Oh, wow my old stomping grounds! If you are going thru Death Valley, Owens valley mono lake and then up through the mt pass into yosemite- those alpine lakes are heaven! Yosemite is worth the crowds! Dietjen's big sur inn- You probably would pass it up it's a great local treasure-great food! Dont miss Big Sur, or Point Lobos national preserve ...my opinion of best places Grand Canyon,in the river, yosemite high country,Point Lobos and Tobago (well you wont be going there this time!). Monterey Bay aquarium- we were members for the first 7 years-what a place to hang out. Mt Shasta, the mountain, not the lake. there's a great campground on a little lake looking straight at Mt. Shasta, incredible. Dont miss when the sacramento river comes gushing out at the bottom of the MT. in a little city park in mt shasta- but then there's Route 1 and the Redwoods, the oregon coast line is georgous The San Juan Islands, drool....If you get into Victoria.... stop at murchie's (murchison's tea shop) there's a campground above victoria, and beautiful gardens... drool.. I lived in Berkeley up by the rose garden, Chez Panisse is down the hill where new california cuisine was made. Then 14 years in the Santa Cruz Mt.s above Monterey Bay. It sounds like a wonderful trip. drool...drool... Enjoy! suz P.S. make sure the east entrance to yosemite is open I remember camping in snow on May 15th.