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To help you plan your trip, below are recommended travel itineraries that ensure you won't miss a thing! Select the four-day San Francisco Bay Loop Route, or the four-day route from Southern California. If you are time-strapped, you can also review our suggestions for one-day excursions from San Francisco.


Four Day San Francisco Bay-Peninsula Loop Route

There is no better way to start the day than watching the ferries and sailboats on the bay while strolling along Fisherman's Wharf.

Then go tickle your taste buds with some of the typical San Francisco clam chowder or other delicious food at one of the many other delicious eateries along the Wharf.

When you're done with lunch and exploring the many unique sights, sounds, smells and people of Fisherman's Wharf, spend the rest of the day strolling, shopping, and eating your way through the many diverse neighborhoods exclusive to San Francisco! Shop at Union Square, visit Golden Gate Park, hop on a cable car, take in a museum.

Overnight in San Francisco


Today is the day to leave the confines of the City behind and go exploring! Depart San Francisco by auto via Highway280 South. This beautiful route takes you along the San Andreas fault-line paralleling Crystal Springs Reservoir and the Santa Cruz mountain range to the west. Stop along the way for some spectacular views.

Continuing south, this route will take you past Palo Alto, home to Stanford University and many leading Silicon Valley tech companies. Soon you'll enter Silicon Valley proper and exit at Winchester Blvd, the northern edge of the city of San Jose. Make two left turns off the freeway ramp onto Winchester Blvd. Go approximately 100 yards and on the left you'll find the Winchester Mystery House, the first stop on your excursion.

Spend the morning exploring this 160-room, reportedly haunted mansion built by the eccentric Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune. The enormous house includes staircases leading into walls, doors that open to nowhere, and other mysterious features. (Find out more at www.winchestermysteryhouse.com or 408. 247.2101)

Ready for a different sort of adventure that will excite all your senses? From The Winchester Mystery House, head over to California's Great America for an afternoon that will leave you screaming for more.

Head south on South Winchester Blvd toward Charles Cali Drive. Make a U- turn at Tisch Way. Turn right at Stevens Creek Blvd. Take the ramp to I-880 North. Take exit 4C to merge onto US-101 N toward San Francisco. Exit onto Great America Parkway.

California's Great America features live stage productions and the most thrill rides in Northern California. It's the only place in the Bay Area where kids can play with their favorite Snoopy friends and the only water park within a theme park - Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay. (Find out more at www.cagreatamerica.com or 408.988.1776)

Overnight in San Jose

Enjoy the fresh air and scenic drive as you head south on I-880 (Hwy 17) towards the Santa Cruz Mountains and magnificent Redwood Trees. After crossing the summit, take the Mt. Hermon Rd. exit approximately 3 miles to Graham Hill Rd. and go left. About 1/2 mile down the road on the right is Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroads, a trip back in time.

See California's towering redwoods from two historic railroads. Ride a steam train up a narrow-gauge track to Bear Mountain or take the Beach train down the scenic San Lorenzo River to the sunny beaches of Santa Cruz. (Find out more at www.roaringcamp.com or 831.335.4484)

Upon exiting Roaring Camp, turn right onto Graham Hill Rd. for a "back roads" view of the mountains on the way to Santa Cruz. Enjoy this scenic six miles through the mountains as Graham Hill Road bends to the right and becomes Ocean Street. Take a leisurely walk along the water or discover the other many hidden treasures of Santa Cruz for the afternoon.

Overnight in Santa Cruz

Take Highway 1 South to CA-183/Castroville Road through Castroville. CA-183 becomes Market Street in Salinas. Turn right onto Salinas Street and left onto Central Avenue and you'll arrive at the National Steinbeck Center. Located in the heart of historic Oldtown Salinas the National Steinbeck Center is dedicated to Salinas' native son- Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck. The National Steinbeck Center is the largest literary museum in the United States and offers dynamic opportunities to explore literature, history, agriculture and art. Discover the John Steinbeck Exhibition Hall where literature jumps off the page and into the imagination. Art and cultural galleries offer a variety of changing exhibitions. Open daily from 10am-5pm. (Find out more at www.steinbeck.org or (831) 775-4721)

After your visit to the National Steinbeck Center, then head north on Highway 1 via CA-183 to Watsonville. When in Watsonville, be sure to stop at the roadside farm markets for some locally grown produce before heading over Hecker Pass to Gilroy Gardens. You will never forget the views from the drive over the mountain pass at Mt. Madonna on the way there.

Gilroy Gardens is California's only agricultural theme park! Enjoy the over 40 rides, gardens, educational exhibits and attractions the park has to offer.

