Planning a trip from the Bay Area (specifically San Jose) to the Grand Canyon and possibly include Zion if time permits. We will probably leave mid-January, but have no specific time frame or route in mind. We're planning on a week to 10 days total. We're both Bay Area natives, but have never done a drive very far down the coast, Monterey is about as far as we've been. I figure since we're heading south, it might be a good opportunity for a nice leisurely drive down the coast. Big Sur and Hearst Castle are a couple of things we want to see and we'll make more stops along the way. At the end of day one, I figure we'll end up somewhere around Bakersfield. We're both unemployed right now, so we've got plenty of time, but limited funds for this excursion. I don't want to stay anywhere too pricy, so the Bakersfield vicinity will work.
Looks like when heading back inland, the best route is Highway 46. We're both big city folks and hate the small narrow 2-lane highways where people like to pass and drive crazy. It doesn't help that that the first few links Google brought up when looking for information on this route were about several major multiple fatality accidents that have happened on this route in the recent past - most caused by people passing slower traffic. This will probably be towards the end of the day that we go this way and will both be tired. Are my concerns about this route justified, or am I just overly concerned? Another option would be to spend the night on the coast San Simeon/Cambria area and continue our trip the next day.
This will just be a leisurely trip with the Grand Canyon or Zion as the end destination, a couple of planned stops along the coast, and whatever catches our attention along the way. If we make it to Zion, we'll probably make a stop in Vegas on the way back. Any suggestions for this trip or routes would be appreciated.