California Trip Planning

Discussion created by jakeal on Nov 2, 2014
Latest reply on Jan 14, 2015 by ks77

I am planning a March trip to California and as I am getting ready to finalize arrangements I have a few questions for my fellow Insiders.   I have read some great suggestions on previous posts from erc, pluto77, misterchk, sg1974, californian, painedplatinum, iahflyr, jerrycoin and many others. It is a shame that @anadyr is not active on MRI - I know he had many good California recommendations.


I look forward to hearing thoughts from many members of the MRI community, not just those I tagged above.


Let me share the tentative itinerary: Day 1 - 3 San Francisco; Day 4 - Sonoma / Napa / Russian River breweries and wineries; Day 5 - Monterey / Carmel; Day 6 - PCH; Day 7 - LA, Reagan Library; Day 8 - LA Beach areas; Day 9 -  13 - Palm Springs


San Francisco


Marriott Fisherman's Wharf vs. Marriott Union Station - I have seen iahflyr's nice write up about Marriott FW, but would be interested in hearing any other thoughts pro or con for these properties?


Breweries and Wineries


Mrs. Jakeal is not a big fan of dry wine.  Is Napa / Sonoma worth visiting?  We are already planning to be north of San Fran visiting the following breweries: Bear Republic (Healdsburg), Russian River (Santa Rosa), and Lagunitas (Petaluma).  Would the wineries in the Russian River area be better for sweet wine options?  Are Napa / Sonoma downtown worth walking around? Would it be worth finding time to fit in wineries in the Paso Robles area in Southern Cal?


erc, any other breweries you would recommend between San Fran and LA?


Pacific Coast Highway


I know pluto77 has offered lots of feedback on this topic previously.  About how long does the ride from Carmel to Morro Bay take with a stop at the Hearst Castle?  Any recommendations for a lunch stop along the PCH?


Los Angeles and suburbs


I know frogs recently took a trip to the Reagan Library. How much time should be allowed for a visit at the Reagan library?  What about how much time for a trip to Universal or Warner Brothers Studios?


Palm Springs or San Diego


Looking to end the trip with five nights relaxing in Palm Springs.  Trying to decide between Palm Desert Resorts | Palm Desert Hotels | JW Marriott Desert Springs and the soon to open Triada Palm Springs, Autograph Collection: Palm Springs Unique Hotels.  Any thoughts?  Has anyone heard or know anything about the new Autograph property? 


A few other questions: Is it difficult to get from the JW in Palm Desert to Palm Springs without a car or is it necessary to have a car in the Palm Springs area?


Thanks in advance for all the valuable suggestions I know fellow Insiders will have.