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Thread: Coming to California first time

  1. #31
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    From a tourist perspective, there are options for getting around SF. You can take the Cable Car to/from the Wharf - this is always a popular 'to do'. And one of the Cable Car lines goes right by Lombard Street. Just like any other tourist spot during the summer, traffic, pedestrians, parking, etc. is all the same - crowded. Or you can take a taxi.

    Just like SF and any other major US city, you have the financial hubs, tech centers, shopping, good & bad areas. But it sounds like you want to see the place where the Stars live and play. Any tourist book will list want you're interested in.

    Hollywood area.
    Nokia Theater - where all the stars gather for the blockbuster movie premiers.
    West Hollywood - restaurants, stores, etc. - owned by and where you can potentially see a star.
    Rodeo Drive - expensive shopping, expensive cars cruising around.
    Malibu - where a lot of the big names live.
    Highway 1 - ride by all the famous beaches from Malibu to OC. You never know who is in that hot red convertible driving by

    Just for fun, you can go into one of the big department stores and play "dress up". Put on that surfer shorts and shirt, take a picture. The ladies can dress up, take a picture. Then put the clothes on the 'restock / put back racks'. Now these pictures are the fun ones that you can show all your friends and family back East and tell stories about

    Enjoy your vacation out West
    Thanks, Stan
    2004 GL1800 Flare Red ABS
    2002 GL1800 Pearl Yellow no-ABS, RIP (4/11/11)

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  3. #32
    Seasoned Member White Fang's Avatar
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    San Francisco has a great transportation system. When we went in 06 we parked our bike and never got back on it until we left for the Sierra's. Go on line and look up the MINI http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mhome/home50.htm. Pick a place to stay that's close to one of their lines. We stayed at the Ocean View Motel on Judah street (C-) but it was at the turn-around for the train. See the Wharf, china town, Lombard St, and you have to ride the trolly, too many things to do.

    When you get to LA stay st the beach, Santa Monica pier or somewhere around there. Drop your trailer at the motel and you're only about 15 minutes from Hollywood. Don't forget to have a hotdog at Pinks. The line will be two blocks long at noon but it moves fast. A good stop is Venice Beach (Muscle Beach). Saw the funniest skit I've ever seen there. A man juggling chain saws.

    Look on your map and you will see that I-10 ends down by the Santa Monica pier and that is the highway to be on when you leave LA.

    Enjoy yout trip and have fun. California is a great state for motorcyclists!
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  4. #33
    Contributing Member Hot Wing's Avatar
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    eam5150


    after coming down Hwy 99 from Sequoia take Hwy 2 near La Canada (north of Pasadena). It will take you some of the best mountain roads the LA area has to offer.



    +1 Angeles Forest / 14 FWY is right out my front door. You will amazed by the 10,000 ft pine forest in Los Angeles.





  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. J. Max View Post
    Thanks to all for your advice and tips. I have, after giving it due consideration, decided to vacation somewhere safe this summer. Like maybe Detroit or the Bronx. Seriously, thank a;; of you for your comments and warnings...We will heed your advise, steer clear of LA all together and ride through San Francisco merely to get back on Highway one. The Redwoods are on the agenda as well as Lake Tahoe and Yosemite...Thank you all...If you ever plan a trip to Tennessee, give me a holler and I'll return the favor...

    Ride straight.
    I live in the SF Bay Area, just N. of the Golden Gate Bridege and ride into SF often on my wing. If you stay along the warf area you will have no issues with hills. One can cruise along the warf and even down Market St and no be worried about hills. True, if you chose to cross from the main downtown area to some of the neighborhood you will endure some very steep hills and not enjoy it on a bike or car for that matter. Enjoy the city as you wish.. there is parking albiet in parking garges that will cost you but your bike wont be bother, particularly during the day.

    If you have the time ride as much of Hiway 1 as you can. The route is beautiful and you really get the flavor of how big this state is. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Yosemite National Park is a must see. The biggest damn trees you will ever see and some wonderful sites to see. If you have the time to ride North of SF, Hiway 1 is just as wonderful with a more rough coastline. The road twists and turns right along the coast for most of it. Again.. if time permits, Lake Tahoe and area are wonderful. Access via some wonderful roads or via Highway 80 or Highway 50.. both high speed roads with nice scenery. Take a ride around the Lake and just kick back and be amazed.

    Ok, I'm biased but I dont think you will find a state with as diverse roads and sites to visit and see. I say that having ridden through much of the US though I have not ridden every state yet. I look forward to doing so though. If you have any questions, feel comforatable in sending me a PM and I will give you some more suggestions or answer what questions you might have.

    One last point, as for carrying.. I wouldnt in California. The laws here just arent favorable to carrying.

    Take care and whatever you decide be safe and enjoy!!!!!
    2004 Titanium GL1800
    Yamaha VStar 1300 Tourer

  6. #35
    Seasoned Member kwthom's Avatar
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    As a former resident of the Republic of California (...and frequent visitor...), I've just now seen this thread.

    The Tourism & Visitors center really doesn't want some of you guys to comment too much more...

    So, now that the OP has probably sworn off coming to the Golden State...if I may, let me spin this a couple of ways.

    * Those who mentioned riding abilities & the city streets - especially in SF - yeah, it's a challenge. I mean, what's the big deal about stopping on a ~20% grade for a stop sign?? Much like a lot of other skills, practice & confidence in your riding ability helps this one out. I've been int he city a couple of times - once with & once without the trailer. Obviously a bit easier without the trailer...but, for me, not that bad.

    * The first ride up the coast in 2008 started in Santa Monica & went north from there. Knowing about the Big Basin Redwoods area, I planned an extra day in the region, wandering around much of the peninsula region...there are some spectacular motorcycle roads within a very short ride for a LOT of people. That ride had to end in the Eureka area to give us time to get back home...next ride!

    * CCW - no comment

    * CA-1 is nice, yet there are so many other roads to ride... See pashnit.com for details if you're really interested in finding some gems out on the left coast.

    * Hollyweird - As I mentioned before, I've been there many times. In fact, our honeymoon back in '82 was a short, self-directed tour of many of SoCal's finer establishments. One of which was some un-remembered dirt-bag motel in the Studio City area, right along one of the freeways. I made up for that by taking my bride over toward Anaheim the next day to visit my "in-laws" there at the intersection of Katella & Harbor

    Needless to state, but I will anyway. Any place is what you make of it...really.
    Last edited by kwthom; 04-17-2012 at 07:16 AM.

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  7. #36
    Seasoned Member Jchefboyardee's Avatar
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    Good info! We'll be out there in late September and early October.
    #289 on the DARKSIDE If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O' Donnell fat!

  8. #37
    Seasoned Member kwthom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jchefboyardee View Post
    Good info! We'll be out there in late September and early October.
    Probably the perfect time of year to be there; you'll enjoy it!!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

    ● DS #512 ● "Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption 1994ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ


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  9. #38
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    We come for the first time to USA and of course in California from 3rd to 23rd August 2014. We make a "classic" trip (by car) from LA to San Francisco via Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Zion etc....
    I'm sure we will enjoy all these places and for the moment I read all Californian posts....
    http://www.bidouilles-on-my-wing.fr/gb_index.html

    Les conneries c'est comme les impôts. On fini toujours par les payer.

  10. #39
    Seasoned Member Texas T's Avatar
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    Micris, put a post in the Arizona sub-forum if you have any questions about places to go when you visit Arizona next year and we'll be happy to assist you.

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