I'll be in Irvine/L.A. for business on the week of May 19. My wife is coming with me and we'll take a week of vacation after (week of May 24). As it'll be the 3rd time I'll be in the Orange County, I thought of driving along the coast all the way to the San Francisco area, where I've never been yet.
I planned on taking my time and driving from LA to SF on Road 1 in 2 days. Where would you suggest to sleep after the 1st day? Anything not to be missed along the way?
Then, for the San Francisco area, where should I stay? Should I stick around San Francisco, or also look for Oakland and maybe San Jose for rentals or hotels? What should we visit if we're 5 or 6 days in the area?
We're in our mid-40s. My wife likes shopping, we enjoy beaches, we like to drive and visit nice places.
Another question: we'll be flying out of Burlington, VT and I found that landing in Burbank is cheaper than at LAX. Same thing for the return flight, it looks cheaper to fly out of San Jose than San Francisco. I'll rent a car when landing in LA and will return it at a different place (SF, or SJ). Will the rental cars be cheaper or more expensive from the smaller airports like Burbank and San Jose than from LAX or SFO? Is there a rental car that doesn't charge the huge fees for returning the car at a different place? In other words, will the rental car waste away the savings I'd made landing at smaller airports?
Thanks a lot.