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  1. Default Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

    My husband and I, both in our 60's, are flying from London to San Francisco in April.
    We want to spend a week driving to Las Vegas.
    Can you please recommend a route and what places we should visit.
    Will appreciate any advice.
    Thanks.
    Claire Clark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This is far and away the most popular and most discussed trip on this forum and there are thousands of posts and threads with a ton of information to give you the background you need to start planning your own trip. These are just a few of our favorites to help get you started. Once you've got a better idea of where you want to go and what you want to do along the way, we'll be in a better position to help you put it all together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Big Choice

    As you ponder your RoadTrip, you will have one overriding choice to make that will effect everything else. In April, all the passes through the Sierra Nevada will be closed (snowbound) so you will have to go around them either to the north or south. The northern route would take you to, through or near the Napa Valley wine country, Lake Tahoe, Reno/Nevada City, Mammoth Lakes and Death Valley. The southern route could include Monterey/Carmel, Big Sur and the Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles and Mojave National Preserve. The Grand Canyon would require a two day drive (one out, one back) from Las Vegas.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Thanks for your immediate reply Michael.
    The Southern route will be the preferred option.
    Since we only have approximately 6 days for this part of our holiday where should we have stop overs.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    SF to LV via the southern route is less than 600 miles and can be done in one long day on the road, so you have to decide exactly what YOU want to see in your 6 days. Break out a map, and look for attractions between SF and Bakersfield, then Bakersfield to LV.

    I'd start by looking at the coast road (CA-1) down to at least Cambria, if not farther, possibly taking US-101 toward LA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    What are some of your interests?

    If you take US-101 south down the coast you will have the chance to see Hearst Castle in San Simeon and some of the Franciscan Missions built between the 1770s and 1810s. If you take an eastern route you could see Yosemite National Park and also drive through Sequoia. Driving down I-5 would be the least scenic, and since you have lots of time I wouldn't recommend it.

    Are you more interested in scenery, California history, wine tasting, or something else? Once we know what you would like to see and experience, we can guide you a bit better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Oooops!!

    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    What are some of your interests?

    If you take US-101 south down the coast you will have the chance to see Hearst Castle in San Simeon and..........
    Me thinks not.

    Hearst Castle - and many more scenic and other attractions - are on US 1. Take it all the way to Cambria or Morro Bay.

    Lifey who loves driving the PCH

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    California State Route 1 (CA-1 or SR-1), not US-1. US-1 is on the east coast. I apologize for being picky.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    US-101, US-1, CA-1... they all have "1" in them.

    A trip I would liked to have taken but didn't have the time was down CA-1 and across Nacimiento-Fergusson Road to Mission San Antonio de Padua and US-101. This would bypass Hearst Castle, but would allow a drive through Big Sur along the coast before taking the quicker route down US-101.

    If you are interested in gigantic steaks grilled "Santa Maria style" (i.e. grilled over red oak coals), try Jocko's Steak House in Nipomo. You have to get there right when they open to avoid the 1 to 2 hour wait, but it will be an interesting cultural experience. You'll find delicious steak served in a folksy, "down home" setting of benches and tables covered with plastic, checkered tablecloths.

  10. Default

    Thank you all for your replies. We have definitely decided to take the south route - Monterey/Carmel, Big Sur and would you recommend Death Valley or Mojave Preserve.? I would like to visit the Mission San Antonio de Padua, is that much out of the way.?
    My husband would love the Jacko's Steak House, where is Nipomo?
    Would you recommend we pick up our hire car when we arrive to SF and leave in the hotel car park or pick it up when we leave SF. We will be staying for 2 days. Is the route leaving SF close to the airport road?
    I ordered a good map but still waiting for it, so will appreciate all advice re route etc. so we can orgainise our days on the road and possibly book hotels in advance. Or do you suggest we check in as we go along? Will the last part of April be very busy?
    I really don't know how to thank you enough.
    Claire Clark

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