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San Francisco to LA road trip

Bournemouth, United...
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San Francisco to LA road trip

Hi everyone!

We are planning a road trip from SF to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway as our honeymoon in September next year. We would like to start with two nights in SF and ending with 3 nights somewhere near the beach in or around LA.

We both love to see beautiful scenery and like some peace and quiet so we aren't planning a hugely action packed trip but we would still like to experience the local areas.

If anyone has done a similar trip or has stayed along the route and could make recommendations it would be really helpful!

Some places we have looked at stopping en route- Monterey/Carmel, San Luis Obispo/Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs (not en route but we would like to do a couple of nights), finishing up in LA somewhere near the beach!

Many thanks

Nikki

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

Hi Nikki

Congrats on your upcoming wedding and best wishes to you.

First... how many days/nights will you have for your trip? Having that info can help us help you better.

The coast drive is best with at least 2 overnight stops en route, but the more you can give it, the more you'll be able to see/do at a relaxed pace. Like a honeymoon should be.

First recommended stop: Carmel or neighboring Pacific Grove. Both are quaint romantic towns with charming inns and lots of character. All 3 (Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove) are within minutes of each other. Lodging suggestions: Seven Gables Inn, Green Gables Inn, La Playa Hotel (Currently undergoing a complete remodel), Tickle Pink Inn, Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

www.seemonterey.com

Second recommended stop: Cambria. This is another quaint romantic seaside town perfect for romantic beach/boardwalk walks and cozy restaurants to dine in. Lodging recs: Blue Whale Inn, Fog Catcher Inn, Best Western Fireside Inn, Moonstone Landing. www.cambriachamber.org/

If you have time for a third night, then definitely Santa Barbara. Lodging recs: The Biltmore, Simpson House Inn, Cheshire Cat Inn, Upham House Inn. www.santabarbaraca.com

Have fun with your planning!

Edited: 30 June 2012, 13:16
Bournemouth, United...
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2. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

Thank you Kibblesmom!

Our trip in total will be two weeks so we would like to do one or two nights in each place we stop at on the way, then we can extend LA accordingly.

We definitely want to do the Monterey/Carmel area- is there enough to do to keep us occupied for a two night stay?

Many thanks for your advice!

Nikki

Roseville...
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3. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

Going to throw out an addition to your trip for consideration since you have 14 days: Mendocino...a quaint little coast town 150 miles north of SF. Schedule.

Day

1 & 2: SF

3: Drive to Bodega Bay. 65 miles

4: Drive to Mendocino. 100 miles along coast

5 & 6: Mendocino

7: Drive to Monterey. 270 miles; 5 hours

8 & 9: Monterey

10: Drive to Cambria. 103 miles

11: Drive to Solvang/Santa Barbara. 99 miles

12: Drive to LA. 128 miles

13 & 14: LA & Fly home

You could easily drive from SF to Monterey in 1 day (2 days in above) and add a day to LA.

Mendocino gets you into a little of wine country and near a neat strand of giant redwoods (HWY 128) as well as Mendocino is just a cool place. It provides a different environment from what you will experience south of SF.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

There is more than enough to keep you busy in the Monterey/Carmel area for a 2 night stay.

On the way, you might want to make stops in Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and Henry Cowell Redwoods. That would take up part of your first day just getting there.

Things to do while in Monterey/Carmel on Day 2: Point Lobos State Reserve (Go early, as it gets crowded the later in the day it gets), Carmel's shops/beach, Monterey Bay Aquarium (Less crowds the later in the day it gets), Cannery Row. All that would take up your one full day in that area.

You'll want to leave Monterey early on Day 3 in order to allow plenty of time for the drive through Big Sur:

Partial list of things to see/do on the way to Cambria:

Bixby Bridge

Pfeiffer Beach

Nepenthe/Phoeniz Shop

McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Ragged Point

Elephant seal rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Hearst Castle

Edited: 30 June 2012, 23:37
Roseville...
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5. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

"You could easily drive from SF to Monterey in 1 day (2 days in above) and add a day to LA." (See post above)

Geez, I meant drive from SF to Mendocino in 1 day...

Sorry about that.

Bournemouth, United...
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6. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

Thank you both, I will read up on all the places you have suggested and let you know what we decide on!

7. Re: San Francisco to LA road trip

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