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  1. #1

    Default Road trip in Spring

    Hi all,

    I live in Australia and am planning my first OS trip to America in April 2009. I am holidaying with my husband, 2 young kids (8 & 6) and my parents.
    Once in America we are planning some driven sections and some flown.

    One section that we are planning is driving from San Fransico to Anaheim then to LA then to Las Vegas. So basically what i am wanting to know is when driving from San Fransico to Anaheim we can not afford the time to go on the coastal road so we are going the more direct road, we have been told that it is about 600klms or 450 miles...when on this road is there any chance to pull over if we see something we like or is it a main highway that you cant?
    Is there much to see on this road?

    Any advice would be great appreciated!
    If you have any other tips or advice I would love to hear it.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by holden05 View Post
    when on this road is there any chance to pull over if we see something we like or is it a main highway that you cant?
    I imagine you are talking about Interstate 5 (aka I-5). I'm not familiar with that particular road, but generally US Interstate highways only allow pulling onto the shoulder for emergencies. Many times when there is abundant scenery, and if the terrain allows it, you will find a few scenic overlook pullouts along the way. Some are just small parking areas, while others allow parking for many vehicles and have space to take a stroll, get a good view of the scenery, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Hi and welcome to the forum
    I don't get this. Now you have the chance to drive one of the best stretches (hw1) in the country and you'll take I5. Why not fly LA directly.
    Anyway, non of my business. The best way to give you an impression of I5 is comparing the drive on Hume hw between Sydney and Melbourne. Not bad bot nothing exciting. It's an all day drive with kids and stops so count on 7-8 to Anaheim. Faster if you don't stop of course.
    There are 5 rest area's en route between SF and LA and you don't have to leave the interstate.
    Yeehaw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default agreed

    There certainly is nothing wrong with I-5, its a straight shot down through California's central valley. You'll see lots of Mega-Farms and other agriculture, before crossing the Grapevine and heading back down into Los Angeles. Its a road that gets quite a bit of traffic for a rural highway, and you'll see plenty of people driving 80+ mph.

    Having said that, if you are making your first trip to the US, it seems like it would be a huge shame to miss the Coastal Route. It really is one of the most remarkable highways in the world, and would let you see scenery like this. It takes 2 full days to really do it right, but if time is absolutely critical, then you could at least take an abbreviated trip picking up the PCH around Monterey and talking it down towards San Luis Obispo, before rejoining the US-101 freeway.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks so much for your replies guys! All tips and advice is much appreciated!
    I will start by saying that I am disappointed that time does not permit us to drive the coastal road. The photo you showed midwest is just gorgeous. I am going to definately look into the abbreviated route.
    We are still tweeking our trip so who knows...we might even gain a day somewhere and be able to drive the whole coastal road.

    We are also going over to the east coast and will be doing some driving over there. We are driving from Washington to Gettysburg then onto Lancaster and then up to New York. We have 5 days to take our time and stop and look at anything we want...so any advice on things to see while over there would be great!

    So is 80+ mph the legal limit? I have to say I am very excited to be experiencing the America roads but still am a little nervous. I am going to be doing the driving on my own as my extremely brave husband, mother and father have said they wont be driving and it is all up to me...lol! Brave arent they!

    Thanks so much for your time guys and look forward to your replys!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default The legal limit varies

    Some stretches of interstate have speed limits of 60 or 70 mph. I think those are the most common. But there are some stretches of 80mph. I don't recall what they are in that part of California.

    My best advice is to travel with the flow of the traffic. Quite often in the US, the faster traffic will be in the left lanes and the slower traffic in the right lanes. As a visitor to this country, it is best for you not to speed. You really don't want to deal with a ticket while you're here. So, if the traffic is driving at speeds that exceed the speed limit in the left lanes (not unusual), then you might stay in the right lane and drive at the flow of traffic speed in that lane.

    Stretches of road with the higher limits are generally fairly wide and straight and handle those speeds easily so you shouldn't let it worry you too much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 70mph

    The posted speed limit on I-5 in California is 70 mph. You'll be fine if you stay to those limits, but I think its pretty likely you'll have other cars that will do 80 or more. At least that's been my experience on that road. As long as you stay to the right lane, you'll be fine even if you don't feel comfortable going as fast as some of the other cars.

    I believe the only place with an 80mph speed limit is in West Texas. Otherwise 70 or 75 mph is the norm for rural freeways west of the mississippi.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Yes, I10 between Junction and El Paso is 80mph and they are working to allow that speed on the I70 stretch in Utah. Just a little update. Just go with the flow and drive a little faster than the trucks. 75-80 will do! Cal.=70, Az, NM, Ut, Co are 75.

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