Road trip from LA to San Fran?

Old Sep 15th, 2002, 09:42 AM
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Road trip from LA to San Fran?

My family (myself 22, Boyfriend 29 and mom 52)are planning to do a roadtrip in December from LA to San Francisco on US 1 and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on things to see? I've gotten alot of ideas for LA and San Francisco but now I'm trying to piece together the middle. Thanks for your input.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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You abnd everyone else wants to drive from LA to San Francisco. Do a search for Hwy 1 for ideas.

Old Sep 15th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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From LA drive thru Bev. Hills down Sunset Blvd. all the way to highway 1.Lots of big homes to look at. You'll come out on 1 in Malibu. It's a nice drive all the way to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is worth a stop. Cambria,Big Sur,Carmel and Capitola are also worth seeing. Have fun, I wish I was going.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 02:27 PM
J Correa
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Depending on what kind of storms we get this winter, Hwy 1 south of Big Sur may be closed in December. In that case, you would need to take Hwy 101 up from about San Luis Obispo. 101 isn't as scenic, but it's not that bad. You can still see Hearst Castle and Cambria, you will just have to back track a bit.
Old Sep 18th, 2002, 10:30 PM
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Try to sched so you go thru San Luis Obispo on a Thursday night for farmers market on Higuera Street.

If you have the time, stick to highway 1 between Monterey and San Francisco. It is more relaxing. Eat in Davenport.

If you get tired of the coast, take highway 84 to 280 and continue north to San Francisco. 280 is another relaxing route with big open lanes thru the rolling hills. 84 is no more twisted than Hwy 1, has redwoods, and a nice food stop along the way the motorcyclist hang out at.
Old Sep 20th, 2002, 11:02 PM
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Allright, here we go again... Not your fault, Carol, just that we've recently had a lot of posters asking questions about the similar route.

Here is my advice. Keep in mind that I'm a So Cal person, so my advice might carry less authority the further north you get on SR1, but keep in mind that there are many places to see and stop in, and there really is no wrong answer for a spectacular trip on your itinerary.

From LA... LA is worth a night or two, suggest Santa Monica and the 3rd st. promenade, the Getty if you are an art aficianado, or an aficionado of a walk-through museum that is set on a mountain precipice where the galleries are divided by windowed corridors with spectacular views of city/mountain/ocean vistas that are living art in themselves. Also suggest perhaps catching a tv taping (such a typical LA thing) perhaps Leno? First come first served with the tickets, so you'll have to drive to Burbank early to get a seat. LA weather in DEC is usually clear and cool, wear layers. Gets mistier and damper the further north you go in Cal.

Out of LA, I'd skip the "normal" route to SF on US101 and instead exit the city via Interstate 10 west, which runs west into Santa Monica, to the beach, and turns into Cal 1, or Pacific Coast Highway. Take it up along the coast, great vistas of the Malibu mansions as the suburban beach areas turn into out of the way surfers' spots the further out you get from LA. SR 1 merges with US101 in Ventura, I'd take it all the way to Santa Barbara, about 2 hours from LA. Good place to kickit for the night... SB is the crown jewel of the California Riviera, very upscale, nice, a favorite weekend getaway spot for uppity Angelinos.

From SB, I'd go another 1.5 hours up 101/1 to San Luis Obispo and stop there. I love SLO, a living example of old California. Totally agree with the previous poster's suggestion to hit it on Thurs night, the best farmers market I have ever been to. Picture a small town having a main street celebration, the shopkeepers setting up shop with displays on the sidewalks of Higuera, the local restaurants giving out free goodies, great live local music, it is a very rustic town, yet very eclectic, and a thriving college town to boot which gives it a certain unique energy.

