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California in January - Worth?

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

Quoting Calcruzer

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.

Hey Calcruzer,

More news. Ive been thinking of the possibility of NOT renting a car sinces rates are very expensive and besides that im not used to driving by car. I would miss the scenerary due to driving. Maybe be tiring or so...not used to driving on maybe snowy, slippery road? So, in that case im looking for Tours around the main important places along the coastal between SF and LA. Some leaving from SF, some leaving from LA. Ive been thinking of reducing the number of days to 3 as I included the Grand Canyon to my itinerary.: One of the 8th worders of the world. What more important places do you reccommend on a 3-day-trip by bus? Big SUr, Carmel, Solvang I believe are mandatory. What other ones? Thanks do much! :)

12. Posted by slugtrek (Full Member 12 posts) 7y

I'm going to throw Santa Cruz out there again. I know how to get from SF to Santa Cruz in numerous ways using public transportation (buses and/or trains), so if you decide to visit here just ask and I can give you several options.

Santa Cruz's main attraction, the Boardwalk, is mostly closed during the winter. It does have limited operations on weekends, weather permitting. However, that's just one of many things to do in this town. Our "downtown" area is really charming and one of my favorite places to just "hang out" in town. You get both the college town vibe and a taste of what Santa Cruz is known for, which is it's hippie and surfer sub culture. Though the boardwalk might not be open, you've got to see the beach. The waves will be even bigger during that time of year. We are known as "Surf City, USA" though Huntington in southern California also claims that name (and can be quite litigious about it). A walk along West Cliff drive brings you up past Steamer's Lane (a famous surfing spot) and the Surf Museum. It'll also bring you to Natural Bridges, which is really pretty.

There are also a lot of neat attractions near Santa Cruz, such as Monterey to the south, along with Carmel. There are also a lot of beautiful redwoods inland, but it's kind of hard to get to them using only public transportation. You could always take a bus up to the University campus to see the redwoods, but I'm not sure if that sounds appealing to you. There is a place in the woods called Roaring Camp Railroad, but I've never actually been to it so I can't give many tips about it. If you want to see the forest and you can only use public transportation, though, I recommend looking into it.

Once you get south of Monterey, I don't have much experience until you get to LA. I grew up in Orange County, just to the south. I've driven through Big Sur, but I have no experience with seeing it with public transportation. Californians are typically very reliant on their cars, but seeing the state without one is absolutely possible. I didn't have a car until about two years ago and I survived fine.

Sorry for the huuuuge post, but hopefully some of that information will be useful.

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

Quoting slugtrek

I'm going to throw Santa Cruz out there again. I know how to get from SF to Santa Cruz in numerous ways using public transportation (buses and/or trains), so if you decide to visit here just ask and I can give you several options.

Santa Cruz's main attraction, the Boardwalk, is mostly closed during the winter. It does have limited operations on weekends, weather permitting. However, that's just one of many things to do in this town. Our "downtown" area is really charming and one of my favorite places to just "hang out" in town. You get both the college town vibe and a taste of what Santa Cruz is known for, which is it's hippie and surfer sub culture. Though the boardwalk might not be open, you've got to see the beach. The waves will be even bigger during that time of year. We are known as "Surf City, USA" though Huntington in southern California also claims that name (and can be quite litigious about it). A walk along West Cliff drive brings you up past Steamer's Lane (a famous surfing spot) and the Surf Museum. It'll also bring you to Natural Bridges, which is really pretty.

There are also a lot of neat attractions near Santa Cruz, such as Monterey to the south, along with Carmel. There are also a lot of beautiful redwoods inland, but it's kind of hard to get to them using only public transportation. You could always take a bus up to the University campus to see the redwoods, but I'm not sure if that sounds appealing to you. There is a place in the woods called Roaring Camp Railroad, but I've never actually been to it so I can't give many tips about it. If you want to see the forest and you can only use public transportation, though, I recommend looking into it.

Once you get south of Monterey, I don't have much experience until you get to LA. I grew up in Orange County, just to the south. I've driven through Big Sur, but I have no experience with seeing it with public transportation. Californians are typically very reliant on their cars, but seeing the state without one is absolutely possible. I didn't have a car until about two years ago and I survived fine.

Sorry for the huuuuge post, but hopefully some of that information will be useful.

How could I ever be bothered with that? Im just fascinated by the kind answers and helps I've been getting from the site. I simply have to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking your time in writing this hint. All I have to know is that I have to fit all the cities and attractions into the days Im staying in USA not to miss any important attraction so I have to plan it carefully and with lots of care....thanks again.:)

14. Posted by slugtrek (Full Member 12 posts) 7y

This has inspired me to start a wiki page here on Santa Cruz, so here. It includes info on how to get there. Basically you can take an Amtrak to San Jose and take the Highway 17 express bus over the hill. Or you can take a greyhound directly from San Fransisco. I've done the first several times, but I've never done the second. A greyhound bus is also helpful when leaving town. The station is directly downtown.

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

Quoting slugtrek

This has inspired me to start a wiki page here on Santa Cruz, so here. It includes info on how to get there. Basically you can take an Amtrak to San Jose and take the Highway 17 express bus over the hill. Or you can take a greyhound directly from San Fransisco. I've done the first several times, but I've never done the second. A greyhound bus is also helpful when leaving town. The station is directly downtown.

More excellent news. Decided on the amtrack, it seems they have excellent railroads not only along CAlifornia, but all within the USA. Fantastic. It even includes the Grand canyon! Marvelous and much cheaper than the car. There's a kind of pass in which you can hop on and off whenever and wherever you go. I've solved the problem of getting aroung in The US! :)

The grenhouse seems to be a little limited and they dont have tickets to Carmel and other cities...

16. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 7y

Well, Amtrak wouldn't be my first choice--but if you aren't used to driving, the roads here can be quite daunting--both through the mountains near Santa Cruz and near Yosemite--and also along the coast route near Big Sur and Carmel.

You asked where I would go with only 3 days to cover the California coast (in January). I would try to get to Solvang, Santa Barbara, Carmel/Santa Cruz/Big Sur, and either Los Olivos or Paso Robles to stop at a least one winery.

Grand Canyon is definitely one of the wonders of the world. Seeing it in a picture is not anything at all like seeing it in person. I've been there multiple times--and I still am awe-struck everytime I see it in person.

Enjoy

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

Quoting Calcruzer

Well, Amtrak wouldn't be my first choice--but if you aren't used to driving, the roads here can be quite daunting--both through the mountains near Santa Cruz and near Yosemite--and also along the coast route near Big Sur and Carmel.

You asked where I would go with only 3 days to cover the California coast (in January). I would try to get to Solvang, Santa Barbara, Carmel/Santa Cruz/Big Sur, and either Los Olivos or Paso Robles to stop at a least one winery.

Grand Canyon is definitely one of the wonders of the world. Seeing it in a picture is not anything at all like seeing it in person. I've been there multiple times--and I still am awe-struck everytime I see it in person.

Enjoy

Yeah! Im looking at it right now! Fantastic! The railroads are all within USA! The good thing is that It goes up to the Grand Canyon and all the cities im planning to visit. I found it the cheapest and the most comfortable option...And I dont have to worry about gas or weather. The only trouble is choosing the cities Im hopping off and when and how long. You already suggested lovely cities! Thanks again:)

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