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Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

Dade City, Florida
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Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

Wondering what the realistic drive time is from Carmel to Cambria, leaving around 8am on a Wednesday. We will be driving highway 1 on the way up so we don't have to stay on that route if there is a better one. Visiting Hearst Castle and trying to decide which tour to take.

Shell Beach...
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1. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

This information is in the link I provided on one of your other forum questions. Here it is again:

thecentralcoasttraveler.com/faqs/#driving-ti…

It's 3 hours along Highway 1 from Carmel to Cambria, without stops. There is no other route aside from Highway 1 if you want to see the coast. The only other route requires taking Highway 1 south, 46 east, 101 north, and 68 west. It's inland and not really much faster. Moreover, you'd miss the incredible Big Sur views, which are some of the finest scenery in the US.

netherlands
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2. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

Last year - when Highway 1 was closed - we were forced to take the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road ( connecting Highway 1 with US Route 101 (Salinas Valley) and went back to Cambria along Highway 46.

It was a spectacular drive crossing the Santa Lucia Range and coming near the authentic Mission San Antonio.

Along the road: flickr.com/photos/…

happy travels

Jaap

Shell Beach...
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3. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

Thanks for posting that link. You're correct that Nacimiento-Fergusson Road crosses over the Santa Lucia mountains, and is another route.

However, most people don't recommend it unless there's no other option; only if Highway 1 is blocked by rockslides. Nacimiento-Fergusson is beautiful, but loaded with hairpin turns on 2000 foot high cliffs, and passes through a military base. It's absolutely not a shortcut on the way from Cambria to Carmel.

Dade City, Florida
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4. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

As I said, we are seeing the coast on the way up so we didn't need to come down Highway 1. Honestly I am a little scared of driving south on Highway 1, I am afraid of heights and will be doing all the driving :( Is there any sort of "rush hour" we should avoid along either 1 or 101? I expect we'll do our stopping on the way up and just driving straight through to Cambria when going south.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

Where are you planning to go South? Perhaps looking at Google Maps would help. If you want to circumvent the coast then you can taking 68 to 101 from Carmel and then go South. or option 2 -- just go 1 North and take 156E to 101 S to San Luis Obispo

Edited: 01 March 2012, 02:47
Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

To complete belomiser's directions:

From Carmel: Highway 1 north to Highway 68 east toward Salinas (Follow the signed directions, as this exit takes two different turns). Turn right on El Blanco Road as you enter town and continue to Highway 101 south. Should take approx. 30 minutes from Carmel to get to Highway 101.

Continue south on Highway 101 to Highway 46 West south of Paso Robles (Do NOT confuse with Highway 46 East toward Fresno/Bakersfield). Approx. drive time from Salinas to Highway 46 West: 1 1/2 hours. Continue on Highway 46 West to Highway 1 north (Approx. a 20-25 minute drive through Paso's west side winery region). From Highway 1 north, it's a mere 4 miles to Cambria.

Edited: 01 March 2012, 15:54
7. Re: Carmel to Cambria - how long is drive? Best route?

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