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Author Topic: san franciso and area - short trip  (Read 4341 times)
chris67
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« on: March 07, 2005, 08:29:50 AM »
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I spent Saturday at Point Reyes.  They don't let you drive up to the lighthouse this time of year -- you have to take the provided shuttle...  I got some great shots at the beach...
http://www.pbase.com/chris67/point_reyes

Beware of fog!

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howard smith
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 01:06:03 PM »
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Two of my favorite palces in the Bay area are Buca Giovanni resteurant at 800 Greenwich (at Columbus).  In formal and not expensive by SF standards, teh food is excellant and the service and atmosphere unbeatable.  They serve bread and oil/vinegar to dip it in before the meal.  Worth the trip alone.

The other is a great picnic place in Yosemite and a great photo spot that not many people get to see.  I've mentioned it before.  Park on the short piece of old abandoned road on the south side of Tioga Road just across from the May Lake parking area.  Walk cross country south toward Yosemite Valley and the view of Half Dome.  Very shortly (quarter mile or so) you will reach some open areas.  Enjoy.
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Khurram
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2005, 11:17:02 AM »
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Thanks Bill for the information about Yosemite view lodge.

Apperantly the only lodging in the valley are the canvess tents in curry village.  So, looks like my best option is going to be Yosemite view lodge
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Khurram
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2005, 10:13:23 PM »
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i'm planning a trip to san francisco in the last week of July/1st week of august.
Just wanted to get some advise in helping planning the trip.
I'm only going to have 8-9 days. †Is that enough time to see all of the following:

South of S.F.
Big Sur/Montery/Carmel/17 mile scenic drive - (3 or 4 days)

North of S.F.
Point Reyes/Wine Country - 1 day

Yosemite - (2 or 3 days)

Will need at least two days in san francisco to keep the wife happy. † †WHich brings me to a total of 9 days.

Is that too much to pack in for 9 days? †Haven't checked yet on how far yosemite is, is this going to be too much for 9 days?

I did make a trip to san francisco back in 98', but wasn't really there for photography, so i know that i could probably see all of these places, but is there enough time to get out at ideal lighting time at these locations in this short of a time period?
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2005, 06:02:47 AM »
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Lonely Planet publish a very useful book titled Coastal California.

Michael
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Khurram
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2005, 09:51:48 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback!
Iíll check out the book Michael. Is this more of a general tour guide,or is it more oriented towards photographers?

nice pics Chris.  i did make a brief trip to the bay area back in the winter of 98'.  Had 4 days, out of which it was pouring hard for 2 1/d days, so i'm hoping weather will be better in august.

Lisa, I generally like to fill as much of the day with photography as possible Ė mainly try shoot from dawn to around 3 hours after dawn, and then take a nap in the afternoon, before getting back to shooting from late afternoon till after sunset.  But, after getting married Iíve had to make some adjustments.  My wife doesnít share my enthusiasm for photography.

I leave about an hour from Banff, and my wife still canít understand my need to go to the same lakes over and over searching for the perfect lighting conditions.

So on this trip, Iím trying to leave two days just for sight seeing and shopping in SF.  Although Iíll probably still have the camera Ė just in case.

If it was up to me Iíd spend at least five days in Yosemite, but with another trip planned to the southwest in late September/early October (slot canyons/the wave, Grand tetons, moab), which will be more photo heavy, Iím trying to balance this trip with at least 30% non-photo related excursions.  That being said, will 2 or 3 days in the monerey/big sur be enough time to still get enough sunrise/sunset time?
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2005, 12:51:12 PM »
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If you're doing the whistle-stop tour then this is worth taking a look at for some photogenic inspiration if you aren't a local:

Photo Secrets of San Francisco and Northern California

If you go to Yosemite (which you MUST) then there are similar guides, I'd recommend the Michael Frye one. The main thing isn't to take the same cliche'd shots but if you're on a tight time scale it's useful to know where the photogenic places are to maximise your time. (Plus it doesn't' hurt to know how to get to the Cypress Tree, Yosemite Tunnel View, etc, etc, etc.)

The other plus is that you'll be able to impress the wife with your ability to find some of the best California scenery ...
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Graham
Khurram
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2005, 03:54:54 PM »
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like to thank everyone for the great advice!

I ordered the Photo Secrets of San Francisco and Northern California and the photgraphers guide to yosemite.
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AJSJones
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2005, 10:25:52 PM »
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Some great advice above.  Don't forget there are some limits on Yosemite access, although I don't think they've reached them often, so keep up with the accommodation reservations.  Your timing would be quite popular, I'd guess, so there is a possibility the in-park rooms might fill up some time ahead...

Andy
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2005, 11:36:48 AM »
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A few more comments on Yosemite lodging from someone who's been going about once a year for longer than I'd like to count up...

