In June, my boyfriend and I will have 4 days/3 nights to travel (in the car) from LA to San Francsico. We both would like to visit Hearst Castle, Big Sur as well as visiting Yosemite. We want to see it all (the sights of the Pacific Coast Drive and the National Park!), but realize as well that 4 days is not long enough to cram everything in! Could anyone suggest a route/places to stay/itinerary that could suite us please? Thank you
4 days is not a lot of time, but you can certainly do that even though you're obviously not going to have much time in the different places. For instance, heading out of LA, take 101/Highway One. Stop in Santa Barbara and Solvang (a little Danish inspired town - touristy but cute!), and then head north along the coast (Hwy One). Find some place for the night along the way, probably close to San Simeon. Shouldn't be difficult. Next day, visit Hearst Castle in the morning and then head north, Big Sur, Carmel, to San Francisco. Second night in SF. Then in the afternoon, the fairly short drive to Yosemite (a couple of hours). Spend the night there (night #3), and the next morning, and then head to LA in the afternoon/early evening. About a 6 hour drive.
Spend your time on the coast and save Yosemite for another trip when you have more time. It will be a much more enjoyable excursion than all the "windshield time" you'd have to cram in.
I agree with Ham, with 4 days you won't see the entire coast anyway. June is prime season for Yosemite and that means bumper to bumper traffic in that area and more resembles a theme park than a National Park. The very best time to see Yosemite, in my opinion, is right now (mid May) because the waterfalls will be at their peak and the crowds are light until after America's Memorial Day weekend (normally the very last of the month).
If you are doing this trip in the summertime, be sure to book your ticket to Hearst Castle ahead of time because they sell out--same applies to the hotels, which all get booked in this area (Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Cambria, San Simeon), especially during the weekends when everyone likes to go visit the wineries in Paso Robles and just north of Solvang/Santa Barbara.
I also agree with Ham Radio and Daawon. Yosemite is a parking lot in the summertime--and hot. I suggest you stay along the coast, which usually is just phenomenal in the summer--and will give you a great treat of a trip.
Oh, and be sure to visit the Carmel/Monterey and Santa Cruz areas.
Also, if you want to see redwoods this trip--there ares some near Carmel (Jules Pfeiffer State Park), just north of Santa Cruz (Big Basin State Park--probably the best of the ones I'm mentioning here), and Muir Woods State Park, just north of San Francisco.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 00:20 by Calcruzer ]
I should probably add that I agree with the comments/suggestions made in the three previous posts. Was simply trying to figure out a way to accomodate the request. But it will certainly be a more pleasant travel experience if Yosemite is dropped from the equation. Even so, there will still be a good amount of driving!
[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 09:43 by bgl ]