Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. Default 3 day road trip from SFO to LAX


    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?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default When Three Days is Really Two

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are some warning signs in your plan to spend three days driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The first is that your really only have two and a half days total from Monday morning 'til Wednesday afternoon. The second is that if your arrival in San Francisco on Monday morning is due to an overnight flight from Europe, then you are probably not going to be in ay shape to make full use of Monday in any event - jet lag will catch up to you sooner rather than later. Finally, at both ends of your trip you will be fighting rush hour traffic in major, sprawling American cities.

    I would plan on getting no farther than Monterey on Monday. There is plenty to do and see there if you have the energy, and plenty of lodging choices if/when you run out of steam. South of there places to pull up for the night start to become very few and far between. Then on Tuesday, your only full day, drive the coast, enjoy the scenery, take some hikes in the many state parks along the way, visit San Simeon, but plan on getting at least to Santa Barbara. That will leave you 'only' a solid 2½ hours from LAX, and you can get a moderately early start to your day by leaving around 8:30 or 9:00 and still miss the worst of the morning rush hour. This makes Venice Beach possible, but Laguna Beach would be several beaches too far in as much as you'd be trying to drive more than 200 miles through some of the worst traffic in America while having a plane to catch. A better place to catch your stroll on the beach would be Venice or nearby Santa Monica.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-30-2013 at 03:16 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Winter Road Trip to Canada (First Road Trip Ever!)
    By Cee in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-20-2009, 04:31 PM
  2. 3 week winter road trip (first ever road trip)
    By chiledog75 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-18-2008, 03:54 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name