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Jun 14th, 2011, 02:45 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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HWY 1

Hi all,

I have hired a car from LAX airport and have planned to drive up to San Fran to visit some friends. I have allowed to pick the car up at 9am in the morning from LAX and drop it back in San Fran around 5pm the next afternoon. Really looking forward to driving the tourist track and want to know if there is any places you can recommend we should stay the night at. Also we are considering a visit to Winchester House - is it worth the visit?

Cheers!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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You could stay the night in the San Luis Obispo / Cambria area and see Hearst Castle instead. (need to get the tour reserved).

In my opinion, Winchester is pretty far down on a list of "must sees"
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Jun 14th, 2011, 02:51 AM
  #3
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Fantastic. How long is the drive from LA to San Luis? Thanks for the trip on Hearst Castle.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 03:18 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Ventanainn.com

My fav beautiful

Or

Carmelcalifornia.com nearby

Cutest little town on your way

Winchester out of your way Hearst castle more amazing

Happy Travels!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 03:25 AM
  #5
 
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Classic.mapquest.com

Directions and distances for you

Solvang is a cute little danish town along your way

Makes a nice stop also

Nepenthebigsur.com also views to forever for lunch sunset dinner

Just drop in visit Hearst on your way no need to do expensive tours

PC 1 is very windy between Cambria and Carmel budget plenty of time

And go slow take frequent breaks so as not to get carsick

On a beatiful but very twisted road.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 03:31 AM
  #6
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Thanks so much for all the helpful tips. I am a first time USA driver coming from Australia so right hand drive and driving on the right side of the road.. a tad nervous but I will be fine once I start!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 04:03 AM
  #7
 
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When we visited San Simeon it appeared that the only way to see the Hearst castle was to take a tour. It is set way back off the road, up in the hills, and the tours take a shuttle bus up to the castle. I do not believe private cars are allowed up there.

We stayed overnight in Cambria, which is a pleasant area with good restaurants.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Correct, the only way to see Hearst Castle is on a tour. Most people take Tour #1 the first time they visit.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 10:45 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Just make sure your rental is an automatic (almost all rentals in the U.S. are). Trying to shift with your other hand while also driving on the right may be too much!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 10:46 AM
  #10
 
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http://www.elledecor.com/entertainin...tal-california
This article emphasizes design and antique shops but is still worth a look b/c it covers your route pretty perfectly.
I agree, Winchester House isn't awesome.
Have fun! (You'll be fine driving, everyone is kind of poking along looking at the scenery usually anyway.)
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Jun 14th, 2011, 11:17 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Lots of nice suggestions - unfortunately, reality has a way of intruding. Driving from LAX to SF in 1.5 days won't leave you time to see much -- and especially not the Winchester House.

Leaving LAX in 9AM traffic means you won't even be to Santa Barbara until nearly noon.

Santa Barbara to SF is a good 6.5 hours drive -- but you will hit Bay Area traffic the next afternoon so probably longer.

I'm not suggesting you stop in SB --but just to show that you have nearly 10 hours of driving over less than 2 days. That is w/o stops/meals/sightseeing.

I'd get to San Luis Obispo or Cambria that day -- forget about Hearst Castle. Next morning drive to Monterey/Carmel -get out and stretch your legs maybe visit one beach/park/site and get back on the road. San Luis Obispo to Monterey to SF takes about 5 hours w/o stops/traffic. So basically an all day drive w/stops.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 04:06 PM
  #12
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Thanks for all the great trips. We have decided that we are going to just drive and stop when we see an amazing view that we want to take a photo of or to stretch the legs and eat. We have been to Europe and nothing quite beats those castles so might give the others a miss. Have no issue with driving great lengths as its roughly 12hr from Sydney to Brisbane which most people here do in one go. You have all made me very excited now!
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