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Driving the California Coast from LA to San Francisco

Driving the California Coast from LA to San Francisco

Jul 11th, 2006, 09:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Driving the California Coast from LA to San Francisco

My husband and I will be in LA for business in mid Sept. and then would like to take a driving trip along the coast to San Francisco. We will leave LA on a Wed and then fly out of San Francisco the following Tues. We have rented a convertable for our drive. We were thinking of being in San Francisco from Sat.-Tues. I would love any suggestions on where to stay along the way and in San Francisco. We love to hike, bike, walk by the ocean, and see beautiful sites.
Jul 11th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,379
Er, don't take this wrong, but this topic is discussed on this Forum daily. There are hundreds of posts on this very activity, with thousands of responses.

There's a little Search function that can work wonders with the right inputs. Click in the little box and type words like "coast" "drive" "Highway 1", choose "California" as a topic and then click on "Search". You'll have so much excellent information to read, your head will swim.

Start there, then come back with specific questions.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jul 11th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
September should be great convertible weather - generally sunny without as much coastal fog as earlier in the summer.

You are planning to leave LA on Wed and want to be in SF on Sat - so 3 nights on the road.

I would do something like this:

Wed: Head up the coast, stopping in Santa Barbara for a little while and then stay the first night in Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, or Cambria - depending on your interests. Plan to get there early afternoon so you have some time to explore.

Thu: Drive north through the Big Sur coast, stopping often to enjoy the views and do some hiking. If Hearst Castle interests you, it is only about a half hour north of Cambria. Stay in Monterey, Pacific Grove, or Carmel.

Fri: Explore Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, stay over a 2nd night.

Sat: Drive to SF - this is only about 2.5 hours straight through, but there are a lot of places to stop along the way - redwoods, Santa Cruz, Capitola, beaches along the San Mateo coast, and so on. I would make a day of the drive and plan to arrive in SF about dinner time.

Then spend Sun and Mon in SF and fly home on Tue.

J_Correa is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 04:39 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Don't know say what your budget is, but one of our perennial favorites is Ventana Inn just outside Big Sur. Words don't do it justice. Fantastic views. Great staff. Excellent restaurant. Close to beaches and hiking. Complimentary wine tasting in evening before a fireplace overlooking Pacific... Worth a trip in itself.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 04:40 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Try "You don't say what your budget is.." Fingers not working today.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I have been doing alot of reading!!!
My husband's meetings are in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in LA and probably will not be finished until 3pm on Wed. We want to head up the coast Wed. afternoon. Leaving that late in the day, can we make it to Cambria or should we stay in Santa Barbara that first night? We really want to take in the beauty of PCH. Do you have any suggestions on places to stay in Carmel, Santa Barbara?, and Cambria? We would love to be by the water.
Jul 12th, 2006, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 846
If you were to be on the road out of town at 3 pm you would get to Cambria by about 8. You would watch the sunset as you drove.

It is also possible that since you say "probably leave by 3" that you might leave at 4:30 and sit in traffic for an hour and a half leaving LA.

I would go to Santa Barbara on Wednesday night and have dinner somewhere with a great ocean view (somebody else will have to help). Then Thursday head up to Carmel.

A Saturday morning drive from Carmel to SF would take you 3 hours if you take the fatest route (US101) or 5-6 hours if you take the scenic route (CA-1 to Half Moon Bay then 92 East to 101 North)
saps is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
If you know you can leave around 3, then I would head up to Cambria. Moonstone Beach is a great place to stay on the water there - several places to choose from.

Otherwise, choose Santa Barbara instead.

J_Correa is offline  
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