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  1. Default LA to San Francisco

    I am traveling by car with my wife 4 small children from Anaheim to SanFrancisco in early April. This is after 4 nights in Anaheim which is our first stop. I wanted to do this trip in one day with a mixture of fast roads and scenic routes. Is this pushing it? Could you suggest a route as i'm not sure whether to start on the coastal route then cut in on a faster route or vise versa. I would like to avoid those massive looking 6 lane plus freeways if possible. If your advise is to definatley stay somewhere overnight can you suggest a nice spot that is roughly half way or more that is inexpensive and kid friendly. This is part of a 20 day journey but i'll get to the other legs in later forums. Would appreciate any advice as we are Aussies travelling to the US for the first time and i'm finding this very daunting.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    This is part of a 20 day journey but i'll get to the other legs in later forums. Would appreciate any advice as we are Aussies travelling to the US for the first time and i'm finding this very daunting.
    Hi Spud,

    Where is the rest of your 20 days taking you? I ask, because it is much easier and more interesting to travel from San Francisco to LA. That way when you do the magnificent coastal road you are on the ocean side, and do not need to cross over oncoming traffic when turning into the many lookouts.

    From my experience of travelling with our five small children, one of the most important things is to stop at least every two hours to give them a run in a playground, a drink and snack. It makes the trip so much more enjoyable and memorable. I would not attempt that distance with four little ones in one day.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default the whole story

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I too would like to know the details of the rest of your trip. One of the reasons we like people to keep all their questions for one trip in the same thread is because it is hard to give good advice when you don't know the whole story.

    As far as your specific question goes, you need to make a choice. Do you want to make this trip in one day or do you want to take the scenic route? Since the trip takes 6-8 hours on the super-slab, you can't really do the scenic route in one day.

    If you take the coastal highway up, you should plan for a 2 day trip. There are lots of parks and places along the ocean where your kids will be able to get out and run around, and if you are looking for a more elaborate attraction, you can't go wrong with the Monterey Aquarium.

    Of course there are some other options seeing the more inland/mountain attractions, but again, knowing the full story will help you get more complete advice.

  4. #4

    Default 3 Main Routes

    There are 3 commonly used routes from L.A. to S.F.

    * I-5
    ** Fast about 6 hours from LA to SF
    ** Not especially scenic

    * US 101
    ** Moderately fast, about 7 - 8 hours
    ** Scenic
    ** Interesting towns along the way.

    * US101 + Hwy 1
    ** Slow, about 10 hours+
    ** Very scenic

    Drive times are just an approximate drive through times with minimal
    stops.

    It'll be much more fun to make the trip in two days and take Hwy 1.
    If you do this in two days, you could stop either at the southern
    end of Hwy 1 at around San Luis Obispo, or the northern end
    at Monterey.

    US101 is a good compromise of speed and scenery.
    Last edited by roadie; 02-26-2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: improve wording

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Would appreciate any advice as we are Aussies travelling to the US for the first time and i'm finding this very daunting.
    Another consideration.....

    Doing this trip in one day will mean that you will be leaving Anaheim in peak hour traffic and arriving in SF in peak hour traffic. Believe me, Australia has nothing like either of these.

    Both are daunting at the best of times.

  6. Default

    Hi all, thanks for your comments and I see your point on the overall perspective. Our trip details are as follows: 4 Nights Anahiem, 3 nights SanFrancisco, 2 nights Yosemite, 5 nights Las Vegas (incl GC), 3 nights San Diego (incl accross border visit), and lastly 3 nights LA. Looking at some of the comments we are considering travelling in the opposite direction to our first proposed route. Therefore, the new route would be Anahiem, Las Vegas and GC, Yosemite, SanFrancisco, San Diego, LA. Any thoughts on which direction? Once I establish the direction I can work on each leg.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A couple of thoughts.

    Hi spud,

    I would go from Anahiem to San Diego to GC to Vegas to Yosemite to SF and back to L/A. It would save on extra trips through the urban sprawl of LA.

    I would allow for an overnight stop down the coast and give yourself some time to enjoy this most scenic of coastal highways.

    It is worth noting at this point that you will be unable to access Yosemite from Vegas [or vice versa] using HWY120 [Tioga pass] across the Sierra's. The pass will still be closed due to snowfall and you will have to go around the southern edge via Bakersfield.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Spud, as Dave suggests, do the anti-clockwise circuit. You will be much better off. All of those roads have many points of interest for brief stops to break the journey.

    And by the way, are you a member of NRMA? If you are, make sure you take your membership card with you. The AAA all over North America (including the CAA) have a reciprical arrangement with all Australian Automobile Associations, and you will find that you can get free tourist information, travel advice and detailed maps for all the areas through which you travel, including the urban areas.

    Nothing beats a good map to help you get lost! ;-)

  9. Default

    Thanks Lifemagician, Southwest Dave, Roadie and Midwest Michael. As you suggested we are doing the Anahiem to San Diego to GC to Vegas to Yosemite to SF and back to L/A. Now we know where we are going we can begin planning. I'm sure i'll be back with new thread on the new route later. Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I would NOT recommend you cross the Mexican border into Tijuana. Tijuana is not safe for tourism right now, the drug cartel is at war with the police. Not wise, especially with children. You also may not cross the border with a US rental car.

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