From SLO, US101 and SR1 split, stay with SR1 (extreme rain permitting) and you will be in for the most picturesque drive of your life. I'd estimate another 3 hours to Monterey or Carmel (either worth a stop) and then another two hours of purely breathtaking scenery (perhaps the most beautiful coastline stretch in the US) from Monterey, through San Simeon and Big Sur, up to Santa Cruz. Any of the above cities definetly worth a stop, depending on your tastes and what the more intimately familiar Nor Cal posters here might hopefully describe for you here. Monterey is similar to Santa Barbara, moderate sized city. Carmel is really quaint, a good B&B city, like Europe... San Simeon I personally find more gorgeous than Big Sur. Big Sur and Cambria, more remote areas, little city life, but world-renowned for incredible beauty.

From Santa Cruz I would cut inland and head to SF on the 280. From here, as a So Cal guy, I am COMPLETELY out of my depth and will have to rely on the Nor Cal folks to fill you in...

Happy Travels! I hope you love your vacation.
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 06:41 AM
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Since your a Southern California person, I think your brain must have had a smog block.

Cambria and San Simeon are about an hour from San Luis Obispo. Then you continue on HGWY 1 into the Big Sur area and then Carmel and Monterey.

Just want to set it straight.

Old Sep 21st, 2002, 10:10 AM
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Native you are very rude! Russ is right it's about 2-3 hours at least from SLO to Monterey on highway 1. If it's raining I'd avoid it and take 101.
Russ I agree with you about the Getty,it's a not to miss for sure. Even if you're not into art, the gardens and view are enough on their own. I really enjoy the drive down Sunset Blvd. to 1. The drive through Malibu is fun. You can almost smell all that $ in the air. Santa Barbara would be my next stop. It's a beautiful town.
As far as driving north of Santa Cruz 0n 1 to SF it's a fine drive if it's not raining. Although highway 17 isn't much better in the rain. Highway 1north of Santa Cruz is a very beautiful drive though. In some areas it reminds me of the Irish coast. It should be very green in Dec. if we've had some rain. The only area that is a little scary is the Devils Slide area but you'll be on the inside lane on the way to SF. It's no worse than highway 1 south of Big Sur though. You should be used to that kind of driving by then.
Any of the towns on the Monterey Bay are worth a stop. Carmel, Pacific Grove,Monterey. Capitola in Santa Cruz county is a lovely town. It is a cute little village by the sea. Nice art galleries and shops. Try the Shadowbrook Restaurant. It's a beautiful old Craftsmen style building built into a cliff that slops down to the river. You take a little cable car to get to the dining rooms. The bar area always has a roaring fire and in Dec. the restaurant will be decorated for Christmas. I don't know what your budget is but The Inn at Depot Hill is a 5 star B&B in Capitola that I'd highly recommend, well have fun.
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 10:28 AM
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Dear norcal,

"I'd estimate another 3 hours to Monterey or Carmel (either worth a stop) and then another two hours of purely
breathtaking scenery (perhaps the most beautiful coastline stretch in the US) from Monterey, through San Simeon and Big
Sur, up to Santa Cruz. Any of the above cities definetly worth a"

Since when does Monterey come before San Simeon (coming from SLO)?

I was kidding Russ about the smog in Southern California. That said, you must live in the South Bay Area. You might be suffering from smog block as well. Maybe your eyes were burning and you couldn't properly read Russ's post.

Maybe I should sign myself as...

Former Native
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 11:28 AM
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Native you are still a rude person. I figured Russ was just giving a run down of towns on highway 1,not it in proper geographic order,jeeze...No smog for me,I live 2 blocks from the beach on Monterey Bay. Native I think you're the one who could really use a vacation.
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 11:58 AM
Former Native
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My dear norcal,

I apologize. You live in a still beautiful part of California. However, I think you might want to buff up. You seem to have trouble reading the question of the original post, and then Russ's round and round road map. Instead of smog block, were you laying on the beach and someone kick sand in your face????

Our original poster is not the, well......she's a very nice person.

Russ's comments, although very well intended, indicate a circular route instead of a normal course. I''m sure Russ meant to say something different. You have to jump in with no sense of humor.

Buff up! Visine works very well.

Former Native
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