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Roadtrip through CA in April - what to visit?

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Hi there,

This April me and my g-friend will go for a roundtrip through CA (we're from the Netherlands).

Unfortunately, by then the AMA Nationals haven't started yet, and the remaining Supercross rounds won't be near CA.

What other places might be interesting to visit? I'd like to visit some MX shops (I need a new helmet, etc.), maybe some company (I heard it is possible to visit ProCircuit), etc. Is there also an MX museum in CA? How can I find out if there are interesting local races somewhere?

Thanks for your input! :)

Frank.

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Aside from MX shops, etc, if you're road tripping through CA and are going to take your time, I'd suggest hitting the following:

- Hwy 1 from San Luis Obispo to Monterey. Amazing coastal highway.

- San Francisco - yes, it's the land of fruits and nuts, but it's a pretty neat city to visit

- Yosemite

- The giant sequioa's in Sequioa National Forest - they're just trees, but their age and size is mind-blowing

- The "Lost Coast" of northern CA

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Drive down Hwy 1 from Monterey to Cambria. It is one of the best drives in California. Before you start, do the 17 mile drive in Carmel. Also, the Montery Aquarium is nice. Hit up Hearst's Castle just before Cambria, well worth the visit.

Take a white water rafting trip on the American River near Placerville, or the Kern River east of Bakersfield. Once near LA, there is always Disneyland. If you want a big bike shop, go to Chaparral Cycle Supply in San Bernardino. It is huge, with just about anything you could want. The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park are very nice. I would advise you stay out of Mexico. The border towns are very violent and dangerous due to the drug trade. There are a bunch of tracks in SoCal you can visit just about any weekend. If you want to see a race, just pick up a Cycle News at any bike shop and it will list what is going on.

What else... The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Alcatraz Federal Prison (not in use) in San Francisco Bay, The Fisherman's Wharf area in San Francisco, the redwood forests in Northern California, Yosemite National Park, wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma counties just north of San Francisco. There is a bunch to see in California.

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where will your starting point be? I agree with the others on this site about SF and driving up highway 1. If you have a lot of time I'd drive from SF to Southern Cal on highway 1. You can hit, Santa Cruz, Capitola, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Barbara, ect... It's some of the worlds best scenery.

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Drive down Hwy 1 from Monterey to Cambria. It is one of the best drives in California. Before you start, do the 17 mile drive in Carmel. Also, the Montery Aquarium is nice. Hit up Hearst's Castle just before Cambria, well worth the visit.

Take a white water rafting trip on the American River near Placerville, or the Kern River east of Bakersfield. Once near LA, there is always Disneyland. If you want a big bike shop, go to Chaparral Cycle Supply in San Bernardino. It is huge, with just about anything you could want. The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park are very nice. I would advise you stay out of Mexico. The border towns are very violent and dangerous due to the drug trade. There are a bunch of tracks in SoCal you can visit just about any weekend. If you want to see a race, just pick up a Cycle News at any bike shop and it will list what is going on.

What else... The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Alcatraz Federal Prison (not in use) in San Francisco Bay, The Fisherman's Wharf area in San Francisco, the redwood forests in Northern California, Yosemite National Park, wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma counties just north of San Francisco. There is a bunch to see in California.

what he said

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It would help to know where you are flying in and out of and how long you will be here. But I completely agree with the other posters, San Francisco, 17 mile drive, Pacific Coast Highway down to So Cal. North of San Francisco on PCH is also great. The wine country is also good. Sierra's/Lake Tahoe, Yosimite. There is a lot here. As far as MX shops- Malcomb Smith in Riverside, Chapparall in San Bernardino, I am sure people will recommend others. I didn't know you could tour Pro Circuit.

Have fun.

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Forgot to mention Lake Tahoe. Awesome place. Once you're there, see if you can rent mountain bikes and ride one of the local ski resorts or the Flume Trail.

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Pro Circuit has a small retail store, but with a large collection of retired racing bikes. Last time I was there, there were a bunch of French guys taking pictures.

Corona, CA

Chaparral is probably the largest retail outlet for motorcycle stuff too. A lot of people hate Chaparral just to hate it, but it has pretty much everything.

San Bernardino, CA

Nearby is Glen Helen Raceway. There always seems to be some kind of racing going on there. Cool track anyway. http://www.glenhelen.com

---

Trip plans - I have relatives from the Netherlands and from what I know about Dutch people is you get all crazy about the desert. After visiting Pro Circuit and Chaparral, then head out east to Joshua Tree National Park. http://www.nps.gov/jotr/ Reserve a camping spot, because the cool places fill up. After that, take the GF to some cool hotel in Palm Springs and sit out by the pool.

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hit me up i am on the central coast right in the middle between san louis obispo and santa barbara

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Wow - thanks for the responses so far!! :)

I will look into everything which has been said.

Our itinerary will basically look like this:

- starting point Palo Alto (we have friends there)

- San Francisco

- Yosemite NP

- Death Valley NP

- Las Vegas (3 days)

- Grand Canyon & Bryce Canyon

- Los Angeles (approx. 5 days)

- Palo Alto

We have 3 weeks for this, and haven't filled in the days.

They only thing we have planned is Vegas for 3 days, and we'll probably stay around LA for 5 days.

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Last round of supercross is in Vegas May 2. Get tickets from private sellers day of. Great entertainment.

Death Valley is O.K., but dont skip the Central coast or Sierras for it.

For natural beauty, stay north of L.A. for touristy stuff L.A. is perfect.

High Sierra mountain passes will closed. ie. 120, 108, 4

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Oh yea, if I had to choose...

Grand Canyon #1

Zion #2

Bryce canyon a distant #3 (don't skip Zion for Bryce)

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I'd take Arches over either Zion or Bryce, but that's just me.

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Yeah I wouldn't put Zion that high on my list.

I would put Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, and Canyon de Chelle above Zion. Hiking in Brice is great, but April could be a bit early, depends on spring snows.

Another great trip is to go thru Death Valley (April is a good month) and then west on CA 190 & 136 to LaPine on US395 in the Owens Valley, that drive goes thru some high valleys that remind me of central AK (just smaller). Then north up US 395 thru the Owens Valley to Lake Tahoe.

My list reflects the fact that I like the less traveled high desert areas.

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To and from where? What bikes will you be riding?

I'm a fan of the high Sierra and NoCal, but there are a million things to see.

Take your time and see as much as you can. Even Reno (NV), if you make it that way. :) I got married there...and divorced 6 months later. Beautiful town.

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You can't go to Kalyfornia without driving through the sierra's. Especially highway 395 through the eastern sierras. The view from the ~4500' level of the highway to the 10,000+ elevation of the top of the mountains is quite spectacular. It almost seems vertical. Maybe you also check out far northern california and go bigfoot hunting! Yosemite is very scenic as well. As far as the scenery goes, California is a nice place.

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Hey guys, on a similar note is there any large motorcycle shops in the San Fransisco or Alemeda area? I will be traveling there next week and will have a day or so to wander around.

Thanks,

Corey

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