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Drive from LA to SFO or Fly from LA to SFO in December

Drive from LA to SFO or Fly from LA to SFO in December

Old Dec 6th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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I know you visited Newport & Laguna yesterday. My comments were meant to suggest that after all that driving to/from Venice beach & Santa Monica - it might be a letdown after Laguna Beach & Newport.

Did you rent a bike & ride it on the boardwalk next to the beach along the Newport Peninsula, from about 24th St past McFaddins Wharf/pier to the Balboa Pier, then from the Balboa Pier area (but inland a bit) on the ferry to Balboa Island, around the island, then back to the Balboa Pier on the ferry & continuing south o a regular car road to the Wedge - where the peninsula ends and the bay commects to the ocean? If the surf is good - the Wedge gets really large waves (for body surfing - not board surfing). Then back to McFaddins Wharf on the east side of the peninsula, next to the bay. My wife & I did this bike ride every Tuesday evening for over 1 1/2 years back in the early '70s (didn't go to Balboa Island in the evening, however).

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Tomorrow will be a better day. If your latest plan is to stay in the LA area one more day, why not go to Hollywood and do the seriously touristy things, as well as get on the hop on hop off bus?
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:34 PM
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Hello everyone,

Today my plan was to go to San Diego but unfortunately my husband had to work .. even though we are on vacation... anyways,,, since he worked until 2 pm today we left our hotel around 2:30 for San Diego. We took I-5 South and on the way we stopped at Oceanside. The lady at the California information center suggested that since its almost 3:30, its too late to go and visit places in San Diego and suggested that we can see Oceanside pier and Harbor. So we went to Oceanside pier and it was very nice weather, stayed there until 5 pm saw sunset and had dinner at Ruby's restraunt. After that we came back to our hotel in Santa ana and now I am thinking about my tomorrow's plan.

Tomorrow, we are planning to leave Santa ana and and drive taking the PCH route. Our plan is to drive from santa Ana, making pit stops and reach SFO. Can you please suggest which places are good to visit along the route and also if needed to stay overnight.

Stu - Since we are cancelling our trip to Lake Tahoe which will give us 2 more extra days. and anyways WE have to fly back home from Santa Ana so I was planning to do the bike ride as you suggested after we come back from our SFO trip.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 04:19 AM
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Just a thought on your trip to SF, if the weather is not clear and you really want to be in SF tonight, why not take the highway to SF and use the two extra days to drive down the coast road? You could spend a night in the Monterey area and another farther south near Hearst Castle, as well as visiting Big Sur, Point Lobos, Nuevo Ana State park, Julia Pfifer, etc. along the way.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 07:43 AM
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The weather is beautiful righ now in San Francisco, and I assume along the coast.

I would leave Santa Ana around 10 (to avoid the LA traffic) and try to high-tail it to San Simeon & stay overnight there. If there is still time left in the day, visit Hearst Castle. If not, visit it the next morning. Then slowly drive up the beautiful coast - stopping for pics & to admire the views along the way. If you have several days for this trip, I would stop in Big Sur - perhaps stay at the Big Sur Lodge. At the extreme south end of Big Sur, visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State park. If you can find Pfeiffer beach - visit it too.

Next morning head to Carmel. DO NOT MISS Pt Lobos at the south end of Carmel - directly on Hwy 1. Allow a couple of hours to explore it. Then spend 2 nights in Carmel & explore this quaint town & the surrounding area. Walk along the sidewalk next to Carmel Beach. Visit all the tourist stuff - aquarium in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Spanish Bay, etc.

Then, around 9AM the next day, head to San Francisco on 101 (not the Hwy 1).

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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More info:

In Big Sur, either have lunch or dinner at Nepenthe. It's an "institution" up here. We've been dining there almost annually for 40 years. Ambience & views are spectaculat - hasn't changed in 40 years. The food is only OK - but you don't go there for the food (Save your $$ for San Francisco dining). My wife always has the Ambrosia Burger & I have Lolly's Roast Chicken. Order a half-order of fries - enough for 4 people.

To get to San Francisco from carmel, only take 101 for part of the route. From Monterey, take Hwy 1 to Hwy 156 to Hwy 101. When you get near San Jose, take hwy 85 towards Sunnyvale, and before Sunnyvale, take the beautiful Hwy 280 towards San Francisco. Just after a scenic drive past the pretty coastal mountain range, you'll see more commerce as you aproach Daly City. Just past the Serremonte Blvd exit, look for a "branch", where the 19th ave exit is straignt ahead, and 280 veers to the right towards the Bay Bridge. Stay on 28o and it will merge with 101 & take you into the City downtown area (4th st exit). If you are staying near the Ferry bldg, stay on 280 instead of 101, get off where the freeway ends at King St, drive past AT&T park and the road will curge left and you will be driving on the beautiful Embarcadero - next to the bay.

Weather forecast calls for some showers in the San Simeon & Carmel areas till Friday, then the forecst is "mostly cloudy". Sat is sunny (however, our forecasts are only "bankable" for about 2 hrs into the future). You may consider driving along the coast (Carmel to San Simeon) on your way BACK to LA.

If you don't already know this, the coast from San Simeon to Carmel is one of the prettiest sections of coastline you are likely to see in your lifetime. We spend 2 months in Europe most years, & we have not found anything prettier there. Our closest friends have a house on the Maine coast - and I think our coast is prettier (certainly in December).

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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The weather is great in So Cal now, too bad you're leaving!

I recommend leaving the 101 Hwy, after you turn north from Santa Barbara, head for Lompoc either by Route 1 or Route 246 at Buelton/ Solvang. Some people like Solvang (I don't). Either drive is beatiful (don't speed, though!) If you like winetasting take Rte 246 and stop at Foley Estates. In Lompoc a nice restaurant is Sissy's Uptown Cafe (check their website and call, not sure what their hours are now).

When I do that drive I like to stop in San Luis Obispo and have lunch at "Big Sky Cafe". It's also a good overnight spot (about half way) or you can also do Morro Bay. Between SLO and Morro Bay is where you can decide to either to the Big Sur Hwy or switch back to Rt 101 if the weather is bad.

Then if you have a second overnight I like either Pacific Grove or Carmel (less crazy about Monterey).
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Stu -- we would make a yearly pilgrimage to Nepenthe as well, although I missed out the last two years. I may be one of the sorry few, but I LIKE the food at Nepenthe, especially the Ambrosia burger. Weather permitting, we'll be stopping there at the end of February, while on our yearly trek to Monterey.
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