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  1. Default Brits travelling from Vegas to San Francisco over 2 days

    Hi there

    My boyfriend and I are 23 and coming to the Coachella festival this April. We arrive in LA on the Wednesday and are going to spend a night there (not the main point of the post but if anyone has any ideas of where to stay there let me know! We'll be pretty jet lagged but would be nice to see some of the city briefly. Anyway, I digress...)

    We're going to hire a car and drive to the festival on Thursday, and on Monday we're going to drive up to Vegas (I calculate this takes around 4 hours). We've booked a hotel already for 2 nights stay.

    We have also booked 3 nights stay in San Francisco from Thursday to Sunday.

    The main thing I'd be grateful of some advice on is where to stay on the free stopover night (Wednesday). I've read that there's not much to see on the desert route, and we are happy to take longer driving up the pacific coast. I was thinking of Santa Barbara? Seems quite chilled and a good midway point. To me this seems the best option, as we can leave Vegas late morning on Wednesday and Google maps says it will take us around 6 hours to get to Santa Barbara. We can then spend a night there and drive the 5 hours to San Francisco on Thursday.

    Ideally we'd like more time in our 'stopover town' so i'm open to options on where that could be - we'd have to leave quite early from Vegas on Wednesday morning to get to see anything of Santa Barbara, which i'm fine with, but still. If there's anywhere closer to Vegas than San Francisco that would make a good night stop do let us know. And I am aware we could have missioned it from Vegas to SF in 9 hours but that's no fun!

    Many thanks!

    Charlotte

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The Coast.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you wanted to go direct to Vegas by the quickest route you could make it in around 5 hours. If you decided to take your time, you could drive through Joshua tree NP and the Mojave preserve and make a day of it.

    You can get from Santa Barbara to SF in 6 hours or so, but you won't be seeing much of the very scenic coastline. You would need to travel on CA 1 around Big Sur to get the full beauty of the Pacific coast and to do that I would head for the Morrow Bay/Cambria area. Spend the next day exploring the coast to Monterey and then on to SF. It is a very slow going twisty section, but worth every moment !

  3. Default

    Thanks for your speedy reply!

    Thanks for the tip on highway 1 - I was getting a bit confused about 1 and 101 but now I see that's right on the edge and will be quite scenic. Is it worth driving on 1 all of the way up, or is it just around Monterey that is picturesque? Are there any parts of 1 that are particularly hair-raising or is it quite safe? I've driven on very nervewracking 'roads' in Greece so we have experienced the worst.

    I think we will be quite keen to get to our stopover place soon as possible on the Wednesday, so may stay a little further south on the coast and then spend Thursday driving up 1 (as we're in SF for 3 nights i'm not bothered about rushing there on the Thursday). Santa Barbara seems like the closest coastal city to Vegas in terms of driving distance, that's not LA.

    Charlotte

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    If you stop at Santa Barbara I would suggest stopping again in Monterey/Carmel. The most famous and scenic stretch of coast Rd is found on CA1 between Cambria and Carmel.

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

    Default

    I would not go anywhere near Santa Barbara. From LV, take I-15 to Barstow, then CA-58 to Bakersfield. From there, CA-46 will get you down to the coast near Cambria. This would be about an 8 hour drive. The next day, drive up the coast on CA-1 to Monterey, then get on the freeway (1, 156, 101) to SF.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I would not go anywhere near Santa Barbara. From LV, take I-15 to Barstow, then CA-58 to Bakersfield. From there, CA-46 will get you down to the coast near Cambria. This would be about an 8 hour drive. The next day, drive up the coast on CA-1 to Monterey, then get on the freeway (1, 156, 101) to SF.
    Thanks both. Curious, what's so good about Cambria and importantly, not good about Santa Barbara?

    I've also heard people talk about a place called San Luis Obispo, similar area, as an alternate stopover?

    Keep the suggestions coming, but it would be great if you could tell me why you are recommending places and what they have to offer :)

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

    Default Making it 'fit'.

    There is nothing 'wrong' with any of these possible stops, they are all good. The point I was making earlier was in regard to the locations and how best to do what you want to do, with the time you have. In short, you can't get from SB to SF in 5 hours and enjoy the scenic CA1 coast Rd. It would really be too much to do in a day, but if you can stop another night along the way it isn't a problem. Santa Barbara isn't the Mid-way point and adds time to your journey as you will be very close to being back where you started in LA.

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