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  1. Default San Francisco to Los Angeles via PCH in February (10 yr Anniv trip)

    Hi everyone,

    Newbie here, finding some amazing information. Haven't had to plan a big trip in several years that doesn't involve everything being kid-friendly. Last time hubby and I were away alone was 9 years ago (really doesn't feel that long!).

    Anyhow, for our 10 year anniversary we are looking to do something different and have decided on a road trip along the PCH from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Originally we wanted to include Vegas & San Diego, but we only have 8 days and after a bit of research I quickly realized that was too much in too little time. We are looking at 1-2 nights in San Fran, 2 nights along the coast, and then 3 nights in the LA area, possibly staying one night in Santa Monica and then the other two a bit further south since we will fly out of Long Beach.

    I'm not sure about the February weather in California. We live in New York's snow belt so we are hoping to see some sun but don't expect to be laying out on the beach. How concerned should we be about it being rainy season and driving PCH? Are there activities we should NOT plan on being able to do? We were going to see redwoods at Henry Cowell, Santa Cruz boardwalk, Monterey Bay, hoping to catch sight of some ocean wildlife, mainly stopping along the way at some of the smaller beaches and coves just to take in the coast. We are not planning on Hearst Castle, maybe just stopping into Santa Barbara for lunch. We haven't decided which towns we will stay in yet on the way down either, but am thinking Cayucos or Pismo Beach would be good overnight points.

    Thanks for any insight!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Unpredictable weather.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I would spend a couple of nights in SF and include an Alcatraz tour, it's a great experience. If that appeal you should consider booking boat tickets in advance via the National parks website.

    The Monterey and Cambria/Cayacus areas are popular areas to reak up the journey along the coast.

    The weather, as always, is totally unpredictable, but it should remain reasonably mild and warmer as you head south. Rain is a real possibility during your trip, but hopefully only on occasion or not at all, blue sky's are also quite possible. Heavy rains have caused landslides and road closures in the past along sections of the coast, so you will have to keep up to date with weather info and road conditions as with any winter driving, but that's more precautionary and not something to over concern yourself with for now.

    With 8 days you could spend a night or 2 in Vegas and fly back from there, but if a more leisurely pace suits you that's great.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info and weather tips. We haven't decided if we want to actually go to the island and tour for Alcatraz or just take a boat ride around the bay and see it from there. Since we are limited on time, I was thinking a boat ride would allow us to see both bridges and Alcatraz from a distance and then we don't have to be upset if we ran out of time to do them all on foot and it frees up some other exploring time in the city.

    The Monterey aquarium looks amazing and Cayucos is one of our possible stops. I had trouble figuring out the rta map system but I think it just doesn't work well on the ipad. Once I get some extra time I will plot everything out on the map and get a better idea of timing in between. Funny you mention Vegas because I originally wanted to arrive there and spend 2 nights and then fly on to SF, but it seemed to make the week too rushed. We will be happy using that extra time in CA.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default It all depends

    From the ferry ride you surely will see the island and the bridges. But being there allows you to experience these venues. I found the late/evening tour of Alcatraz spectacular. Besides seeing the prison after dark - spooky; we were on the island early enough to see the sun sink into the Pacific behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the lights come on all over San Francisco. Sights I will never forget.

    In the same way, driving or cycling over the GG bridge was a great experience. Driving the Bay Bridge, I have to admit, I just thought of when the upper deck collapsed onto the lower during that earthquake, decades ago.

    You might also like to look at the 17 mile drive, on your way to Monterey.


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