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Going to CA in October


Scarlett
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30 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Fun!! October is a lovely month here. 

My only request was to see some of SF and the golden gate  bridge.  Dh wants me to see Alcatraz and Montery, and Cannery Row...And Santa Cruz beach.....I think that is the right  Santa...LOL  And SIL has some wineries on the list for wine tasting.. 

I can't wait.

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If you'll be there during Fleet Week (Oct 6th-8th) definitely watch the parade of ships and the Blue Angels air show. Rumor has it that the Navy manipulates the weather so that it never rains during Fleet Week. I don't know if that is even technologically feasible but I do have to say in all the years that I've spent in the S.F. Bay Area it indeed has never rained during Fleet Week.

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SF, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz is in the same region north of San Jose. Monterey, Cannery Row, Santa Cruz Beach Broadwalk is in the same region southwest of San Jose.  Wineries are everywhere. Parking in San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Cruz is costly.

Have fun. You might want to bring a sun hat and sunglasses, weather has been weird. Lots of lovely Missions (https://californiathroughmylens.com/california-missions) too in this area.

Are you flying into SJC or SFO? 

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2 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

SF, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz is in the same region north of San Jose. Monterey, Cannery Row, Santa Cruz Beach Broadwalk is in the same region southwest of San Jose.  Wineries are everywhere. Parking in San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Cruz is costly.

Have fun. You might want to bring a sun hat and sunglasses, weather has been weird. Lots of lovely Missions (https://californiathroughmylens.com/california-missions) too in this area.

Are you flying into SJC or SFO? 

SJC

I have been looking at maps trying to get places set in my mind.  

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6 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

If you'll be there during Fleet Week (Oct 6th-8th) definitely watch the parade of ships and the Blue Angels air show. Rumor has it that the Navy manipulates the weather so that it never rains during Fleet Week. I don't know if that is even technologically feasible but I do have to say in all the years that I've spent in the S.F. Bay Area it indeed has never rained during Fleet Week.

That is good to know and yes we will be there during that time.  Not sure if we will have time for the air show or parade but I am glad to know it will most likely be good weather.

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12 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

SJC

I have been looking at maps trying to get places set in my mind.  

 

Your plane might be flying over my home on the way to SJC ?

For the San Francisco area, these maps are useful to download. You can get free copies at SF. We find the  San Francisco map, Fisherman’s Wharf Map, Union Square map, Golden Gate Park map useful as we walk a lot and didn’t want to keep looking at our phone. https://baycityguide.com/maps/index.html

For Monterey

https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/montereycounty/Monterey_MapR_ChangesMade_2_7_17_Lo_1_23964b11-78c6-45c2-9deb-acc0a32547e4.pdf

https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/montereycounty/17_mile_dr_map_ce1646fb-8217-4741-b458-58aba0cca576.pdf

 

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October is the perfect time to visit! "Summer" is often too cold, and it's a shock for people who've visited from back East or places with a normal summer. (Like, today's HIGH in SF is 61º, while further inland – only an hour's drive – it is in the 80s.)

Just be careful during Fleet Week because traffic will be a BEAR. If you are planning to drive anywhere, getting in or out of the city (either Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge) will take hours longer than it should. And traffic within the city can be tricky, b/c the Columbus Day parade (oops, renamed the Italian Heritage Parade) (on Sunday) always coincides with Fleet Week and will snarl traffic within parts of the city (but is a lot of fun). Public transportation is the way to go within the city, though – BART trains, retro trolleys, buses, and of course you must ride the streetcars (oh, I see you put that as a "must"! Definitely!). Note that the trolleys are different from the streetcars. (I'll do another post – have to run now.)

Enjoy!!

ETA: I just saw that your SIL lives here. She will know about traffic! 

 

Edited by Laura in CA
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6 hours ago, Scarlett said:

That is good to know and yes we will be there during that time.  Not sure if we will have time for the air show or parade but I am glad to know it will most likely be good weather.

Be mindful of the traffic. If you want to go to the bridge, don't go the day of the air show.

Pro-tip: They rehearse the air show in the days before the real thing. You can catch various parts of the show just by being in the neighborhood a few days before. I once nearly pooped my pants because I was on the bridge when they were practicing this: 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Alcatraz is definitely on dh's 'to do ' list.  The first price we got was like $120 per person.  I was like, 'um no.'  Later one of his sisters who lives in CA showed him a place to get tickets for ferry ride and tour for $38.  That sounds more reasonable.   

There’s only one official vendor for the island, so anything else you are seeing is bogus. 

https://www.alcatrazcruises.com/

Edited by sassenach
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I've lived in CA on and off for 25+ years and thought Alcatraz was a "tourist trap." I finally went (at the urging of my son) a few years ago and loved it. The guides were awesome; the natural beauty is astounding (views of the city and the Golden Gate); the history is fascinating. I spent time out of the prison fray just sitting in a garden looking at the water, watching the ferries, container ships coming in from China under the Golden Gate Bridge, seagulls strutting around, a military plane flying low overhead, etc ... just lovely. We got the last boat off the island and it was so peaceful. Yes, there were lots of large tourist groups, but it's not a small island and I was able to poke around in peace.

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My dad's family has roots in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and I took the DC there two years ago to visit family landmarks and sight wee. We ate very, very well.

Muir Woods is extremely busy and now requires a bus ride, but I wanted mine to see the redwoods without having to go too far. In San Francisco we did all of the touristy things. More nostalgia for me, but I enjoyed the Japanese Garden in San Mateo. I remembered going there several times as a child with my grandparents and wanted to see it again. We also did some techy things in Silicon Valley, but I'm a geek.

Anyway, have a blast. Don't feel like you have to do it all.

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My SF recommendations are:

Legion of Honor Museum, Kirby Cove, Chinatown & Ghirardelli Square

Kirby Cove in particular is a big insider secret that I am going to let out of the bag (J/K)  You go past the Golden Gate, park, and take a little hike (about a mile but it is all downhill on the way; just don't think about how you are going to get back) it is a lovely pebbled beach (put flip flops in your bag; this is no place to go barefoot.) with a log swing that you sit on & swing out over the ocean.  The view looking back at the GG is stunning.  When you are ready to head back into SF you will go back over the GG.  

If you want to see the redwoods without the craziness of Muir Woods, go to Big Basin Redwoods.  Stop in Felton, and take one of the little steam trains either through the redwoods or all the way to Santa Cruz.

For beaches, I am not the biggest fan of Santa Cruz itself.  If you are a roller coaster/ amusement park person then the Boardwalk is cool.  If you are there for the beach then Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Sunset or Manresa are prettier, cleaner & less crowded.

Both Natural Bridges & Pacific Grove are butterfly sanctuaries for Monarch butterflies.  They stay over the winter & millions of them hang in thick clusters from the trees.

I wish we could do a WTM meet up.

This is what our beautiful Central Coast looks like:

Natural Bridges State Park

 

 

 

 

 

S&JBeach1.jpg

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