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road trip

Naples, Florida, USA
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road trip

We are taking a trip in June 2012 to visit my brother in law near Sebastapol, CA. We would like to include a road trip to Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel and some of the wine country near Santa Rosa and possibly a brief stop in San Francisco. We don't know where it makes the most sense to start and end our trip. We are in the age 50-60 range and will be flying to CA from FL.

Orchards, Washington
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1. Re: road trip

You didn't say where you will be flying into California, but where ever it is, that would be the most logical place to start your road trip.

Washington State
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2. Re: road trip

If you fly into LAX, then the trip might look like LAX - L.A. - Cambria - Monterey/Carmel - Santa Rosa - Sebastapol - San Francisco (drop car when you arrive) - SFO A reverse direction trip would work. Check into the additional cost of a one way car rental.

I think it's easier to fly into & out of SFO. Then it would be SFO - SF - (pick up rental car) - Carmel - Cambria (via Hwy 1) - back north on Hwy 101 all the way to Santa Rosa area - Sebastapol - SFO. You could visit your BIL at the beginning or end of the trip, but one goal for my sample itineraries is to avoid having a car when you're in SF. However, if it's just a brief visit (one night?) you might not mind paying $$$ for 24 hours of parking at a nice hotel.

The coastal towns between SF and L.A. are described in the Top Questions in the upper right. I think Carmel & Cambria better suit most relaxed adult travelers than Monterey & Pismo Beach, but I'm in your age range and I'd prefer Monterey & Pismo Beach!

Will your BIL be traveling with you? What recommendations has he shared with you?

Los Angeles
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3. Re: road trip

In and out of SFO makes the most sense to me. The parts of the coast that you said you wanted to see (and, IMHO, the best parts) are closer to SF than to LA so to fly to LA just to avoid a loop back to SF on that part of the trip doesn't particularly make a big difference.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: road trip

Did I miss something? I don't think OP mentioned LA at all ???

Sebastopol is near Santa Rosa.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: road trip

I agree with you Puter. I didn't see LA at all. It's all northern Cal. The most logical would be to fly into SFO airport. Then I suppose you can go to Sebastapol for the family visit first, and do Santa Rosa there. Then head down south of Golden Gate Bridge, pass through San Francisco - can do the brief visit there enroute or after you come back from Monterey before you fly home. Then hit Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur. They are all around the same area. You may drive down via I-101 or Ca highway 1 (coastal route, a little more scenic, passing through Santa Cruz). At the end drive back to SFO airport.

Washington State
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6. Re: road trip

>>We don't know where it makes the most sense to start and end our trip.<<

In LAX and out SFO = 570 miles

In SFO and out SFO = 562 miles

{SFO to Cambria = 220 miles. LAX to Cambria = 220 miles.}

Of course the mileage will vary with different routes chosen, but these options are surprisingly similar in distance. With traffic delays and specific highways, the drive times will vary.

The 'most sense' is to plan a trip that suits your travel group, time, and interests. Most folks prefer to use one airport so they don't pay a one way car rental fee, but some folks want to avoid any back-tracking so they don't mind an open jaw flight (in one airport & out another).

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: road trip

Why Cambria? The most southern point mentioned was Big Sur, which is about 130 miles south of SFO airport. From Big Sur to LAX, that's 300 miles. Why driving for 300 miles while you can do with 130 miles, even without considering the extra charge for one-way rental?

Why must Cambria be in consideration?

Naples, Florida, USA
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8. Re: road trip

Yes, the plan is to fly in to and out of SFO and I don't think my BIL will be "touring" with us. Thanks for the suggestions.

Naples, Florida, USA
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9. Re: road trip

You're right. I didn't mention L.A. and it isn't in the plan at all. Thanks.

10. Re: road trip

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