Traveling to California coast - What to wear??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family (me, DH, DS1 and DS2 (who will be 6 and 4 respectively)) will be going to California the first week of September. We will fly in to San Francisco and drive up the coast to Trinidad / Arcata area for B-I-L's wedding. We may spend a day or so in San Fran, but we will have 3-5 days to do the drive and we will be stopping to hike, picnic etc as we want b/c what I really want to see and do is all in nature (rather than the city :).

 

I have not ever been to CA, but have been to the Oregon coast. Problem is, I have no idea what to pack (and it will have to be somewhat minimalist to avoid each of us checking a bag!!!!) other than what I will be wearing to the wedding!!!

 

Anyone who's either from or been to that part of CA have any advice on 1) appropriate clothing for that area for that time of year and 2) any fantastic (not necessarily "touristy") stops to make that a couple of young boys would also enjoy?!?!?!

 

Thanks :)


: currently not vaxing. love.gif Wife to awesome DH 10 yrs; Mama to DS1 8/06 and DS2 4/08; ribbonteal.gif for my mom who's 5 yr post, my grama who died of ovarian cancer 31 yrs ago
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#2 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I LOVE Humboldt! I used to live there for many years, but alas, I couldn't afford it anymore :(

 

September is the best weather for the northcoast and it could definitely be shorts & t-shirt weather for sure. But, it can also be very cold and rainy, that's just what that area is like. I'd bring jeans/pants and shorts and tops for layering: t-shirts, long sleeved shirt, hoodie or light jacket. Also, bring both sandals and regular shoes. Prepare for rain as well, depending on how your family reacts to rain. Would you still be down to go on a hike if it is raining? If so, bring rain jackets or ponchos. If not, don't worry about it.  It's a very very casual area, so you'd be "dressed-up" if you are wearing khakies or a dress.

 

Are you going up Hwy 101? If so, definitely take the Avenue of the Giants scenic drive, it is breathtaking. Stop at some of the beaches in Humboldt like Clam Beach near the Arcata airport, or the beach by the Klamath River in Crescent City. There's a touristy spot called the Trees of Mystery near Crescent City that is actually a great place to visit. It has a giant statue of Paul Bunyon and his blue ox out front, you can't miss it. Regardless of your own sense of humor, I can assume that your boys will think it's hilarious to take a pic next to the blue ox, which is anatomically correct. :)

 

Patrick's Point State Park is a beautiful park that has easy hikes and gorgeous views, even if the weather is bad. That's where I got married!  It's really accessible and well taken care of. I love Agate beach at the park.

 

The Farmer's Market in Arcata is totally a sight to see. At that time of year it is chock full of goodies, and it's also an amazing people watching location.

 

Have fun, it's a great place!
 


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#3 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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I second, pack for chilly evenings. Nearly frozen during the 4th fireworks in SF.

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#4 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chel View Post

I second, pack for chilly evenings. Nearly frozen during the 4th fireworks in SF.

 

LOL!!  Sorry, but the natives have a saying... You can always tell the tourists in the city from the people who live here.  They're the ones wearing the tourist sweatshirts/jackets over their shorts and short sleeves.  cold.gif

 

It gets cool/cold at night year-round.  There might be a handful of days/year when it's hot after dark, and that's during heat waves and low pressure zones, when there's no air movement. 

 

September is actually the hot season here, Indian Summer.  DS' first bday party (mid-September) was something like the hottest day of the year (the frosting melted right off his cake).  But any time you come to N. CA, particularly the coastal areas, it's a good idea to pack/dress/think in layers.  Bring shorts and tees, but also have jeans and a sweatshirt (or windbreaker) on hand.  And even on days that are going to be hot, the morning may be bitterly cold until the fog burns off.  If you're going to be hiking in the redwoods, the temp is typically 10 degrees cooler just because of the shade under the trees.  If you're at the coast, and there's little to no wind, it's gonna be beautiful, but the wind could be anywhere from gentle breeze to staggering. 

 

If you're coming from an area with snow, it's not that cold.  But it might drop to high 50s at that time of year (at night), it rarely gets lower.  During the day, expect anything from lows of 65 up to highs could be pushing 100.  And you'll definitely have some climate change as you head north.  The further north you go, the colder it gets, and the more exposed the coastline, the windier it gets.  In the SF area, it's fairly protected because of the bay, but once you get up to the Humboldt area, the coast starts getting more exposed, more rugged and colder - although it can still get hot in areas.  We did that drive at Xmas this year, and there was a noticeable difference in the severity of weather as we moved north. 

 

Basically though, there's no predicting what the weather is going to be like.  Be prepared for both heat and rain.  You won't have any idea until the week before what it's liable to be. 


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#5 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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Yes, September should be nice an summery. BUT it is the Bay Area, so you never can tell.


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#6 of 7 Old 05-15-2012, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input ladies!! We spent last summer July 4th in Seaside OR (F-i-L lives there) and I was FREEZING sitting on the beach in jeans, a jacket, gloves and a scarf wrapped around my head.....BUT we were coming from KS (where we live) and were having daily record breaking heat ;)   So, I was basically thinking the CA coast might be quite a bit like Seaside, OR....maybe a bit less chilly?!?!

 

I was pretty hesitant at first to go on this trip (b/c it costs ALOT of $$$$ for us to fly out there for only 10 or so days!!!), but am becoming more and more excited!!! Oh, it is NOT that I don't want to see the coast - the Redwoods in particular - I just would have liked to be able to do so in a more leisurely way :) But, at least this way, we'll get to see family too!


: currently not vaxing. love.gif Wife to awesome DH 10 yrs; Mama to DS1 8/06 and DS2 4/08; ribbonteal.gif for my mom who's 5 yr post, my grama who died of ovarian cancer 31 yrs ago
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#7 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 12:29 AM
 
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September is a great time to visit the coast of N. CA!  I always tell people, skip coming in the summer and visit in the fall:  That's when the weather is by far the best.  I agree with everyone else that dressing in layers is the way to go.  You never can tell for sure what the weather will be like, and even a sunny, warm day can drop many degrees if the fog rolls in.  There's something about that fog (and the cold wind that comes with it) that chills you right to the bone.  I'd pack a pair or two of shorts, long pants, t-shirts and hoodies/fleeces--and always have those with you or in the car.

 

Enjoy your trip!

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