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  1. Default Family trip from SF to LA on HWY 1 - please help me plan!!!

    Hello everyone,
    I am from Brazil but I live in NY and I will be moving back to Brazil in February and before my return I am planning a trip on HWY 1 starting in SF and ending in LA (or nearby) from Dec 26th to Jan 3rd. We will be 4 (my husband and I and our 2 daughters, ages 10 and 13).
    Here is what I would love to get help with:
    - Is it worth it or possible to drive up to the Redwood National Park before heading south? I feel we need to go there, I ve heard it is beautiful!
    - Is it worth it to rent a RV instead of a economic car and save in hotels? I am sure my daughters will love it but I am not sure how much it will cost yet. I searched online and it said around $850 for 7 nights but it was a general search.
    - Once we take the HWY 1, I would love to get tips on places we should stop, where to sleep, things to do, etc.
    - Lastly, since we have about 7 days, how long will the trip south take it? What would be your ideal plan for a 7 day trip on the west coast?

    Thank you soooo much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Here's a thread to help you decide.

    Hi Raquel, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    There is a whole thread devoted to the topic of RV vs. hotel/motel - lifestyle vs. savings. You may find that helpful while making your decision.

    The coast road generally is a two day trip, with an overnight in the vicinity of Cambria / San Simeon. However, with two girls the age of your girs, you may want to spend more time, and visit the many attractions around Carmel and Monterey, including the 17 mile drive and aquarium. There is also Hearst Castle, which I am sure the girls will find very interesting. Then of course there are the many sights along the way.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Going North to Get South

    Bem-Vinda! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While there is certainly plenty of scenic coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, it is also true that there is also plenty of scenic coast north of San Francisco. With an entire week to explore, I would fully recommend that you go up the coast first and check out the Redwoods. There are several parks around Orick CA including Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods Park, and the Smith River National Recreation Area. You can get from San Francisco to Orick in a day without any problem, spend a day or two there, and then return to San Francisco for the start of your drive down to Los Angeles. For that return drive you could head inland and down I-5 to visit the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area and still be in San Francisco in a day. I would recommend a good two days for the portion of the trip down to Los Angeles with visits to some of the many state parks and seal and sea lion rookeries along the way; your kids are probably a little young to appreciate Hearst's 'castle' at San Simeon. Cambria is a good town to stop in overnight with some reasonably priced accommodations.

    In general, an RV is not a cost-efficient method of travel. Just the rental is more than you would probably pay for a car and motel. And then you have to add the extra cost of fuel, the price of a campsite for the night, and the non-monetary cost of the awkwardness of trying to drive such a vehicle through cities and towns and on small, curvy, two-lane highways such as the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-24-2012 at 11:30 PM.

  4. Default

    Thank you, Lifey! That is very helpful. I will check the link right now. Will be interested in finding out what people think of it.

  5. Default

    Oi AZBuck,
    Thank you so much for your help. It was very very helpful!!! I think you made good points and I have already gave up the RV idea. Going North first then South makes a lot of sense. I am already excited with it all. Obrigada once again!

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