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SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

Sudbury, Canada
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SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

We are driving up PCH1 on the way up, the last day of our two week tour is returning to LA...not concerned about the time, though I get that hwy 5 is slightly quicker.

Any reason to pick on over the other?

Thanks in advance.

San Francisco
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1. Re: SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

I5 is probably the better road of the two although I avoid both like the plague.

It may take a little more time but you might consider taking Hiway 101. It's still pretty fast but a *much* nicer drive. And since it takes over an hour to get to I5 from SF, the difference in time vs. the scenery is well worth the extra hour or so.

From SF take I280S -> 85 -> 101S.

South of Salinas is "Steinbeck country" and can be a very pretty drive.

San Diego...
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2. Re: SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

But between I-5 and 99, I-5 is a better road and more scenic, but doesn't go through any towns (although there is the Harris Ranch and there are other places to stop for gas and meals). Highway 99 goes through the major San Joaquin Valley towns such as Bakersfield, Fresno, etc. While these towns are not major attractions, they do have something to offer if you are interested. For example Basque restaurants in Bakersfield and Fresno, see www.buber.net/Basque/Food/charley.html for info and a listing, or the underground gardens in Fresno, see tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32414-d28…

Edited: 20 August 2010, 01:57
Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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3. Re: SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

I concur with RamblinSal: 101 via I-280 south/85 south which re-connects with 101. Fast multi laned freeways with less traffic hassles compared with driving through the East Bay to access the hot, inland routes.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

There's no reason to go on the 99 unless you have some reason to be in the towns along it. Otherwise, the 5 is faster and travels through the same agricultural territory. It skips the major cities of the San Joaquin Valley, and therefore, moves along more swiftly, while 99 is intended as a kind of expressway for people who are going to destinations along.

Take the 5.

5. Re: SF to LA - Which road? 5 or 99?

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