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San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

Suwanee, Georgia
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San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

I am planning to travel from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and Monterey via Hwy101 to Carlesbad, CA. Are there any "don't miss" places along Hwy101? I want to see Hearst Castle and the missions at San Luis Obispo which I know is pretty much an all day adventure. Where would be a good place to stop for the night in order to visit San Simeon area? I would like oceanfront but don't want to spend more than around $200 a night. Then, should I stick to the coastal roads or head east to I-5 and bypass LA altogether? Time is not a factor except that I would like to avoid LA traffic if possible. I have no desire to stop in LA or its surrounding areas. I will have a condo waiting in Carlesbad. Thanks.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

Please check out the Top Questions. There is one of the Coastal route on Hwy 1.

Please go from SF on Hwy 1 all the way down and not on 101 as SC and Monterey or Cambria which is close to San Simenon are all on Hwy 1. How many days you have for this trip ?

Most would suggest a night in Monterey and one in Cambria and you can then drive to SLO and hit 101 there and it takes you to Santa Barbara. and then onto LA

Los Angeles County is HUGE. there is no escaping it if you are trying to hit Carlsbad, so you may want to hit it before say 4pm or after say 7ish. It is a long drive from SLO to Carlsbad

I-5 is boring and it does go through LA. and you will need to hit I5 as Carlsbad is of I5.

Edited: 10 January 2013, 20:29
Suwanee, Georgia
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2. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

Great advice. Okay, down Hwy 1 to Monterey for the night; then to San Simeon for the night. Then early departure (7:00 AM) for Carlesbad. Or will that put me in the midst of morning traffic in LA? I know that Atlanta's rush hours are 7-10 AM and anytime after 3 PM. I can adjust my times since I don't have to worry about finding a hotel in Carlesbad.

As for time, I am spending a little over a month on a road trip from the Atlanta area to Portland OR, and then down the coast for a week in Carlesbad before heading back east. I will be making stops in Crescent City and Mendocino on my way to San Francisco. I have that much of the trip mapped out but would appreciate any advice anyone may have on that section. I plan on 1 nt. in Crescent City and 2 nts. in Mendocino.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

You mention the mission at SLO. I'd like to also suggest the Santa Barbara Mission - known and the Queen of the Missions.


Please note that it is "Carlsbad" - no "e". This could cause confusion. : )

San Francisco
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4. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

Cambria is a better overnight stop than San Simeon -- they are very close to each other. Look at lodgings on Moonstone Beach in Cambria.

If there is a time to get through LA without hitting traffic I haven't found it. Well, I haven't tried at 4AM but otherwise, there is likely to be traffic tie-ups somewhere between Ventura and San Clemente. It's just the nature of the beast.

I-5 does not "bypass" LA ... I15 does but from the coast that is horrendously out of the way. And still gets you into Inland Empire traffic.

The coast road will become Highway 101 and I usually peel off and take I405 through west LA and then reconnect with I5 in Orange County.

When are you making this trip? Summer weekends are bad all the way up to Santa Barbara.

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

Here is a Top Question here at TA that discusses the drive through Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego County using the coastal highways, along with some recommended detours.

6. Re: San Francisco-Carlesbad late June

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