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Road Trip around California

Travel Forums North America Road Trip around California

1. Posted by carniejim (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Wonder if any of you kind people can help

Coming over from Scotland and I am planning a road trip around California etc lasting a few weeks during June / July 2013.
I will have with me my wife, my daughter , my son in law and my granddaughter (aged 13 years) We have a wide range of interests which include but are not limited to – horse activities (the bigger the horse the better especially welcome Heavy horses) – wildlife watching such as whales , seals, deer , bison etc: motor sports especially monster trucks : water sports such as jet-skis, paddle boarding etc; old historic areas relating to the ‘wild west era’; shopping ( both big malls and small designer areas) and touring around checking out the scenery and other interesting things.

Our rough route is :- Arrive in Los Angeles – drive via Barstow to Las Vegas then on via Death Valley Giant Sequoia area and Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, then onto San Francisco via Sacramento and Monterey. This is merely a rough idea and the only hotels we have booked are in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco , and even these are only booked for a maximum of 2 days per place, this means that we are totally flexible about where we go and where we stay

I have checked out the various official sites around these areas but there is no substitution for the thoughts of people who live there or have travelled these paths before. Any ideas along this route for things for us to do and/or see would be greatly appreciated. As I said the route is not set in tablets of stone so any side trips which are worth it would be considered.

My hope is to give my family and in particular my granddaughter a vacation to remember as this may well be the last time we can all get away together.

Thanks in anticipation
Jim Edmonds

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

For "wild-west", I suggest you check out the following two places--one on your route--the other just a short ways away:

(1) Calico Ghost Town--just outside of Barstow; and

(2) Virginia City, Nevada--just a couple of hours drive east of Lake Tahoe

For Whale-watching, check out the whale watching tours that go out from either Santa Cruz, California or from Moss Landing, California. Be aware that you are more likely to see sea otters than whales in the June-July period, though--as by this time, most of the whales are back off the coast of Alaska, having completed their journey from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

For jet skis--plan to give this a try in the lakes near Las Vegas or else down near Los Angeles area, not in northern California--since in the north, most communities only allow jet skis if you go at least a mile offshore--meaning almost nobody rents them or owns them here in northern California. To see deer, go to the Pacific Grove Golf Course (near Monterey) any time within about an hour of sunset--and you'll see at least 30 of them wandering onto the golf course and taking it over. (that, or come to my backyard--since I get deer most every night). For horseback riding, go just about 10 miles north of Half Moon Bay (a community about 40 miles south of San Francisco right on the coastline), and you can rent horses to ride along the beach and park-like areas there for two to three hours.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Mar-2013, at 17:16 by Calcruzer ]

3. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 285 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

You will be driving through the desert during high heat season, and will be subjected to temperatures well above your native Scotland.

Kindly ensure your vehicle is in good operating condition and have plenty of drinking water with you at all times. When you get to San Francisco, the weather will feel more like home

Welcome to California and enjoy the journey.

4. Posted by carniejim (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the advice and tips they are really appreciated.

Knew there were nice people out there

All the best from Scotland ( it is currently snowing outside my window so the thought of Californian sunshine is sure helping)

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

It is currently 63 degrees F here in Santa Cruz (17.2 C) at 2:30 PM on Thursday March 21st with a humidity reading of 55% (fairly normal). The forecast high for tomorrow is 69 degrees F (20.5 C), with relative humidity of 45% (slightly less than normal).

Hope it is not too hot for you (or the rest of us) in June and July.

P.S. I'll probably be hanging out at the beach or on a golf course (or both) this weekend.