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Carmel to Santa Monica-Not along Highway 1

pittsburgh
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78 posts
12 reviews
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Carmel to Santa Monica-Not along Highway 1

We will be starting our trip in San Fran and then driving down to Monterey and Carmel for a night or two. We then want to drive down to Santa Monica. We have done the Highway 1 trip down the coast before and do not want to do it on this trip. Is there a big time difference between Highway 101 and I5? We would like to stop and lunch somewhere or spend a couple of hours somewhere on the way down to break up the trip. We will have 2 teenage boys with us if that impacts the stop. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help.

Mentioned in this post
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
California
Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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21,378 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Carmel to Santa Monica-Not along Highway 1

The problem with getting to I-5 from Monterey is that you have to drive over some 2 lane, 55 MPH highway for at least 2 hours to reach it. Honestly, by then you will have used up any time savings just to go a bit faster on the interstate. Monterey to LA via Highway 101 takes about 5 1/2 hours. You could stop in Pismo Beach for lunch and, with teenage boys, perhaps hire a Hummer ride out in the dunes. Or just hang at the beach. There are boogie board and wet suit rentals available right by the pier.

Mentioned in this post
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo County, CA
2. Re: Carmel to Santa Monica-Not along Highway 1

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