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  1. #1

    Default San Diego to San Francisco up Route 1 - Have FIVE DAYS... Looking for ideas

    I'm planning on drive up Route 1 from San Diego to San Francisco in August. I only have 5 full days to make the trip and want to make sure I have at least 1 1/2 to 2 days in San Francisco. Does anyone have any suggestions for any 'must see' things along route 1, or any places to stay (on a budget) along the way??

    This is my first trip to Southern California and I would like to stop in L.A. for a day as well. Any suggestions? Should I stay in LA or arrive in LA, spend the day, drive for a bit and then sleep elsewhere? ANY advice is welcome!


  2. Default San Diego-San Francisco

    LA is very congested. I suggest that's a visit for another time. Best best is to get north of Santa Barbara on your first day, even into Santa Maria, and spend the night there. Once you have that time frame figured out, calculate your second morning's drive time to San Simeon (adding an extra 30 minutes or so for photo opportunities) and book ahead for a tour of Hearst Castle, say 10:30 a.m.. There are 3 or 4 different tours to choose from, but the "first timers" tour would probably suffice. Check out their website at This stop is worth the added time. Spend a second night in/around Monterey (245 miles from Santa Barbara and 6-7 hr drive); 115 to San Fran). Beautiful area. Don't miss 17-mile drive and the Lone Cypress tree. The aquarium, too, if you like that sort of thing. If you can possibly squeeze it in, I strongly recommend driving from Monterey to Yosemite (I know you want to get to San Fran -- 210 miles from Y to San Fran--about 5 hrs). We spent the night at the very pricey Awahnee Lodge. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Get up early, spend a full morning touring Yosemite, being sure to hit the famous overlook that includes Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and El Capitan. You can make it to San Francisco by early evening. We really liked the Argonaut at Fisherman's Wharf. Walking distance to the Wharf restaurants/shops, cable cars, Lombard Street, and the piers for sightseeing tours, including Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods (redwoods), and Alcatraz (a must see, and spring for the headphones). Again, book ahead for Alcatraz. Be prepared to take lots of photos on this trip. Enjoy!!

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