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california pacific highway holiday

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california pacific highway holiday

We are thinking for starting in San Diego and making our way up past Newport Beach, Santa Barbara,Pismo Beach, Monterey, Bodega Bay & the onto San Francisco for a couple of nights. We dont want to go back the same way we came. Any suggestions as to the most scenic way to go back to San Diego. We would also like to go thorugh Yosemite & maybe Mammoth. We would like to try and avoid the busiest road if possible. We are going to go in September. What is the weather like that time of year?

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1. Re: california pacific highway holiday

If you haven't booked your flights yet, why not consider an "open-jaw" and fly into San Diego and out of San Francisco. Most airlines don't charge extra for this, and most car rental companies don't charge extra for one-way renatls within the same state.

That way you could use the time you would have taken driving back to San Diego to visit Yosemite, the wine country, gold rush country or the redwoods to nem but four possibilities.

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2. Re: california pacific highway holiday

World has a good suggestion, but if you have to arrive/leave from San Diego, consider the coast route, Highway 1, north, and then the Sierra Nevada backside, south on Highway 395 on the way back. When you leave from San Francisco, head east on 50 to Lake Tahoe, another great California destination. You'll be perfectly positioned for a tour of Mammoth and Yosemite, from 395. September weather will be no problem, actually might get hot at times.

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3. Re: california pacific highway holiday

I agree with gnahcd. highway 1 from Socal to Norcal that time of year is pretty fab, IF you are driving during the day. If you are driving towards the night, you might reconsider because highway 1 is most of the time, right off the cliff of the ocean. Pretty dangerous. Last time I drove from San Simeon back to SF at night, in the middle of rain, hail and mudslide. not so pretty :(

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4. Re: california pacific highway holiday

Just a friendly note, Bodega Bay is north of San Francisco. Did you mean Half Moon Bay?

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5. Re: california pacific highway holiday

One of the better ways back to San Diego if you're not doing the coastal route is to leave San Francisco and see Napa; from Napa then go to Highway 50 and drive Highway 49 (this is a pretty road to drive); then drive to Yosemite.

From Yosemite drive to Toulumne Meadows, and down Tioga Pass. You;ll see Mono Lake on the drive down. You can make a left and drive through Lee Vining and continue to Mono Lake Visitor Center. At that point, then return to Highway 395 and drive South.

When you get to June Lake Loop drive the 14 mile loop and see Grant Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake, and June Lake. Very pretty country; then continue down south to Mammoth Lakes and drive the 5 miles into Mammoth Lakes area and explore that area.

Then return to Highway 395 and continue down the road to Bishop. Bishop has a good bakery in it so if you like baked goods stop at Schatt's Bakery.

Then continue down Highway 395 to Lone Pine - this area is where Mt. Whitney is (tallest mountain in continental United States) and also is the area where lots of western movies were filmed such as John Wayne westerns, etc.

After Lone Pine, it really becomes an issue of how much time you have. If you have lots of time, I would drive to Death Valley (since its September arrive mid to late afternoon and enjoy the sunset there.

The next day drive from Death Valley to Las Vegas and enjoy seeing Las Vegas.

After Las Vegas then drive the stretch back to San Diego.

Weather is very nice (warm, wonderful - and the crowds are few since schools are back in.).

If you don[t have time for Death Valley just drive 395 down South and coninue on y our way to San Diego.

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Inverness, United...
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6. Re: california pacific highway holiday

Thanks for all your suggestions. It has been a great help