My husband and I are planing a road trip from Portland, Oregon to San Diego and want to drive as much of the Pacific Coast Highway as possible. We have 1 week, from Aug 30 (afternoon) to September 6 (AM).
With the exeption of the first night in Portland and the last night or two in San Diego, we pretty much want to avoid staying in the big cities. I've been to San Francisco before, and with the exception of a couple places in LA, I would rather spend my time near the Ocean.
I am looking advice on realistic travel times, road conditions, and things to see and do along the route. Also what kind of traffic can we expect? I've heard Oregon coast is horrible for traffic, but has this went down at all recently w/high fuel prices?
My initial stab at a rough time table is to drive from Portland to near San Francisco in about 2 days, with driving about 8 hours a day. Then drive to San Diego in 2 days, with driving about 4-5 hours a day. does this seem reasonable?
Things that that we enjoy are
1. Photo ops - I am big into photography, so if there is a part of the drive that is really beautiful, please share so we can be sure we are there during the daylight and/or don't skip it.
2. Eating - Amazing Resturant recommendations along the route will be much appreociated.
3. Breweries/wineries/food factories
4. Less-crowed beaches and places.
5. Shopping, but not cheap tourist souviner type of shopping.
Thanks a lot for any input. I look forward from hearing what everyone has to say.