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  1. #1
    Lesley Edwards Guest

    Default Advice on Routes for Touring the West Coast

    Hi Everyone !

    Im glad I've found you, Im just hoping its not too late. My husband and I will be arriving in San Francisco (from Wales, in the UK) in just under 2 weeks to celebrate his 40th birthday. We have a convertible car on hire and already have an itinerary, with hotels booked en-route. We are now getting to the nitty gritty of the planning stages and just wondered if anyone out there had any tips/suggestions for driving the following route.

    San Francisco to Monterey; Monterey to Yosemite; Yosemite to Death Valley; Death Valley to Las Vegas; Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (South Rim); Grand Canyon to Lake Havasu; Lake Havasu to Los Angeles.

    Any driving suggestions or must see attractions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to help.

    Cheers
    Lesley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,883

    Default Topic Number One?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums.

    Your route, parts of it or close to the entire thing, has been coming up quite frequently lately. Rather than try to repeat or paraphrase all that has been written about it, let me direct you to a few of the more current, relevant threads:

    San Francisco to Vegas -- What to do?
    San Francisco to San Diego
    San Francisco to Yosemite to Death Valley to Las Vegas
    San Francisco to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
    Los Angeles to San Francisco to Las Vegas
    San Francisco to Las Vegas to LA to San Francisco (with some special attention to the Yosemite to Sequoia to Death Valley route selections)
    Las Vegas to San Diego (with information about some of the back roads routes).
    More detail about Yosemite to Death Valley to Las Vegas
    San Francisco Loop RV Field Report with Pictures
    San Francisco to Las Vegas

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-12-2009 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Added link

  3. #3

    Default question

    Hi Lesley

    Your trip sounds exactly like the one I am thinking of doing in May this year - can I ask who you rented your car from and how much it cost. We are thinking of getting a campervan for the convenience, and also as it appears to be cheaper but I am not so sure.

    Good luck on your trip!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Hey!
    I've been away for some time, but I'm back now. For those who do not know me, I'm Ricardo, from Portugal and I too am planning a Roadtrip, from Seattle to San Diego. Any tips from the creator of this topic specially regarding renting a car, booking hotels and sight seeings are mostly welcome.

    THANKS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default Lake Havasu?

    Not to be a wet blanket, but unless you plan on renting a boat and like to water ski, there isn't a good reason to go to Lake Havasu. No, London Bridge isn't worth the trouble. It isn't an interesting drive, and a lake in the desert is a lake in the desert.

    Spend that few extra hours at the Grand Canyon, or in Yosemite, or even in Las Vegas.

    Regarding the drive from SF to Monterey, be sure to drive down Highway 1 through Half Moon Bay, not 101 through San Jose. A classic lunch stop is Barbara's Fishtrap in Princeton-by-the-Sea, just north of Half Moon Bay. After you go through Montara and Moss Beach you'll see a small airport on the right. A little further, at the stop light, turn right and go a couple of blocks until you see the orange building on the left. Park across the street. If the line is just too long, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is good, as is Meza Luna, just a little further down the road. Another good place to eat, with a view of the ocean, is the Miramar Beach Inn, just a mile or two south. Keep an eye out to the right for the building a block off the highway.

    If you aren't hungry yet, go on to Davenport, another 40 miles. There is a funky, but very good restaurant there.

    Monterey is OK but, except for the aquarium, its not worth a lot of time. 19-mile Drive from Monterey to Carmel is worth whatever they are charging these days. In Carmel, visit the Mission and browse the art galleries. Cute town and nice restaurants.

    Near Monterey you'll see artichoke fields, which are pretty intresting if you haven't seen them before. And the drive east toward Yosemite takes you through lots of crop land. You may even smell garlic roasting near Gilroy, depending on your route. Note that highway 140 east of Mariposa is down to 1 lane (controlled access both ways) because of a rock slide. Highway 120 may be your better bet.

    Craig
    Author of America's Living History: The Early Years
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-27-2007 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Added link to featured book

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,477

    Default An alternative Viewpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by RedCorral View Post
    there isn't a good reason to go to Lake Havasu. No, London Bridge isn't worth the trouble. It isn't an interesting drive, and a lake in the desert is a lake in the desert.
    There are a bunch of us, who are active on this Forum that would disagree -- the Colorado River provides a beautiful counter-setting to the harsher desert surrounding it. Here is a report from a recent traveler and here are some photos of London Bridge in the morning light.

    But given the short time you have in the area, I would recommend that you give this particular attraction a miss as recommended by RedCorral above.

    Mark

  7. #7
    gorn256 Guest

    Default

    Tour Hoover dam Southeast of Las Vegas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15

    Default Take Hwy 1!

    Hi Lesley!

    I highly recommend taking Hwy 1 from San Francisco to Monterey/Carmel.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedCorral View Post

    Regarding the drive from SF to Monterey, be sure to drive down Highway 1 through Half Moon Bay, not 101 through San Jose. A classic lunch stop is Barbara's Fishtrap in Princeton-by-the-Sea, just north of Half Moon Bay.
    I second Craig's recommendation for Barbara's Fish Trap - it's a humble establishment with fantastic food! From Hwy 1, turn right at the stoplight at Capistrano, the Fishtrap is a few blocks down on the left.

    Also, a little further south on the Hwy is Sam's Chowder House (on the right.) Good food, a little more upscale though.

    If you're up for a little side trip, on a very windy road, you could visit Alice's Restaurant- Go about 15 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Hwy 1, take a left on Hwy 84 (Woodside Road) and drive till you get to Hwy 35 (Skyline Blvd.) It's on the left- can't miss it.

    In the Monterey area, 17 mile drive is really nice. Also, if you like wine, there are actually a lot of wineries in the Monterey area that are worth a visit.

    Have a great trip!

  9. #9

    Default We are leaving tomorrow 7/19/07 question urgent

    Here is our trip:

    Thur - SanFran - staying at hostel
    Fri - Redwood NP
    Sat - Point Reyes
    Sun - Calistoga
    Mon - SanFran
    Tues - Leave

    My question: Would it make more sense to switch Sat and Friday? Does anyone know the milage from Redwood to Point Reyes and then either to Calisoga/Napa? Thanks so much

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,477

    Default You need to look at a map!

    Quote Originally Posted by katesmom View Post
    Thur - SanFran - staying at hostel
    Fri - Redwood NP
    Sat - Point Reyes
    Sun - Calistoga
    Mon - SanFran
    Tues - Leave
    San Francisco to Redwood NP is 345 miles (it is nearly to the Oregon state line). Point Reyes is only about 20 miles away -- Calistoga & Point Reyes are less than an hour from San Francisco.

    Mark

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