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Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Melbourne, Australia
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Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

We arrive in LA in the morning of June 13 from Australia with our kids. We thought we may be too tired to drive a long distance and have decided that Santa Barbara would be a good choice. I know the kids will be excited and wouldn't want to spend too much time in the car, especially after being on such a long flight!!!!

We then thought we could spend the next day driving to Monterey and exploring the town. It is also close enough to SF that we can be there nice and early the following morning. Does this sound like a good plan?

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Santa Barbara to Monterey is a 6 hours drive without stops and there''s so much to see on the way I would not recommend it. Aren't you interested to see some of Los Angeles?

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Oh we are doing LA last...driving to SF, Yosemite, Vegas, Anaheim, Santa Monica and then flying to NY

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

I trust you are aware that car rental for Australians works out better/cheaper if you book through an agency such as carhire3000, traveljigsaw, Argus, Driveaway etc.

I'd consider flying from LA to Vegas (or SF if that's where you plan to start your hols), though with a few of you I guess the cost adds up. We flew Southwest airlines from LA to Vegas for about $45 each. And unlike most, SW don't charge extra for luggage (but do for excess luggage). If you sign up for emails, you can get great deals for even less than we paid.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

You'll know yourself better than I, of course, but it sounds like an awful lot of driving in the first 1-2 days when the driver may still be quite jet-lagged.

San Francisco
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5. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

I agree with Tet. There's too much to see between Santa Barbara and Monterey to try to do it in a day. I trust you plan to drive via Hiway 1 along the coast through Big Sur? This is not a freeway by any means but a somewhat windy 2 lane road. And there is so much to see that you'll want to make frequent stops.

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Sharynley, keep in mind that if you land at, say 6:30, then that will be 00:30 "Melbourne time". It's likely that you won't have slept much (or at all). Then you've got 60 to 90 minutes of:

1. De-planing

2. Walking to and passing through Immigration

3. Walking to Baggage Claim and waiting for and retrieving your luggage

4. Walking to and passing through Customs.

Then, you exit the terminal, find the spot where the free shuttle for your car hire company pulls up, wait for it, and ride it around the airport whilst it stops at up to 8 other terminals.

Then you'll queue up to retrieve your hire car, read through the multi-page contract, select your car, and start on your way -- probably at around 8:30 a.m. You'll be riding in a 'left-hand' drive car, driving on the right side of the road, at the tail end of our morning 'rush hour' (which ends at AROUND 9:00 but can extend later since non-commuters wait until 9:00 and then jump into their cars en masse at around 9:00).

At 8:30 a.m., it will be 2:30 Melbourne Time. Do you really want to make this drive? I'm not sure you realize how stressful 'jet lag' can be.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Thank you. I will google some of those companies!!!!!

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

I thought the drive from LA to Santa Barbara was about an hour and a half!!! I think that'll be ok if it is true because my husband can sleep anywhere and will probably sleep most of the flight!!!!! Day 2 driving to Monterey( 3-4 hours?) from Santa Barbara. I think still allows time to stop and see many things along the way!!!!

San Francisco
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9. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

LA to SB is more like 2 hours. More depending on time of day and day of week.

SB to Monterey in 3-4 hours! Not unless you're flying. It's at least 4 hours via Highway 101 which is NOT the coast road.

On the coast it's 5-6 hours WITHOUT stops. And there are so many places to stop. Especially with kids in the car that is one very long day to go between SB and Monterey. I'd suggest a stop in Pismo Beach.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on day 1

Ok, so l have just seen that the drive from Santa Barbara to Monterey is in fact 6 hours!!!! Why do websites give us inaccurate information????? I take it Day 1 to Santa Barbara is ok? What do you guys suggest for Day 2 as we don't want to do a full 6 hours in a day....We love the beach and would love for my kids to see as much as they can!!!