PCH Memorial's Day
Hi everyone, I'm planning a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco through Pacific Coast Higway this Saturday May 26th. Since it's a holiday weekend I'm a little worried about the traffic. How bad can it be?
Welcome to the RTA forum!
The PCH is never a route where you can go very fast, but I would expect things to be very slow this weekend as the plethora of RVs navigate the twists and turns of the road. Of course, going at a slower pace will just give you more time to apprieciate the views along this wonderful stretch of road.
LA to SF via the PCH is tough to do in one day anyway, I think you'll need to spend a good chunk of your trip on US-101 if you need to make this trip in a day this weekend.
If you're heading from LA to SF via PCH, you may run into some traffic in places.
I'd head out of LA really early on Saturday -- like at 6 am or 7 am. Why? To avoid any hassle getting out of the Valley via 101 to Oxnard, and to get through the traditional slow spot in downtown Santa Barbara. Those would be 2 of the maybe 4 places on the trip I'd be concerned about traffic. An early start also lets you stop a few more places along PCH in a day's drive to SF.
(And I wouldn't take PCH through Malibu -- that's always slow in the best of times. Not traffic, just lots of lights and stops.)
Pismo Beach will be crowded -- so I'd stay on 101 through there.
Monterey itself, can get some fairly heavy traffic on the weekends, but it moves pretty well, unless you get off on the surface streets -- same with the passes from Monterey or Santa Cruz into the bay area.
And of course, the main freeways into and out of SF can be crowded, particularly in the daily ebb and flow of traffic in and out of the city.
But an early start to get out of the LA and through Santa Barbara, and some selective use of surface streets where things might be crowded (Pismo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, etc) should get you to SF, and then whatever "weekend" traffic you'd encounter shouldn't be too bad.
Thanks for the feedback.
We plan to leave LA at 7:00AM and drive non stop all the way to San Luis Obispo, hope to arrive there before 12:00PM. Have a quick lunch at San Luis Obispo and drive on US1 to Monterey where we will spend the night.
Our main concern is US1 between San Luis Obispo and Monterey, since we will stop for the 2 hour tour at Hearst Castle, plus short stops at Morro Bay, Pfeiffer Park and Big Sur. As long as we get to our hotel in Monterey before 8PM we will be fine.
The next morning we will take US101 again to San Jose.
Also, can you guys recommend restaurants in San Luis Obispo and Monterey?