we are planning a road trip from SFO to LAX in September. While there is little unique about this drive, I would like to run some of the details through those with more experience. We live in Europe and this is our first time driving in USA.
Our flights set the following limitations. We rent our car from SFO on Monday at 9 AM and have to return it to LAX by 4 PM on Wednesday. We will drive Highway 1 and see the usual must-see sights. Any suggestions for stops for this 2 night trip? I’m thinking that the first overnight stop would be in Monterey and the second one in Santa Barbara.
My first question is for Wednesday. If we wake up in Santa Barbara, will there be time to stop for lunch at Venice Beach and then continue to our most southern point: Laguna Beach for a quick(?) stroll? We need to return the car by 4 PM in LAX. How is traffic going in these directions?
Secondly, is it too far to drive from Monterey to SB in one day when including time for sightseeing and lunch?
Finally, any suggestions for SFO-Monterey? Would it be possible to drive over the Golden Gate and see Napa Valley before continuing down to Monterey? Too much stress/sitting in the car?