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California in January - Worth?

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1. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

I bought my ticket to SFO for JAN 2 and now i've seen the weather and it seems that most of the state is rainy which means that my plans specially to go from SFO to LA by is going to backfire. Maybe yes? Maybe not?

Im really worried and it seems that i will not take so much advantage of its beauty since in going in January - the only summer vacation here in Brazil and the period I have the most days off.

Any help will be appreciated Thanks so much....:)

2. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 6y

You just never know this far in advance. November thru March is indeed when it typically rains in California (summers are very dry), but there are also many beautiful days during the winter, with no rain. If there's a low pressure, or rain system, over the state of California it could be very wet for a day or two. If not, you'll be fine!

3. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 284 posts) 6y

I wouldn't be too concerned about the rain. SFO will be cool to cold, but heading south toward LAX the weather warms up. Take the coastal route. From San Luis Obispo south you can expect quite nice weather.

4. Posted by slugtrek (Full Member 12 posts) 6y

This was suppose to be an El Nino season (which is when our local rainy season is heavier than usual), but after one initial rainstorm it hasn't been that bad yet this season. Who knows what it'll be like in January. I'd bring an umbrella and a good jacket to play it safe. I don't think it'll ruin your trip. There are a ton of interesting things to do in doors in San Francisco (museums, the Metreon, etc). If you want to get out to see the sites like the bridge or Alcatrez, just bring your umbrella and a coat and plan on warm yourself up with some delicious hot cocoa (or coffee).

What do you plan on seeing between SF and LA? If you wanted to hang out at beaches or go for long hikes your plans might be a little hampered. Otherwise I think you should be fine.

Have fun!

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Nov-2009, at 19:59 by slugtrek ]

5. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

Quoting slugtrek

This was suppose to be an El Nino season (which is when our local rainy season is heavier than usual), but after one initial rainstorm it hasn't been that bad yet this season. Who knows what it'll be like in January. I'd bring an umbrella and a good jacket to play it safe. I don't think it'll ruin your trip. There are a ton of interesting things to do in doors in San Francisco (museums, the Metreon, etc). If you want to get out to see the sites like the bridge or Alcatrez, just bring your umbrella and a coat and plan on warm yourself up with some delicious hot cocoa (or coffee).

What do you plan on seeing between SF and LA? If you wanted to hang out at beaches or go for long hikes your plans might be a little hampered. Otherwise I think you should be fine.

Have fun!

I want to take the coastal route along the beaches to appreciate their beautyand the small cities along the coast. In that case, if the weather is rainy, windy as it is a coastal route, then my plans wouldnt be so great, touring on a windy and rainy day.

Maybe it would be better to check the weather forecast 5 or 4 days before heading to SFO, if its bad, then I plan to stay in SFO for the days I have already booked then take a plane and set out to any other place in the US.

Thanks

6. Posted by slugtrek (Full Member 12 posts) 6y

That sounds like a good plan. I live in Santa Cruz, which is on the north end of Monterey Bay (about 1 1/2- 2 hours south of SF) and if you end up going the coastal route I recommend a stop here. If it's foggy you might not be able to appreciate the beauty of the California coast, but if it clears up it's really great. Highway 1 through Big Sur is also really beautiful. I'd say Big Sur is the most spectacular portion of the California coast, but that's just my opinion of course.

Will you be renting a car? Highway one is really curvy, so be prepared if you are driving yourself. It's a great trip. I've made it a number of times commuting between my school in the bay area and my family in southern California. If you are just driving straight through it'd take 10-12 hours. But I recommend taking your time and enjoying it.

7. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

Quoting slugtrek

That sounds like a good plan. I live in Santa Cruz, which is on the north end of Monterey Bay (about 1 1/2- 2 hours south of SF) and if you end up going the coastal route I recommend a stop here. If it's foggy you might not be able to appreciate the beauty of the California coast, but if it clears up it's really great. Highway 1 through Big Sur is also really beautiful. I'd say Big Sur is the most spectacular portion of the California coast, but that's just my opinion of course.

Will you be renting a car? Highway one is really curvy, so be prepared if you are driving yourself. It's a great trip. I've made it a number of times commuting between my school in the bay area and my family in southern California. If you are just driving straight through it'd take 10-12 hours. But I recommend taking your time and enjoying it.

In fact im still boiling the idea of renting a car. It will be a great advantage since I will be freer to go wherever I want. However as I will be driving, I wont probably have the chance to appreciate the views while driving and Im not used to driving on roads for long time though I set about 5 days from SF to LA.

I've looked for Tours by bus and I will try to find about tours by train. I will see about it. What called my attention is that in JAN which seems to be the low season, there arent tours available . That was the point which I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to visit the state at this time.

Im still planning the cities im supposed to stopto sleep. Carmel, solvang and some others you mentioned...thanks for telling the tips...:)

8. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

If you have allowed 5 days to get from SF to LA (along the coast route) you won't be driving that long each day, since this drive can actually be done easily in two days--even driving through the Big Sur area--which makes the drive longer.

