We are driving from Oakland to West LA, and debating I-5 versus 101. I know I-5 is the fastest on paper, but the last two times we've done this drive it's been an absolute nightmare (first a breakdown as far from civilization as is possible, necessitating a 1.5-hour tow to Bakersfield; then crazy traffic backed up from the Grapevine; trips clocked in at 11 and 9 hours, respectively). So I'm taking a look at 101 as an alternative. Husband says I'm nuts, these were just flukes, and going via 101 will add at least two hours to the trip. Google thinks it's not quite that bad. What say you, Tripadvisor readers?
We can leave anywhere between 8 and 10 am. This will be the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend (so hopefully avoiding the worst of the holiday traffic, but maybe not...?) We are three, so will have carpool lane access where that's relevant. The third traveler is our preschooler, but I can see that being an argument for either route (get there as quickly as possible, or go the route that offers more opportunities for playground/food stops).
I am considering:
- 580 to I-5 to 405
- 880 to 101 to 405
- 880 to 101 to 46 to I-5 to 405
I know 880 south can be awful in the mornings, but not sure if leaving at 9-10 am will help on that front or not (and we do have the 580 to 238 option to cut out some of this traffic if needed). Thanks for any perspectives on this!
(Oh, and yes, I've seen the FAQ on this and also Google's estimates, but not sure how "real" these are given traffic and our timing.)