Q. Amelia M. of Van Nuys, California writes: My family of four, including myself, my 73-year-old mother and two sons (ages 11 and 22) want to drive the PCH from Southern California, and visit Yosemite. We need help with an itinerary, lodging, and suggestions for what to do. We love swimming and watersports, touring and visiting interesting places.
A – Thanks for your request for trip planning assistance. The Yosemite area is beautiful and it seems like a great choice for your multi-generational road trip, although going up the coast, east to Yosemite and back down to the Van Nuys region will add up to more than 1200 miles of driving.
Fortunately, it sounds like your 22-year-old may be old enough to assist with the driving, and the 11-year-old is at a good age to enjoy being with an older sibling and a grandma. I wanted to share some of the stories we already have on the FTF website about this region, so that you can refine your request.
To start, take a look at a recent Trip Plan request with a similar itinerary by "Custom Itinerary – Pacific Coast Road Trip."
Another FTF writer took her parents and kids to the California coast near San Francisco and wrote about it in "North Coast Reunion," so you may want to search for that title as well. I think you'll find single mom Martha Bissell's Account, "Pacific Family Road Trip" to be very helpful, too, as her family found many fun places to stay en route.
The FTF guide to "Yosemite National Park" lists several hotel options for that area, and the Tenaya Lodge (reviewed in that story) often has good family rates and lots of activities with naturalists who visit the property. You should book ahead for this visit as you're traveling during a very popular season, and to an area that analysts forecast will have bigger crowds than ever. But if you're staying near the park, you can avoid the crowds by early morning or late day hikes, and taking the longer trails, which day visitors usually never attempt to hike.
We hope this gives you enough material to start with, and look forward to helping you with more specifics once you've narrowed down your itinerary. Please stay in touch and let us know how the planning is going.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.