I'd suggest you stay at the following cities--and see some of the following sites (this does not include the day or two or three you should spend in San Francisco itself):

Day 1: Leave SF taking Interstate 280 and go visit either (or both) the Winchester Mystery House in San Francisco and the Big Basin Redwood Park north of Santa Cruz--then head through Santa Cruz and spend the night in Carmel.

Day 2: Visit the Monterey aquarium, and drive the 17 mile drive near Pebble Beach, then drive south through Big Sur down to the Cambria/San Simeon area. Leave early enough in the day to see the scenery along the drive between Carmel and San Simeon--many consider this the most scenic drive in the country.

Day 3: Visit Hearst Castle in the morning, then visit the Moonstone Beach just north of Cambria, then go visit the wineries (but don't overdo) along Highway 46 outside of Paso Robles, drive back to the coast on Highway 46 and then drive south and stay in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach.

Day 4: Drive to Los Olivos, then on to Solvang. Visit wineries, bakeries (great ones in Solvang), get some aebleskivers (danish muffins) and drive over the hill to Santa Barbara. Visit all the stores and restaurants on State Street and go down to the pier.

Day 5: Drive the short 2 hours or so to Los Angeles--take Highway 1 when you get to Oxnard, which will take you south past Zuma Beach (a very scenic place that will probably be empty--except for the people who will be filming TV commercials there. People don't realize that all those beach commercials are filmed here in the winer when there is nobody around, but yet when it is still very sunny--but cold). Go on down through Malibu where the stars all live and then stay in Santa Monica or somewhere on LA's west side (maybe in Westwood near the UCLA campus).

Enjoy

P.S. Leave yourself time to go see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, too.

9. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

Quoting Calcruzer

If you have allowed 5 days to get from SF to LA (along the coast route) you won't be driving that long each day, since this drive can actually be done easily in two days--even driving through the Big Sur area--which makes the drive longer.

I'd suggest you stay at the following cities--and see some of the following sites (this does not include the day or two or three you should spend in San Francisco itself):

Day 1: Leave SF taking Interstate 280 and go visit either (or both) the Winchester Mystery House in San Francisco and the Big Basin Redwood Park north of Santa Cruz--then head through Santa Cruz and spend the night in Carmel.

Day 2: Visit the Monterey aquarium, and drive the 17 mile drive near Pebble Beach, then drive south through Big Sur down to the Cambria/San Simeon area. Leave early enough in the day to see the scenery along the drive between Carmel and San Simeon--many consider this the most scenic drive in the country.

Day 3: Visit Hearst Castle in the morning, then visit the Moonstone Beach just north of Cambria, then go visit the wineries (but don't overdo) along Highway 46 outside of Paso Robles, drive back to the coast on Highway 46 and then drive south and stay in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach.

Day 4: Drive to Los Olivos, then on to Solvang. Visit wineries, bakeries (great ones in Solvang), get some aebleskivers (danish muffins) and drive over the hill to Santa Barbara. Visit all the stores and restaurants on State Street and go down to the pier.

Day 5: Drive the short 2 hours or so to Los Angeles--take Highway 1 when you get to Oxnard, which will take you south past Zuma Beach (a very scenic place that will probably be empty--except for the people who will be filming TV commercials there. People don't realize that all those beach commercials are filmed here in the winer when there is nobody around, but yet when it is still very sunny--but cold). Go on down through Malibu where the stars all live and then stay in Santa Monica or somewhere on LA's west side (maybe in Westwood near the UCLA campus).

Enjoy

P.S. Leave yourself time to go see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, too.

Wow!! I have no words to thank you for your awesome help. This is far better than any travel guide and any travel book. I will definitely follow your guide!

It's good that you're telling me that I will driving around 2 hours per day. This is what I plan. Im not used to driving on roads so that will be perfect for me and not tiring ......
I intend to stay in US for 1 month: from Jan 2 to Feb 1. My plans for a while are: Feb 2 to 7 SF, from 7 to 11 the road (SF to LA), from 12 to 15-Las Vegas, from 15 to 20-San Diego, Long Beach and maybe Tijuana, and finally from 21 to 26 LA, then Im flying to Miami on 26 and satying until Feb 1 for shopping there....This is subject to change, Im still planning but in general it will be more or less these cities...:)...Im very excited!! Its getting closer and I cant believe it!!

THANKS AGAIN!! I can give some help if you come to Brazil some day ... :)

10. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

Cecibastos,

Thanks for your offer to let me know about touring Brasil--I may take you up on it--although I should point out that I was in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago for Carnival and stayed with my wife's family since my former wife was Brasilian and a Carioca (Rio de Janeiro native). We also visited Petropolis and Teresopolis (where my wife's family had a summer home) while we were there.

It would be nice to get back to Brasil (with my current wife) sometime soon, though.

I hope you enjoy your trip to California and if you have any detailed questions, please feel free to write me via this site.