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San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

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San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

Planning to visit in July and drive Highway 1. Here's the itinery with a few queries.

Days 1-3 Fly to San Francisco and stay three nights. City tours including Alcatraz. Worth waiting to pick car up on Day 4? Anyone flown with Aer Lingus, their flight cost look very reasonable?

Days 4-5 Drive to Monterey taking in some stops on the way including Santa Cruz. Stay 2 nights and tour the Monterey / Carmel area.

Day 6 Drive to Pismo taking in a few stops including Hearst Castle - Looks like this will be a long day? Stay 1 night Pismo. Is it worth breaking this leg of the journey with a night at somewhere like San Simeon? Maybe miss Pismo and and go straight to Santa Barbara from stay at San Simeon?

Day 7 Drive to Santa Barbara and stay for one night - tour the city.

Days 8-11 Drive to Santa Monica and stay 4 nights. Visit Malibu en route? Prefer the beach location but want to tour Los Angeles, is SM a reasonable location for that? Most likely to visit Disney in Anaheim and maybe Universal Studios Hollywood amongst other LA city visits. Worth keeping the hire car for LA or is there plenty of public transport to get me where I want to go?

Day 12-14 Fly to New York and stay 3 nights. Squeeze in another city trip and try to break up the jet lag and journey home.

Day 15 Fly back to UK

I take it booking independently will work out more cost effective than handing over to a tour operator?

Thanks for your help!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

well congrats you did do your research and the overall itinerary looks fine. Are you flying in on the non stop aer Lingus flight ? That has not yet started so it will be a new non stop an I think non stops are way way cool plus you go through Imm/cust in Dublin before you board

Have a look at the highway 1 primer on the right side of this page under top questions. I think you may need one day to get over your jet lag so 3-4 full days in SF would be a good way to start your trip. Are you not interested in Yosemite ? 2 nights in Monterey are fine or you could do one there and one either in Cambria or Pismo but not both. and then onto Santa Monica

Personally I would take a day from Monterey and for Santa barbara and stay in Yosemite. Don't get me wrong. SB is lovely and if you stay in Pismo Beach you can get there early AM spend the day there and drive to LA.

Grover Beach...
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2. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

Day 6: Monterey to Pismo Beach. This is approx. a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive WITHOUT stops. Plan on a more realistic 7-10 hours with stops.

Most of us would encourage you to spend that night in San Simeon or Cambria and tour Hearst Castle the following morning, but you could book a late afternoon tour at Hearst and either stay San Simeon/Cambria or attempt to get as far south as Pismo Beach. You can visit Santa Barbara for a few hours en route to LA if you want to try and fit Yosemite in, but I think SF-Monterey-San Simeon/Cambria-Santa Barbara-LA/Santa Monica is a good plan.

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3. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

Thanks for the help and advice. I'm substituting a stay in San Simeon for Pismo to even the driving days and give me more stop time on Big Sur. All booked, just the long wait to July...

Santa Monica...
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4. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

As to your question re public transportation in Los Angeles ... Unfortunately we don't have good public transportation ... So I suggest that you hang on to the rental car.

San Francisco
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5. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

I would suggest Cambria in lieu of San Simeon. Nicer accommodations options and they're only 10-15 minutes apart.

Los Angeles
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6. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

Its better to keep the rental car for LA. We're very much a car city - public transit works but can be time consuming, especially to get somewhere like Disneyland which is well to the south of the city. Santa Monica is a perfectly fine base for seeing LA if you have a car.

7. Re: San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1

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