This horticultural wonderland is home of six majestic gardens including Monarch Garden, a 6-story-tall green house. Children of all ages will enjoy the collection of horticultural and historically themed rides throughout the park. Plus, Gilroy Gardens' interactive educational Honey Bees, Big Trees, and Butterfly exhibits will inspire appreciation and love of nature from even the stuffiest city slicker. (Find out more at www.gilroygardens.org or 408.840.7100)




Four Day Traveling From Southern California Route


Driving up the Coast Highway (Route 1) follow Hwy 1 to CA-183/Castroville Road through Castroville. CA-183 becomes Market Street in Salinas. Turn right onto Salinas Street and left onto Central Avenue and you'll arrive at the National Steinbeck Center. Located in the heart of historic Oldtown Salinas the National Steinbeck Center is dedicated to Salinas' native son- Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck. The National Steinbeck Center is the largest literary museum in the United States and offers dynamic opportunities to explore literature, history, agriculture and art. Discover the John Steinbeck Exhibition Hall where literature jumps off the page and into the imagination. Art and cultural galleries offer a variety of changing exhibitions. Open daily from 10am-5pm. (Find out more at www.steinbeck.org or (831) 775-4721)

After your visit to the National Steinbeck Center, then head north on Highway 1 via CA-183 to Watsonville. When in Watsonville, be sure to stop at the roadside farm markets for some locally grown produce before heading over Hecker Pass to Gilroy Gardens. You will never forget the views from the drive over the mountain pass at Mt. Madonna on the way there.

Soon you'll arrive at Gilroy Gardens, California's only agricultural theme park! Enjoy the over 40 rides, gardens, educational exhibits and attractions the park has to offer. This horticultural wonderland is home of six majestic gardens including Monarch Garden, a 6-story-tall green house.

Children of all ages will enjoy the collection of horticultural and historically themed rides throughout the park. Plus, Gilroy Gardens' interactive educational Honey Bees, Big Trees, and Butterfly exhibits will inspire appreciation and love of nature even from the stuffiest city slicker. (Find out more at www.gilroygardens.org or 408.840.7100)

Overnight in Santa Cruz

It's off to the mountains! Depart Santa Cruz via Hwy 17 through the picturesque Santa Cruz Mountains. Take the Mt. Hermon Rd. exit and follow the signs to Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroads, a trip back in time.

See California's towering redwoods from two historic railroads! Ride a steam train up a narrow-gauge track to Bear Mountain or take the Beach train down the scenic San Lorenzo River to the sunny beaches of Santa Cruz. (Find out more at www.roaringcamp.com or 831.335.4484)

Overnight in San Jose


Spend the morning exploring the infamous and unforgettable Winchester Mystery House! This 160-room, reportedly haunted mansion, was built by the eccentric Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune. The enormous house includes staircases leading into walls, doors that open to nowhere, and other mysterious features. (Find out more at www.winchestermysteryhouse.com or 408. 247.2101)

Ready for a different sort of adventure that will excite all your senses? From The Winchester Mystery House, head over to Paramount's Great America for an afternoon that will leave you screaming for more.

California's Great America features live stage productions and the most thrill rides in Northern California. It's the only place in the Bay Area where kids can play with their favorite Snoppy friends and the only water park within a theme park - Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay.

Just head south on South Winchester Blvd toward Charles Cali Drive. Make a U-turn at Tisch Way. Turn right at Stevens Creek Blvd. Take the ramp to I- 880 North. Take exit 4C to merge onto US-101 N toward San Francisco. Exit onto Great America Parkway. (Find out more at www.cagreatamerica.com or 408.988.1776)

Overnight in San Jose


Get an early start to your day and get ready for beautiful San Francisco!

Head north on I-101 to San Francisco. Drop off your car at your hotel and catch a short cab ride to Fisherman's Wharf. There is no better way to start the day than watching the ferries and sailboats on the bay while strolling along Fisherman's Wharf.

Then go tickle your taste buds with some of the typical San Francisco clam chowder or other delicious food at one of the many other delicious eateries along the Wharf.

When you're done with lunch and exploring the many unique sights, sounds, smells and people of Fisherman's Wharf, spend the rest of the day strolling, shopping, and eating your way through the many diverse neighborhoods exclusive to San Francisco! Shop at Union Square, visit Golden Gate Park, hop on a cable car, take in a museum.


Overnight in San Francisco

We suggest the following One-Day Excursions from San Francisco

• Get Physical Combo: The Winchester Mystery House and California's Great America
• Nature Lovers Combo: Roaring Camp Railroads and Gilroy Gardens


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

RICK LENAT
rlenat@earthlink.net




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