I'm not surprised there was nothing left in the valley other than tent cabins; when I go on a weekend in late spring and try to stay at the Lodge, I pretty much have to get reservations a year in advance.  Yosemite View Lodge in the town of El Portal, which someone else mentioned, is quite spiffy, but is quite expensive too.  There are numerous motels in the town of El Portal, and that's definitely the best place to stay if you can't get reservations inside the park; other towns outside the park are considerably farther from the valley.  Another nice one, if the Yosemite View is too expensive for your tastes, is the Cedar Lodge (run by the same people, I think???).

Just for the record, I'd disagree about Yosemite Lodge (the one in the park, not the motel in El Portal of very similar name discussed above) being a step down from a Motel 6.  It's possible some of the old cabin-type buildings might be, but the motel-style buildings are more Best Western class.  Definitely far better than Motel 6.  I'm happy with them.  I'll second the recommendation for the broiler restaurant at the Lodge; it's quite excellent.  Get there early during tourist season, though, as it gets very busy...

Lisa
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blangton
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2005, 10:54:56 AM »
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For Yosemite, I've stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge which is right outside the park in El Portal a couple of times. †

Yosemite View Lodge

It is pretty nice - rooms with jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, etc for a reasonable cost compared to lodging in the valley. †Your trip is prime season so you might save some if you book early. †

Lodging in the park (with the execption of the Ahwahnee) is pretty boring. †The Yosemite Lodge is a step down from a Motel 6...food's not bad though!

Good luck...glad to see you ordered the "Photo Secrets" book - covers all the spots you mentioned and is nicely detailed.

Have a great trip!

Bill
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Bill Langton (blangton@blangton.com) †ARS - KN6ER
Truckee, California
http://photography.blangton.com
Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2005, 11:22:21 PM »
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I'm a S.F. Bay Area local.  If you like busy, active, do-stuff-all-day vacations (like I do) then your times seem about right to me.  If you like to relax more, dig in, go slow, and really get the feel for a place, then it's too much in too little time.  Which are you?  Huh

Also, I'd reduce the the time around the Monterey Peninsula a bit (3 or even 2 days should be sufficient for the highlights) in order to increase the time in Yosemite a bit (at *least* 3 days for the latter, including travel time from the Bay Area).  Without too much traffic, driving time from the Bay Area to Yosemite Valley is about 3-1/2 hours (slight variations depending on exactly where you're starting from).  Pick your time carefully, though, or you could get stuck in traffic for a while.

I don't know what you're most bored of back home or what you're most excited by, but if it were me and I had only a couple of days in the Bay Area, I'd spend them in Yosemite.    It's just that gorgeous.  It all depends on personal taste, though.

My 2 cents...

Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2005, 11:27:35 AM »
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Quote
That being said, will 2 or 3 days in the monerey/big sur be enough time to still get enough sunrise/sunset time?

Not quite sure. †The weather there is variable, so that it's sometimes foggy around dawn and dusk and sometimes sunny, but once one pattern starts it tends to hang around for awhile, so an extra day or two probably won't make much difference. †The times I'm suggesting are assuming a mix of photography and just plain "playing tourist". †If it were me, I'd spend one day at Monterey and Pacific Grove (seeing the fantastic aquarium and then walking along the oceanfront paths - I imagine the latter would be good at sunset too) and one day down around Big Sur. †If you want multiple days to try to get optimum sunrises and sunsets, though, then you might need more. †It all depends on how you normally operate.

A photo from the oceanfront in Pacific Grove, to give you an idea of what it looks like:
picture

One other suggestion would be to add a day (or combine with the Point Reyes day for a quick look at both) to see Muir Woods, which is more or less on the way to Point Reyes. †If you haven't seen old-growth redwoods before, it's well worth it.

Lisa
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Khurram
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2005, 11:29:36 PM »
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Andy,
THanks for the heads up on getting my yosemite reservations booked early.
My tour books from amazon arn't going to be delivered for a couple of weeks.  Can anyone recommend a good place to stay that won't break the bank?

I did check out http://yosemitereservations.com, and was looking at checking availability of studio condos.  But ideally i want to have accomodations as close as possible to the better sunset/sunrise shooting locations.

THe site has a map that shoes accomodations near the visitor centre (also close to half dome and yosemite falls).  Is this the best location to stay?
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howard smith
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2005, 11:54:21 AM »
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The Mountain Broiler is very good.  I used to stop there right after the Curry Village showers after returning from hiking trips.  If you get there early, try to get a seat by the window.

On the way back to the Bay area from Yosemite, there at used to be a Columbian resteurant in Kathey's Valley.  Good food, cheap, fun and different.  Run by two brotehrs from Columbia.
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