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Driving San Francisco to Palm Desert

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Sep 11th, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #1
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Driving San Francisco to Palm Desert

We willdrive to Palm Desert from SF 11/29 (the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend). Would like to spend one night in a relatively small or quaint town along the way. We don't want to go many miles out of our way. Any ideas?
Thanks,
PatLinn is offline  
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Sep 11th, 2008, 10:27 AM
  #2
 
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It's only a 7 hour drive if you go I-5 to I-10 and there isn't much along that route.

If you go down highway 1 there are a lot of choices since this route follow the coast. However, it takes nearly twice as long. If you go that route I would probably stay in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo.
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Sep 11th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Yikes. It seems like an endless drive to me. Are you sure you can't fly?

Hwy 5 for the quickest route. No place to stop, though. Sorry - I just see RBC said the same thing.
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Sep 11th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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I would take Hwy 101 which is somewhat scenic and not likely impacted by landslides (Hwy 1) or fog (I-5). Then you could stop somewhere between San Luis Obispo and Solvang, eg somewhere like the Ballard Inn.

If you want to bypass LA, take Hwy 126 from Ventura to I-5. From Sylmar you can take the Foothill Frwy (210) and skirt around the most congested part of LA.
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Sep 11th, 2008, 04:38 PM
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Thanksgiving weekend is a horrible time to do this drive. You don't want to take Hwy 101 or CA 1. Those routes will be filled with tourists and are much, much longer.

I-5 is the most direct, quickest and safest route (unless there's tule fog - check the weather report before heading out). If you leave early enough, you can have breakfast at Harris Ranch and then make it into Palm Desert in the early afternoon before it gets dark.

If you really must stop for the night, there's really not much until you are in Santa Clarita just before LA.

http://hotels.sixflags.com/2156_welcome.html
Supercilious is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Pat, United is showing a direct SFO to PSP flight on 11/29, $156.50 one-way or $252 round trip. It might be worth considering, given the time, gas cost etc. There really is not much to see between the two cities, if you go via I-5/I-10.
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Sep 12th, 2008, 09:46 AM
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However, if you go via Hwy 101, there is plenty to see. Even a little winetasting in "Sideways" country.

BTW, the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend is not a busy day for flying or driving. Sunday, if you leave before noon I think you will be okay. Once you get past LA you will be going against traffic.
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Sep 12th, 2008, 09:54 AM
  #8
dmlove
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I've driven back to SF from Palm Desert on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and driven down the Tuesday before, and no matter what time you leave, there is unbelieveable traffic getting past Los Angeles (area). Seriously, on that Sunday, it took us 3+ hours to get from San Bernardino to Santa Clarita. And on Tuesday, going down, it took even longer.
 
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Sep 12th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Yes because on Sunday you were going in the opposite direction as the OP. People coming back into town from the desert and Las Vegas. They'll be going the opposite way, so once they are past LA they will be done with it.
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