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  1. Default Driving from san fran to la....???

    Hi all,

    Im sorry if this is a repeat of anything that has been said already....My girlfriend and I are spending four nights in San Fran late july which we will be checking out of our hotel on the 1st Aug..(aprox 0900). We have a hotel booked in LA which we can check in to from 1400 on the 1st aug. Our intention was to drive from San Fran to LA on the 1st Aug using the Highway 1 coast road.. but being told that its to long to drive in a day??

    We kinda planned that we wouldnt get to LA until about 1900 (if we left San Fran at 0900) what do people think?

    Is it possible to drive the best bits of the coast road and then travel the rest via the main highway?? (sorry cant remember what the highway is called)

    I kinda only had the idea of driving the coast road after i had booked all the hotels!!!..

    Any help would be greatful..

    Liverpool (UK)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think my first step would be to change the hotel reservations, rather than to try to force your trip to fit them. Since the trip is still 3 months away, you should have some flexability there.

    The coast highway really is too long and slow going to do in one day from SF to LA - it would basically take you 14-16 hours, and thats not factoring much any time for stopping at the many scenic viewpoints along the way. I would strongly recommend you rework your plans to spend a night enroute. If you absolutely must do this in one day, then you could take US-101 down near Monterey, then take the coast highway/CA-1 through Big Sur, before cutting back to US-101 around San Luis Obispo. That's still going to be a very long day that could easily take more than 12 hours.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info Michael,

    If i wanted to drive from San Fran to LA (leaving San Fran at 0900 and aiming to get into LA for around 1800) which route would you reccommend?? I wouldnt mind travelling down the main highway until santa Barbara and picking up the coast road then, is that possible? and do able in my time frame??

    My other half doesnt liek the idea of cancelling a day in San fran or LA to make the drive in two days..


    Liverpool, UK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default can't always get what you want

    It sounds like you are asking for more than you can really do. You want to see the coast, but you want to make the trip in 9 hours and that's just not possible.

    If you are going to do the trip in one day and want to see the coast, then what I already recommended is about the best thing I can come up with - and even that is way more than I would want to try to do in a day and far more than you can do in a 9am to 6pm trip. While the entire coast is scenic, the Big Sur section is the featured section of the route. US-101 does go along the coast for a short stretch south of Santa Barbara, but if that's the only section of the coast you take, you'll really have missed out.

    With your planned timeline, your only choices are to take US-101 the whole way, or just cut your losses and take I-5. US-101 will be more scenic than going through the central valley, but its still mostly a freeway that's away from the coast, and its a trip that will likely take up your entire 9 available hours.

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