need some advice! won a roundtrip tic to SFO...but would like to see some other areas..not sure where to go.
i'm from Hawaii, and not sure how cold it's gonna be for us in december, so i appreciate all the help
we fly in dec 3rd, gonna stay in the city 2 nights. from there, we'd like to rent a car and maybe drive to clearlake or reno for a couple nights. can anyone tell me how the weather will be like in those areas, and if it's safe to drive (is there snow?)
another option would be to drive down south for a few nights. i have always wanted to see the california coast!
so i'm thinking we could do a mini-roadtrip down to santa barbara? or is that too far?
what are the best places to see and stay at for the limited time we have?
Expect San Francisco to be quite cold, especially for someone used to beautiful Hawaii.
I'd drive south towards Santa Barbara where their famous Mediterranean climate should be wonderful in early December. An easy side trip is the wine country near Los Olivos.
I agree with Ham Radio that a nice trip to Santa Barbara and the wine country, both just north of there and the wine country near Paso Robles would be fun. Be sure to visit Solvang (a beautiful Danish village in the Santa Ynez valley area near Los Olivos.
If you want to go to Reno, just plan to take I-80--but check the road and weather conditions ahead of time and then go for it--it's only about a 5-hour trip from San Francisco. Also, consider going to the south end of Lake Tahoe, either when going to Reno or on the way back to San Francisco. It's absolutely gorgeous with the winter snow--and the south end has all the casinos (many with indoor pools). You can see the Las Vegas shows in either Reno or (even better) in Lake Tahoe.
Also, while in Reno and heading for Lake Tahoe, consider a side trip to Virginia City, Nevada--famous as an old west town (which is still is) and for being the site of "The Comstock Lode"--the greatest concentration of silver mined anywhere in the world. At one time, this was the third largest city in the western US. The editor of the town paper used to be Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), known as the greatest american comedian of the 1800s and the author of the books on Huckberry Finn and on Tom Sawyer.
Other possible side trips are to Carmel and Monterey (Pebble Beach and 17 Mile Drive), or to the Napa Valley area.
Just keep in mind that you are likely to get a little bit of rain in December and that it will be a bit cooler in San Francisco than in the surrounding inland towns--and that it does snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains 3-4 hours east.