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Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Okotoks, Canada
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Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

What is the best route to go, where would be a good place to stay, which are some of the best beaches along the way. We don't have any desire to go to, or through if possible, Los Angeles

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Here you go...hope you have lots of time to read, plenty of info here on TripAdvisor.....................

http://www.tripadvisor.com/SearchForums?ff=29&geo=28926&scope=2&q=coastal+drive+San+Diego&returnTo=__2F__&sub-search.x=0&sub-search.y=0

Edited: 22 February 2013, 20:55
Grover Beach...
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2. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

How many days/nights do you have for the trip between SD and SF?

What time of year?

Who is in your group? Just adults or will there be kids?

You will have to go through LA to stay along the coast.

Okotoks, Canada
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3. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Hey, thank you for the link Joesorce! I have already started reading some of the

forums.

Okotoks, Canada
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4. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

HI Kibblesmom - we only have a week, so we are flying to San Diego to stay for 3 days, driving to San Fransisco and planning on taking 2 days to get there, want to stop somewhere nice midway, and stay in San Fransisco for 3 days.

We are renting a car.

We are going May 18-25.

2 adults.

Yeah, it looked like we would have to go through LA to stay on the coast.

I appreciate any suggestions you have for me.

Thanks!

Washington State
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5. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Only 2 days / 1 night to drive from San Diego to San Francisco? Yikes!

The Top Questions in the upper right has lots of info about the incredible scenery between L.A. and SF (mostly between Cambria & Monterey.)

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Yeah, that's going to be two incredibly long days of driving. SD to SF is approx. 600 miles and 12+ hours of drive time WITHOUT stops (Except for the overnight).

Pismo Beach is the most logical mid way stop for the night.

You're really looking at mostly a road trip vs. a stop and see the sights trip. As long as you're aware of that you'll be okay.

This drive really needs at least 2 overnight stops to do it justice.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Hertz looks to have one of the best rates for the one-way 7 day car rental at around $300. Columbus Motor Inn in San Francisco is located in a great walking neighborhood for tourists, and unlike many of the SF hotels does not charge additional for parking (Marriot is $55 per night just to park etc)

Santa Barbara would be a nice mid-stop for you. Leave San Diego after 9am so that you will bypass most of the rush traffic( you'll be passing through Los Angeles around 11:30am) Stop for lunch at the Summerland Beach Cafe just north of Carpinteria around 1pm, then check into your Santa Barbara hotel mid afternoon.. Have a nice afternoon walking the beach and huge tourist Wharf, then take the trolley up State Street to one of the many restaurants. Harbor House Inn in Santa Barbara is aroun $150 on May 21, or Coast Village Inn, just south of SB in the village of Montecito, is at $100.

I agree that it would be much more pleasant to have two nights along the route, if you could extend your vacation one extra day.

Edited: 22 February 2013, 23:35
San Francisco
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8. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Santa Barbara is NOT a good mid-point stop as it is no where near mid-point.

It's 3.5 hours from SD to SB. From SB to SF via Highway 1 is 6.5 - 7 hours ... and that's without stops. And the scenery is worthy of many stops is in this section.

I agree with K'smom ... Pismo or its environs is a much better half way point.

United States
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9. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

San Diego to Santa Barbara is 4 hours and Santa Barbara to San Francisco is 5.5 hours. If you hit traffic through Los Angeles, getting to Santa Barbara could take 5 hours.

Pismo is more of a "mid point" if you were looking for an actual mileage midpoint. However, if I were driving up the coast once and were making only one stop, I would hate to have missed Santa Barbara while I would barely frown upon driving through Pismo Beach and continuing onward. Plus you'd have an extra hour of the afternoon in Santa Barbara since you'd get there an hour earlier than Pismo.

Edited: 23 February 2013, 06:26
Grover Beach...
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10. Re: Driving by car from San Diego to San Fransisco

Santa Barbara to San Francisco is NOT a 5.5 hour drive via the Big Sur coast!!

I drove SF to Pismo Beach (Reverse trip) a year and a half ago and it took 8 hours with a 1 hour stop for lunch!! Santa Barbara is almost 1 1/2 hours from Pismo Beach. That would make SB to SF an 8 1/2 hour drive WITHOUT stops.

Pismo Beach is still the best mid way overnight option because the first leg of the drive will be on freeway through urban areas, while the Pismo to SF leg will be on mostly 2 lane roadway with 90 miles of it being on narrow, elevated roadway that sits hundreds of feet above the ocean and has lots of slowing hairpin turns.

You can NOT do that drive in 5 1/2 hours!!!