Which is the quickest route to San Fran and can you do it in a day ?
Quickest route from where? And how? Car? Train? Auto? Maybe if you could be more specific I can help answer your question. Keep in mind that the San Francisco Bay Area highways are very congested and a 45 mile drive can take a good hour and a half.
Since you are writing this in the Anaheim forum, I'm going to guess you're coming up from Anaheim and by car. The quickest is straight up I-5 and then travel west on 580 (near Tracy). If you do a Google maps to/from, it has you going north at Castro Valley up towards Oakland. My experience has been that's a very congested area. I prefer to follow 580 towards 880 south and take the San Mateo bridge (92) across the southern part of the bay and continue past 101 to 280, then follow 280 north into the city.
Yes, you can certainly do it in a day. It takes roughly 7 hours, longer if you're coming out of Anaheim during rush hour or entering the SF Bay Area during rush hour.
Southwest flies out of LAX (not very far from Anaheim) at $49 one way into Oakland and San Jose. Flights are about an hour and fifteen minutes. Much less expensive and more timely than driving!
Yes you were correct that I was talking about driving from Anaheim.
I had thought about flying up but thought driving would be cheaper. But if you can get flights for $49 then it would be cheaper to fly after I account for car hire, petrol ect.
Will have a look at flights. Then just need to work out how long it would take to drive to Vegas from SF ! We want to drive that bit and go throught Yosemite. Any ideas?
When we drove this route (one suggested by AdventureousMom) in December, it took is about 8-8 1/2 hours, including stops for food, rest areas, and gas).
The quicket route from Anaheim to San Francisco is to take I-5. I-5 is in Anaheim so you will see the freeway there. You'll be on this for 350 miles or so. When you get closer to San Francisco, you will want to take 580 to I80 to 101 (Mapquest can show you this on a map.).
The total distance is: about 408 miles which is about 6 1/2 to 7 hours. (Longer if traffic).
You will find the most traffic getting out of Los Angeles area; you'll then go through the area known as the Grapevine (its not related to the wine industry - its just a curvy hilly stretch through the mountaints to get you to the Central Valley). You will then be on a very long stretch of pretty much straight road through a valley (pretty boring - and people generally drive this stretch quickly unless ther is a fog.).
Many people stop to have lunch at Harris Ranch (or if busy another restaurant in the area) just to split up the drive. This is about another hour or so to add to your time. http://www.harrisranch.com/
Worst part will be if leaving on a week day the work traffic out of LA.
If such, I would recommend leaving very early 5:30 a.m. or waiting after 9:00. Its still been a slow go however even then - starts to get better about half way through the Grape Vine.
As such, if you leave at 9:00 and have a normal day (i.e. no big accidents, etc. on the road), you'll be in San Francisco, in your hotel, and be thinking about going to dinner in San Francisco that evening.
(Note: The prettier route - but 2nd fastest - is to take Highway 101 all the way to San Franscisco. Its basically I-5 to Highway 101.
"you'll then go through the area known as the Grapevine (its not related to the wine industry - its just a curvy hilly stretch through the mountaints to get you to the Central Valley)."
A common misconception.
You're talking about the Ridge Route.
The Grapevine is a short section between Grapevine and Fort Tejon. It's called the Grapevine because it's quite tight for a freeway. The Ridge Route (between Castaic and Fort Tejon) is much more relaxed.
Actually, the Grapevine was originally named Grapevine Canyon, for the native grapes that grew there. Nothing to do with the wine industry but everything to do with wild grapes.
When the original highway (99, when it extended into the LA Basin, long before Interstate 5), was put in, it was indeed a curvy route that seemed to befit the 'Grapevine' name. The current I-5 is not really so curvy, but has kept the name. In fact it's curvier on the way up from LA.
It's a great view coming down the Grapevine. You've just made finally made through all the traffic of LA, up over the steep hills to 4000 feet through Tejon Pass, and now here you are coming down this steep incline into a flat, smoggy plain that stretches before you for 400 miles, with occasional glimpses of the steep coast range or Sierra Nevada to your sides. Then it gets kind of boring for a while.
Adventurous_S_Mom mentions using the San Mateo bridge as you approach San Francisco. This is a good idea to possibly avoid some traffic, but the approach over the Bay Bridge (this is the usual route suggested by Google Maps, etc.) is very spectacular heading into San Francisco, I would strongly recommend it if you haven't taken it.
"When the original highway (99, when it extended into the LA Basin, long before Interstate 5), was put in, it was indeed a curvy route that seemed to befit the 'Grapevine' name."
However, that original highway, the one before US 99, was called The Ridge Route. The road, which for the most part is still there (though off-limits, even to hikers, since 2005), is called The Old Ridge Route. US 99, was the "new" Ridge Route.
You are correct about the origin of the name "Grapevine." I never knew that. Thanks for the info.
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