The Vine: June 10, 2011
Your readers recently gave brilliant advice for a southern-U.S. road trip, and you and your readers were also really helpful to me in my running-related problem last year (thanks again!). I'd be interested to hear what suggestions you might have for this…
I am heading over to San Francisco for a three-day congress at the beginning of August this year. My husband and I thought we'd make a road trip of it. Neither of us has ever been to North America before. Taking into account time constraints (we have pets that will have to be taken care of while we're away, so it's three weeks tops), we've hashed out a preliminary plan.
We'd start in Vancouver and make our way down to San Francisco by train over the space of about a week, stopping in Seattle and Portland and whatever the best places to stop are along the way. There's nothing to stop us from renting a car for a day out during this part of the trip. Then it's the three-day conference in S.F., during which we'll be able to do plenty of sightseeing as well (plus there is a Bay dinner cruise as part of the conference). Then we'd rent a car and drive down the coast road to L.A. or San Diego and fly back from there. We'll have another week or so for the road trip, which makes it about 17-18 days in total for the whole trip. (Plus a couple of days for the trans-Atlantic flights.)
Of course we'll take a look at the major cities and do the "compulsory" sightseeing, but I was wondering what suggestions you all might have for things to do and see along the way — perhaps something a little different from the obvious. We love culture and history but we're also into nature, so one or more national parks is a given, hiking included. Yosemite would be an obvious choice, but is it too far out of the way considering the time constraints?
Neither of us is a wine drinker, so Napa is not a must for us. We'll probably have time to take in a couple of museums, but which ones? Also we thought a baseball game might be fun. Would that be in S.F.? Depending on dates, we thought we might take part in a fun run somewhere (e.g. the Golden Gate Bridge Vista 10K, if it is on again in August). Shopping we're not that interested in.
I'd also like to get an idea of how to divide our time — mostly we'll only have one day per town/site (aside from S.F.), but I guess we can stay longer in a couple of places.
I'm thinking of buying the Road Trip USA: Pacific Coast Highway book, or is there something better? From the previous road trip recs, I've already bookmarked roadsideamerica.com.
I'm excited about this trip already, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Maybe we can meet up for a drink; Big Country Little Car Tour II: The Minnesotaning is happening around that time. Watch TN for details.
In the meantime, visit the Safari West website and see what you think. Friends of mine got married there, and in addition to enjoying the lovely wedding, I had a really fantastic night's sleep in my cabin on stilts.
I'd also recommend the aquarium in Monterey (although I haven't gone in 15 years, so if it sucks now, somebody speak up in the comments). Yes, there's plenty of baseball in and around San Francisco; the Giants' park is really nice (and they've got a bunch of home games in early August). I haven't gone to an Oakland game, but they're on a road trip at that time — in Seattle, which I've heard has a nice park too. You can Google team names and "schedule" to see if there's anything you like — in L.A., you've got the Dodgers and Angels, too, so no doubt you can find some MLB to watch.
And the next time I head to San Fran, I plan to go on this.
My last piece of advice: layers. Fully three quarters of the scarves I own, I bought in S.F. in August.
Readers, it's time once again for you to plan a road trip. Keep it to three (3) suggestions each for ease of reading, please.
Tags: Alfred Hitchcock Ask The Readers r(o)ad trips rando travel