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View Poll Results: Pacific Coast Highway: North or South
GO NORTH 24 92.31%
GO SOUTH 2 7.69%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-26-2009, 09:44 PM
 
317 posts, read 722,957 times
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Which is a more scenic route and has the best stops along the way on the Pacific Coast Highway? Is it best to go North or South with a starting point from L.A. ?

I'm looking to stay within a 2 hour drive of the city and want to get the most out of the short trip out of the city, my next trip I'll venture further out. I also would like to venture up the mountains and then get back on the highway and continue on if thats a possibility on the route.

What are the stops worth seeing when taking either route?
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:01 PM
 
81 posts, read 262,497 times
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I've always thought that going south on PCH towards San Diego once you get past the stretch through Long Beach is great for a short drive. The trip through towns like Laguna and Dana Point is pretty neat.

That said, if you venture a little further on Highway 1 north towards Big Sur. That truly is God's country as far as scenery is concerned. PCH from Santa Monica on up through Malibu is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, but I personally prefer the route south for a short drive. You really can't go wrong either way though.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:36 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
525 posts, read 950,287 times
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OMG go North. I took that drive and it is truly breathtaking. I mean have you ever seen those calendars with the cliffs, big rocks, and ocean? That is exactly what it looks like. Yes around Big Sur amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! I recommend that drive to everyone. Do it at least once in your life! I have driven south from Los Angeles and driving through Long Beach is a drag. Orange County is of course beautiful.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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Malibu, Zuma, the Santa Monica Mountains, Ventura, Rincon, Carpenteria, Summerland, Montecito, SB ... it doesn't get any better than that!
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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Where in LA are you starting from? 2 hours could look very different depending on starting point.

In general, both drives are pleasant. To the south, the Orange County beach towns are pleasant and pretty. I especially like Laguna.

To the north, the traffic can be intense but honestly for a pleasure drive, it's hard to beat Malibu. Go to the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe for an endpoint, and then on your way back take Mulholland up to the 101 and come home that way.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:53 AM
 
317 posts, read 722,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timelesschild View Post
Where in LA are you starting from? 2 hours could look very different depending on starting point.

In general, both drives are pleasant. To the south, the Orange County beach towns are pleasant and pretty. I especially like Laguna.

To the north, the traffic can be intense but honestly for a pleasure drive, it's hard to beat Malibu. Go to the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe for an endpoint, and then on your way back take Mulholland up to the 101 and come home that way.

I,m near Santa Monica Beach just a few blocks from the Pacific Coast Highway. I'm aiming for the trip back and forth to be no longer than 6-7 hours. I'm waiting for rush hour to slow down so I'll be leaving around 11 - 12 this afternoon. Based on the responses so far Im going to go North...I looked at the map and going through Long Beach your detoured from the coast for a bit.

Any other good stops along the northern route up the coast?
I saw some road that goes into the mountains like the Malibu Canyon Rd. Is that something worth checking out?
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:28 AM
 
Location: RSM
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I'd suggest north. You'll spend half your southern hour driving through the South Bay and inland Long Beach.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Sawtelle District
122 posts, read 472,115 times
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Go North- starting at Malibu/ There are some real nice gems around Cayucos and San Simeon. You also should check out some places off the road, around Los Osos there's Montana de Oro, that area has camp sites and is definitely worth the visit.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:53 AM
 
317 posts, read 722,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruin5 View Post
Go North- starting at Malibu/ There are some real nice gems around Cayucos and San Simeon. You also should check out some places off the road, around Los Osos there's Montana de Oro, that area has camp sites and is definitely worth the visit.

I wish I had more time on this trip. Im going to do the full LA to San Fran drive next time.
How far up can I get if I basically drive 2 to 2 1/2 hours North.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:07 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,059,895 times
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Stops: Malibu / Zuma, Rincon, Yellow House (for grub, in Summerland), too many to mention in Montecito / SB (follow your whims). If time allows, go to the beach in Carpenteria, best beaches in SB County.
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