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Help! I need a nice route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Caracas, Venezuela
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Help! I need a nice route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Hello! My husband and I are traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles and I urgently need some help and advise on where to go, where to sleep, eat and have the most wonderful time. We are renting a car and we estimate we have between 3 to 4 nights to spare on our journey. We would love to travel through the 17 mile highway and appreciate every special view/place we have to visit (time permiting). This is our first time in California and have been advise to visit Carmel, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon...I don't know what to dooooo!!!

Thanks! Diana

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: Help! I need a nice route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Hi Diana

3 to 4 nights between SF to LA will net you a nice, relaxed paced trip down the coast.

IF you have 4 nights, i would divide it up this way:

Monterey/Carmel: 2 nights (Beautiful area. Lots to see/do)

Cambria: 1 night

Santa Barbara: 1 night


When you leave SF, you can enjoy the coastal drive down to Santa Cruz. Enjoy a walk on the beach, maybe a ride or two at the boardwalk (if open) or head a few miles in to Henry Cowell Redwoods and walk the short loop trail under the tall magnificent trees.

While in Monterey, visit Point Lobos State Reserve a few miles south of Carmel. Then backtrack into Carmel and walk the beautiful beach, browse the quaint shops, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium late afternoon, Cannery Row. Walk the rec trail along the Pacific Grove shoreline.

When you leave Monterey for the spectacular drive through Big Sur, you can enjoy stops at Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer Beach, have lunch at Nepenthe, McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Ragged Point, the elephant seal rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Check into hotel along Moonstone Beach Drive... walk the wooden boardwalk along Moonstone Beach at sunset. Enjoy a nice dinner in town: Robin's, Sow's Ear, Madeline's, Old Stone Station, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill.

Next morning, take an early tour of Hearst Castle. Continue to Santa Barbara, enjoying stops in Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and/or Solvang.

Drive times WITHOUT stops:

SF to Monterey: 3 hours via Highway 1

Monterey to Cambria: 3 hours

Cambria to Santa Barbara: 2 1/2 hours

Santa Barbara to LA: 2 hours

Edited: 24 March 2014, 00:42
Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Help! I need a nice route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Kibbles has given you a great itinerary. Here is a traveler article on Santa Cruz on your way to Monterey. they are only 45 minutes apart.


Personally, i would skip the 17 mile drive. It seems to me that it is intended for people who 1) are not going to drive the spectacular Big Sur Coast or 2) are enamored of golf courses and expensive houses. Do Point Lobos instead while you are in that area.

Edited: 24 March 2014, 05:09
3. Re: Help! I need a nice route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

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