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Old 05-03-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Mile High City
10,851 posts, read 11,547,260 times
Reputation: 9747

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Hello everyone. I'm looking to plan a trip "down" CA for our 5 year anniversary. I would like to start in San Fran and end in LA. How long of a trip do you think I need to plan-10 days or more? We would fly into SFO and leave out of LAX and would like to rent a car from one airport to the other for the definite ride along HW1. We were thinking of spending 2-3 days in SFO and LA alone each but how about other stops along the way? All info/tips are appreciated as I'd like to book asap. TIA
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,767 posts, read 7,310,482 times
Reputation: 6780
Save L.A. for the last day. There's too much along the Central Coast that warrants time. Even between SF and Monterey are great places to explore, before you hit Big Sur. Tell us what things you're interested in seeing and doing, then a decent itinerary can be made. Redwoods, beaches, wineries, activities, restaurants, etc...what are you looking for?
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Mile High City
10,851 posts, read 11,547,260 times
Reputation: 9747
Beaches, food, great scenery. Really nothing specific. We would like to hit a little bit of everything but not sure if 10 days is long enough to do a decent trip. We obviously don't have to do everything but would like a taste of everything. Does that make sense?? LOL..

Yes, LA is last.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,541 posts, read 15,158,959 times
Reputation: 4630
The problem with visiting san Francisco is there is no where to park, most hotels do not have parking for their guests. People who live there often never drive as to not lose their spot.

Make sure to visit Monterey and Carmel.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:45 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,767 posts, read 7,310,482 times
Reputation: 6780
Yep, parking in SF is a b*tch. I know where to go for reliable and free parking in different parts of town, but it's not always easy. At any rate, there are tons of places to see on that stretch of coast. Highlights for me are Monterey/Carmel, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. These are my three favorite towns in CA and the country (hit SLO on a Thursday afternoon/evening for the farmers' market). It's really hard to even know where to start, there are so many great places to see along the way. Just stick to Highway 1 all the way down. Ten days is plenty of time to get a feel for the coast. Get off the highway on a whim and explore, you won't be disappointed on any side trip. Try to do the Hearst Castle night tour (locals get dressed in 1920's style clothes). You'll need to reserve well ahead of time.
For food along the way, here are a handful of places to try: Tartine Bakery in SF (sorry, just love the place), Blue Sky for lunch in Half Moon Bay, Lemongrass Thai in Moss Landing, Ambrosia in Monterey (Indian), Taco Temple in Morro Bay (cash only-order what's fresh; calamari's good too), Brophy Brothers in Santa Barbara (clam chowder not to be missed- best in the frickin' world...no lie!), La Super Rica for authentic (no! Really authentic) Mexican food, and many more places too numerous to mention. These ones are just at the top of my list and won't give you anything less than a really good meal.
For scenery along the way, McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a very short and worthwhile detour. You can also see some redwoods in Henry Cowell State Park just up the hill a short way from Santa Cruz. You can park outside and walk in for free. You'll see the line of cars parked outside the entrance. The same is true for Point Lobos State Park. Save your money by parking outside and walking in. Check out the beach in Carmel at the end of Ocean Ave. It's quite special.
Nice wineries along Highway 46 between Cambria and Paso Robles. One of the best is further south and closer to Santa Maria and Lompoc: Rancho Sisquoc. They never make anything but great wines there.
So, do all that and you'll have discovered what it's taken me decades to find out.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,630 posts, read 3,523,869 times
Reputation: 774
I have driven every route from SF to LA. Since you have time, take the most scenic route. Travel along the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Los Angeles. It's BEAUITFUL and there are many nice towns/cities along the way. Stay the night in...Monterrey/Carmel, Pismo Beach or San Luis Obsipo and Santa Barbara.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Mile High City
10,851 posts, read 11,547,260 times
Reputation: 9747
Thank you for all the info. I appreciate it. I wasn't going to get the car in SF until we leave. I would figure we would just travel on the cable cars, etc. Thanks again
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:50 PM
 
7 posts, read 12,393 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by himain View Post
Hello everyone. I'm looking to plan a trip "down" CA for our 5 year anniversary. I would like to start in San Fran and end in LA. How long of a trip do you think I need to plan-10 days or more? We would fly into SFO and leave out of LAX and would like to rent a car from one airport to the other for the definite ride along HW1. We were thinking of spending 2-3 days in SFO and LA alone each but how about other stops along the way? All info/tips are appreciated as I'd like to book asap. TIA
Make sure you go to Santa Maria. its on hwy. 101 in the middle of the central coast. be sure to eat Santa MAria Style BBQ at Shaw's Steakhouse (on Broadway) ANd as you head south on the 101 you drive thru the Santa Barbara County Wine vineyards. Take a little trip thru Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, and you will be in the exact places that were in the Wine Lovers movie Sideways.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:57 PM
 
Location: California
44 posts, read 95,541 times
Reputation: 61
^ What they said.
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