the south! (Santa Barbara and below) Northern CA beaches are for walking and admiring the beauty, but you'll need a wet suit to go in for any length of time.

    The Pacific Coast Highway - CA 1
    Beautiful, one-of-a-kind. Frequently cloudy, but even so it is beautiful. Hearst Castle if you like that idea. Elephant Seals 7 miles north of San Simeon. Cambria is nice place to stay if you split the trip up in 2 days. Stop at Napenthe in Big Sur for food and relaxing view. Monterrey Aquarium is very good if you like that; otherwise touristy and likely jammed.

    Steinbeck Country - Salinas and Watsonville
    Generally cloudy and cool due to the lack of mountains between them and the pacific. From artichokes to strawberries. Rich dark newly plowed soil, rows and rows of tiny green plants, irrigation channels and pipes, full green fields, blue-green porta potties and dozens of workers bending to the harvest. I actually find it quite beautiful.

    Yosemite (King's Canyon, Sequoia) Parks
    Magnificent, breath-taking. But ... It will be packed full of people when you are here. I just came back and it was already crowded. I rode in last July and immediately rode out - there was literally stop and go traffic in the middle of the valley! However, if you are unlikely to return, then you should consider it. I would not do just a day trip. But again, when you are here you will almost certainly require reservations, and it may already be too late. If you want more details PM me; I will be happy to tell you more. The other Parks may be less crowded, but I have not visited them in years.

    The Gold Rush Highway - CA 49
    If visiting old mining towns and mines and museums is of interest, research CA 49. It is a nice road that winds through the Sierra foothills from Oakhurst in the south to Auburn and beyond in the north. Sunset Magazine published a good book describing all of the towns and attractions along it. I'm sure there are others more recent.

    Lake Tahoe and the Sierras
    You can combine these with Yosemite Valley by taking CA 120 east across Tulomne Meadows to Mono Lake, then north on US 395 to Bridgeport, then just beyond take CA 89 through Markleeville to South Lake Tahoe. Spend the night, then continue north on CA 89 on the west side of the lake past ski areas to Truckee, then I-80 back to the Bay Area.
    Or ....
    From Truckee you can continue on CA 89 to Lassen Volcanic National Park - CA 89 is a lovely road. It continues to Mount Shasta (but then you are pretty far north).

    Sequoia trees
    You mentioned 'big trees'. There are two kinds: height and volume. The Coast Redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) are the tall ones and the Giant Sequoia (sequoia giganteum) are the 25+ foot diameter ones. The former can be seen along the coast mountains; Muir Woods in Marin is an easy trip from San Francisco, though the most touriesty. Better yet at Big Sur on your way up the coast.
    The latter are in the sierras - the biggest grove is Mariposa Grove at the southern entrance to Yosemite. If you go there plan on first thing in the morning so you can get a parking place at the grove (and not have to take the shuttle from Wawona). Plan on at least 2 (preferably 3) hours, even if you take the tram (extra cost option).

    Your (delightful) problem is how to string together all the things you want to do!
    Have a great time.
    -ceej




    QUOTE=Greenflyfarmer;21349989]The bare bones of the trip are this.

    1. Fly west after school is out third week of June.
    2. Visit Mt. Soledad, Dr. Seuss lived there for awhile.
    3. Salinas for the National Steinbeck Center.
    4. Fresno is the home of the Gary Soto Literacy Museum.
    5. San Franscisco for the Robert Frost Memorial. Fly home from San Franscisco.
    She wants to see Jack London Square in Oakland and Robert Lewis Stevenson State park near Calistoga.

    In general she wants to rent a convertable in the south and drive up the coast taking in the beauty of rural coastal areas. She would like to lay around on a scenic beach for a day here and there, stay in very nice hotels and eat good. We are bringing a 16 year old boy to fetch ice and carry baggage.

    I think I'd like to drive them on some good roads, see some big trees, clifts, mountians and avoid
    traffic. Seeing some history from California's pioneer days might be nice, sure gold mining country. I'll have to avoid my tendancy to drive to far and wear everyone out. Should be a great trip.

    We won't return south except if we go north of SF.

    Thanks for the comments so far.[/QUOTE]
    #29
  10. Greenflyfarmer

    Greenflyfarmer I'm better now.

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    The quality of the people that are on site, the thoughtfulness of the replies. Pretty damn cool. Thanks, I knew this would be helpful.
    #30
  11. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    The fancy-ish hotel, the Furnace Creek Inn, is closed for the summer, starting in mid-May. But the Furnace Creek Ranch is open year-round. Yes, Death Valley is not the place to be in the summer -- but Furnace Creek Ranch has a lovely pool and a good beer selection! :1drink
    #31
  12. russbryant

    russbryant Long timer

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    #32
  13. Greenflyfarmer

    Greenflyfarmer I'm better now.

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    How about that. I worked near there almost 30 yrs ago. Lived in Abingdon. I grew up in Marion out at Hungry Mother and and she is a town girl. Heading back today for a family gathering at the farm. That'll mean eating, drinking, riding, shooting, reloading, and sawing. Whew, I'll need to get to work to rest.
    I'm heading back to HM in a couple of years. Thanks Russ. Miss your home town?
    #33
  14. KsFolly

    KsFolly Adventurer

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    Here's a bucket list of places and nice hotels

    Checkem out with google.

    Hotel Del Coronado
    L'auberge Del Mar
    Ritz Carlton Pasadena
    Fairmont San Francisco
    Clairmont in Berkeley
    Mission hotel in riverside ( only ate here but was nice)


    San Diego: Balboa Park museums 1 day
    San Francisco : " the bay model" 2 hours
    Spend a day at Hearst castle. Arrive early and do more than 1 tour. Hit some wineries in Paso Robles. Stay local for the night.

    Ok. Gotta get kids to school.

    Have a good trip!!
    #34
  15. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Out of all the places I've been to in the US, two of my WANNA GO BACK TO places are Yosemite and Coast Hyway 1.
    Fixing to head out on my motorcycle in a few days. San Diego to Washington along the coast is the plan.
    #35
  16. Michhub

    Michhub Major Medical

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    :wave maybe you could rustle up a t-shirt from Scuderia West/KTM twins in San Fransisco....
    #36
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    If you guys like beer, the Lagunitas Brewery just north of San Francisco shouldn't be missed. A couple months ago, I happened upon a really good gospel bluegrass band at their taproom stage. The oysters are good along that part of the coast too.

    For t-shirts, how about a Santa Cruz Skateboards shirt, or maybe a Hwy 1 shirt? When I was in high school, everyone wanted a Sex Wax (surfboard wax) t-shirt. You will see more designs in SF than you can shake a stick at.

    If you happen through Sonora, shoot me a PM. My wife is a school psych, and I bet they could share some stories. We have some great restaurants too.
    #37
  18. Number8teen

    Number8teen Uncompetent

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    +1 on all those who have said yosemite. It's worth taking some extra time off the coast to go see it.

    I'm probably beginning to sound like a broken record a bit in these threads, but anything norcal I suggest you get in touch with K.L.Rocket for some ideas.
    #38
  19. russbryant

    russbryant Long timer

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    I left there in 1981 after graduating from Va. Tech. We bought a house in Abingdon a few years back and are planning to spend time there to see family and get out of the Tucson heat when I retire which may be next year. Went to HM many times as a kid.

    My wife and I are doing a 4 day trip from Tucson to San Jose to pick up a Bike I bought so I found this thread when looking for some things to do or eat on Highway 1. Have fun on your trip.

    Russ
    Tucson
    #39
  20. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    Seriously one of the best moto shops I've been in. Small, but packed full of goodness
    #40