Family Vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite & Lake Tahoe

Every fall we start to brainstorm and plan for our big summer vacation!  We decided for this trip we wanted to see one of the national parks and Yosemite won out for us because we could combine it with Lake Tahoe, a place we’ve been wanting to go to as well as San Francisco, a place for our friends in Seattle to come meet us in for a few days.  As always, I will share our itinerary and photos here on my blog.  To look at our past trips click on these links:

Iceland/England/Wales      Rome/Sardinia/Corsica/Paris       Kauai       Paris/South of France/Barcelona

Day 1-3 San Francisco
We arrived around 1pm and were at our hotel on Lombard Street by 2:00.  After meeting up with our friends who flew in from Seattle, we walked down to the water for a late lunch and then explored Fisherman’s Wharf until we got to Pier 39 to see the seals 🙂  We walked back and took the Cable Car ride to Union Square for dinner before taking an Uber back to the hotel.  The next day was an epic walking day!  We logged in 10.55 miles!!  We basically walked everywhere. We went to Chinatown, up to the Coit Tower, back down to Russian Hill, then a long walk downtown before finally giving up and taking an Uber the rest of the way to the Mission.  The girls loved seeing the murals there on Balmy Alley! And then we walked to the famous Bi-Rite Creamery for amazing ice cream.  We then picked up our rental car which we would need for the rest of our vacation and used the car to drive to Baker Beach at sunset for awesome people-watching and views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  The next day we left the cold of the city to go to Muir Woods.  This was a great experience for all of us and on the way back we stopped in Sausalito for lunch at Fred’s Place.  YUM!

Day 4 Drive to Yosemite
We were ready to be warm again so this was a great time to head to Yosemite which ended up being an easy  3 1/2 hour drive.  As soon as we arrived at our resort, Rush Creek Lodge, we were so thrilled!!  I can’t recommend this place enough, especially for kids.  The pool and scenery are amazing and there is so much to do right at the resort like zip lining, shuffleboard, bocce, large game boards like Connect 4 and checkers, slides, hiking trails, big game room with tree-house, free s’mores every night.  After exploring the resort we took a quick drive down the road and did a super fun hike to Carlon Falls

Day 5 and 6 Yosemite
We went into the Valley both days and over the course of those 2 days we rented bikes and did the Valley loop, hiked up the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls (the highlight!!), hiked the lower Yosemite Falls trail, the Bridalveil trail and the trail to Mirror Lake. We really lucked out with the timing of our trip as the park reopened after being closed for 3 weeks the day we arrived.  So this meant very little crowds as many people cancelled their plans.  We didn’t smell smoke and the views were still amazing so we are very lucky that our trip was planned when it was and not a few days or week earlier.  The only things on our list that we missed out on were rafting (not enough water in the river) and Glacier Point (road was still closed due to the fire).  So hopefully we will return one day!

Day 7 Drive to Lake Tahoe
We went the more scenic route up to Lake Tahoe (about a 4 hour drive) which included stops at Toulumne meadows and the incredible Tenaya lake  We checked into our hotel at Resort at Sqaw Creek and immediately jumped in the pool with gorgeous mountain views and loved the water slide!

Day 8-10 Lake Tahoe
We packed a lot into our time at Lake Tahoe.  We rented bikes along the Truckee River, spent an entire day at Sand Harbor which was definitely a highlight!  The water was unreal- so crystal clear and gorgeous color.  Chris and the kids rented paddleboards while I took some photos 🙂  We also went to Kings Beach, played mini golf, shopped in Tahoe City and went to Emerald Bay (another highlight). We are already planning to return, possibly next summer and staying at a different part of the lake to explore even more.  

Day 11 Drive to San Francisco.
We spent the morning at the resort pool and got a late 1:30 check out and made our way back to San Francisco arriving around 5:00.  We hung out and had dinner at a friend’s house and then took a red-eye home to Newark.

As always I took hundreds of photos, so narrowing it down to just a few to share here is SO HARD!!!

Muir Woods

Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite

Zip lining at Rush Creek!

Yosemite highlights


Lake Tahoe Highlights


If you are planning a summer family vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite or Lake Tahoe, I’m happy to answer any questions or help in your planning so just leave me a comment!



Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Christie Adams Photography

Bergen County NJ baby children & family photographer