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Old 06-25-2008, 09:36 PM
 
Location: SD
896 posts, read 3,927,642 times
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We're wanting to drive from LA to San Francisco and then do a tour of Napa Valley. Has anyone ever done this before? Any advice? We're traveling with out kids so it has to be semi-family friendly. I've found a couple of web sites with info but I'm mostly looking for tips along the way from LA to San Fran. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,389,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5FLgirls View Post
We're wanting to drive from LA to San Francisco and then do a tour of Napa Valley. Has anyone ever done this before? Any advice? We're traveling with out kids so it has to be semi-family friendly. I've found a couple of web sites with info but I'm mostly looking for tips along the way from LA to San Fran. Thanks.
I think you have two different choices:

Quick and dull: Up Route 5 all the way to the 580.

from: Los Angeles to: San Francisco - Google Maps

Scenic and longer:

Up the 101 to San Luis Obispo, then a choice of continuing up 101, or the very scenic and slow but beautiful Route 1 to Monterey, where you would cut over to the 101.

from: Los Angeles to: San Luis Obispo - Google Maps

from: San Luis Obispo, CA to: Cambria, CA - Google Maps

from: Cambria, CA to: Monterey, CA - Google Maps

from: Monterey, CA to: San Francisco, CA - Google Maps

If you have the time, I'd pick the second.

Hank
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,914,853 times
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No nobody has ever done that before - kidding

The coast highway is the only way to go. Stop at Solvang. Do the pier and ferris wheel on the beach at Santa Cruz and the Redwood forest walk at Muir Woods which is not to be missed. There's a houseboat community across the Golden Gate Bridge and too many interesting things in SF itself, including China Town and the seals on the docks near the fish market.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 06-25-2008 at 10:34 PM..
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:40 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,355,235 times
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HankDfromSD and Sgoldie, I'm with you guys! 5FLgirls, if you have the time, the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) is, by FAR, the best route of the three (I'm including CA 99, too). SO much to see! Hope you enjoy!
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:28 AM
 
Location: oregon
895 posts, read 2,551,142 times
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Native Napan here..If I were you, I would hope I-5 to highway 12 just above Stockton and then into Napa that way..Go home the coast highway 1 because all the pullouts are on the west side of the highway..
When in the Napa area don't forget the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, good tour and lots of samples.
Of the course the fire situation may come into your plans too.
I was just home in napa two weeks ago and its so dry down there ..Its a nice trip..
Have fun
Californian living in oregon
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Eugene, OR
8 posts, read 23,325 times
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I agree with the advice here with regard to the route. As far as the Napa valley goes, my husband and i drove through there on a recent trip to San Francisco. We enjoyed the views, and some of the wineries, but in general, we found if hugely overpriced and overly touristy. Having spent a lot of time (years) in both Italy and Oregon, two other major wine producers, I'm not really willing to pay lots of money just to sample some wine that's just 'okay', when it's free in Oregon and Italy, and generally better (esp in Italy of course). I'm also not really into all the hot dog stands and BBQs and that kind of touristy stuff that attracts (literally) busloads of people everywhere.

My recommendation is to stop by one of the visitor centers, and get a wine map. Then hit up the smaller wineries. They're usually more interesting, and not as crowded and overpriced!
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
8,262 posts, read 16,376,540 times
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Will the fires affect their trip???????
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
1,369 posts, read 4,224,125 times
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Aaaw c'mon....I-5 is so scenic and aromatic too! j/k

We used to travel to LA from San Francisco and back a lot. We lived in San Francisco but owned a rental home and had family in Los Angeles.

Since we drove it ALL THE TIME, we always took 5 and stopped at Harris Ranch for lunch.

However, if this is a once in a lifetime deal, I agree with the other posters.

GL and have fun!

Shanny (Ex-Californian and native Jersey girl)
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:29 AM
 
468 posts, read 1,516,512 times
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I did it almost a year ago.

Just get on I5 and go North and you'll be fine.

The day I left to go north, there was a huge pile up (20+ cars) behind me, and I escaped, luckily. It involved big rigs going too fast, and cars being dicks...so just drive safely and you'll be good to go!
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:54 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
195 posts, read 583,772 times
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I drove from LA to San... it took 5 hours... almost 500 km.
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