Northern California Trip Itinerary

It has been such a long time since my last post that I almost feel ashamed to come back. 🙂 I am determined to post more regularly and frequently from now on… wait and see.

David and I had a wonderful week-long trip in northern California a few weeks ago. Several friends asked for our itinerary to help them plan their future trips, so I think it is a good idea to write it up while the trip is still fresh in my memory.

San Francisco – Yosemite NP – King’s Canyon NP – Sequoia NP – Monterey – San Francisco

Day 1: Flight arrived in SFO at noon time. Took BART downtown. Walked to Japan town, Alamo Square Park, Civic Center, Chinatown area.

Day 2: Took cable car heading north. Walked along the Embarcadero, passed Fishermans Wharf and kept walking, and met Diana for lunch near the Ferry Building. After another long walk, climbed the Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower. Then took a bus to the Grand View Park. After having dinner in Chinatown, hiked up to Pier 39 again for the Aquarium. Walked nearly 30,000 steps in a day!










Day 3: Took BART to SFO to pick up rental car, and drove 3.5 hours to Yosemite National Park. Once we were there, we kept stopping on the road because we had to take pictures of the magnificent rocks.


Day 4: Drove/hiked around in the park. Tunnel View, Glacier Point (breath-taking), Mirror Lake (no water), and Ahwahnee Hotel.


Day 5: Stopped at Mariposa Grove to see big trees. Then drove 2.5 hours to King’s Canyon National Park. Admired the General Grant Tree (the third largest tree in the world). Drove the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway round trip. Then had to drive 50 miles on very (very!) wiggly roads to Three Rivers, where we spent the night.

Day 6: Saw the General Sherman Tree (the largest tree in the world, over 2000 years old). Climbed the Moro Rock. Failed to see the Crystal Cave even though we managed to get tickets – it was closed due to a medical emergency. Oh well.


Day 7: Drove 4 hours to Monterey – from the mountains to the oceans. Had a relaxed long walk along the water, consumed two very delicious seafood meals (not to mention a surprising 60 oz cocktail)… stayed at Spindrift Inn that exceeded our expectations… All very nice!!


Day 8: Followed Pacific Coast Highway back to San Francisco. Drove to the Muir Woods via Golden Gate Bridge. Stayed near SFO for our morning flight back to DC the next day.


It was a very good trip indeed – a combination of city and nature. We drove over 1000 miles overall, walked 15,000 steps a day on average, and experienced many ‘wow’ moments. Of course, there was still room for improvement. 1) It would be better to visit in the spring, when the Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake actually have water; and 2) Do a more thorough research on temperatures at each place before the trip (more on this later, maybe).

Hope this is helpful. Happy travels!



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