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San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

Tamworth, United...
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San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

We are a family of 4 (two children aged 12 and 9) and are arriving in San Francisco from the UK on 23rd July. We plan to stay 3 days in San Francisco (probably around the fisherman's wharf area) and then pick up a hire car and drive to Yosemite (probably staying at Tenaya Lodge - as left it too late to get accommodation in the valley). We will leave Yosemite on 28th July. I have accommodation booked in San Diego (Escondido ) at the Welk Resorts from the 1st August where we will spend 1 week before flying back to UK.

So we have 4 nights and 5 days to get to San Diego from Yosemite. My original plan was:

Drive Yosemite to Monterey - stay 2 nights

Drive Monterey to Santa Barbara - stay 2 nights

Drive Santa Barbara to San Diego.

By having two nights - we sort of get a chance to break from the driving (kids, windy roads, car sickness etc).

Having read reviews and trip itineraries - i am wondering if this is the most sensible option - particularly as it is long drives between each point.

Would i be better having a night at different places along the way - e.g. Cambria, Pismo Beach etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

"....Drive Monterey to Santa Barbara - stay 2 nights"...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I personally think this is too far of a drive in one day, especially if you plan on driving through Big Sur. The 90 miles of Big Sur coast can be an exhausting drive due to the elevated roadway with sheer drop offs and all the really tight hairpin turns, which worsen the further south you get. Because of the nature of the road, the driver MUST pay more than the usual attention to their driving, thus requiring frequent stops in order for them to take in the views. And if your kids are prone to car sickness, pulling over and taking it even slower than most would be prudent (Ginger root capsules work great for motion sickness, BTW).

I generally don't recommend driving any further than Pismo Beach coming from the Monterey area.

Napa, CA
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for Napa
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2. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

Yes stay in Pismo Beach. There are ocean front hotels in the Shell Beach area that have outstanding views and are reasonable in price. Ocean view hotels in Santa Barbara are very expensive and are usually across the road from the ocean rather than being right on the cliffs.

Tamworth, United...
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3. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

Many thanks - so if we leave Pismo beach to head down to San Diego - where would be the next most suitable stop off - Oxnard? - or should we try and get somewhere just outside of LA?

Carlsbad, California
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4. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

I would by pass Oxnard and head for LA. I think the big city of LA is wonderful - and very cheap lodging. Kids love it. So much to look at it.

Tamworth, United...
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5. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

Thank you - We did LA a few years ago - so was aiming on avoiding it this time. So will do a little more research to see where else would be a good stop over.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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6. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

I would try to do Pismo to San Diego in one day. It's about a 5 to 5 1/2 hour drive. If you plan on making a stop at Santa Barbara en route, then stay there until at least 6:30 pm to avoid the bulk of commute traffic, but try to get somewhere south of LA so you won't have the worst of the morning commute to deal with. The locals in the LA Forums can give some recs. Pop a question into that forum for suggestions on where to stop for the night south of LA.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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7. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

I am kind of curious as to why you are staying at the Welk Resort? That puts you about 40 miles north of Downtown San Diego and smack in the middle of a heavy commute area if you want to see anything in San Diego proper.

I would stick with a night or two in Santa Barbara after Pismo Beach and then drive to the Welk Resort directly from SB. You can skip around LA.

http://goo.gl/maps/gCtxf

8. Re: San Fransisco to San Diego via Yosemite - road trip

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