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  1. Default California in February

    Hi there,

    my partner and I are planning a California road trip in February and are a bit concerned about the weather....
    We have about 13 days in total and we are debating whether to start in San Diego or in LA and leave from San Francisco.
    Could you help us with the weather question? We would love to do Highway 1 from LA to SF...will it be really bad? Also, provided we need to spend maybe 5 days in SF (4 nights), would you start from San Diego or from LA? How many nights would you spend between LA and SF?
    Sorry for all the questions and thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Unpredictable weather.

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

    Weather along the Californian coast should not be an issue travelling in February, though of course, no one can forecast this far ahead..

    The coast road between LA and SF is a two day trip, with either Cambria or San Simeon being the popular stops along the way. With 8 days, you have the time to start in SD and enjoy some of the attractions along the way. However, most prefer to drive the coast road, especially that section between LA and SF in a southbound direction. It will see you with the ocean on your side, and make pulling into and out of the many view points and overlooks much easier. (Though in February it possibly will not be as busy as it is in summer.)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Climate and Choices

    The California coast is mostly in the Mediterranean Climate Zone of the United States. As such, it is subject to cool moist winters. You won't see freezing temperatures or snow, but it will dip down into the 40s on some nights and February is in the middle of the 'rainy' season there. So a sweaters, light jackets, and rain gear should all be in your luggage.

    As for where to apportion your available days, that is obviously a personal choice. For myself, having visited all of the areas on your itinerary, I think San Diego (particularly Balboa Park), Monterey/Carmel, and San Francisco deserve as many days as you can spare them. Los Angeles not so much.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    What are you fearing when you ask if the weather will be "really bad?" There's nothing specific that I can think of that you should be concerned about, but obviously, there will be no way of knowing a specific forecast until just days in advance of your trip.

    Having nearly 2 full weeks, you have more than enough time to start your trip in San Diego. Of course, with that amount of time, you also have enough time to also see things beyond 3 cities. Have you considered any of the other many great attractions around California - places like Death Valley, Yosemite, even the Redwoods of the Northern California coast?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Southern California resident chiming in here: Our weather in February is not usually "bad". We occasionally get some rain (and this year, we really *need* it), and fog WILL blow in from the sea and take a few hours to burn off.

    San Diego has a lot to see. If you are looking at airfare, San Diego may or may not be the cheapest fares in/out, though. There are also, as Michael pointed out, a number of other places inland to check out and you have the time to do them. Also worth looking into: Flying INTO San Francisco so that you can do the Pacific Coast Hwy (CA-1) in a southbound direction, so that the pullouts are on your side of the road, and then fly OUT of LAX or San Diego (SAN).


  6. Default

    Thank you everyone!!
    We booked a flight to San Francisco with return from San Diego, as suggested.
    what do you think of the below?
    Feb 15-20 San Francisco: day trip to Muir woods and Sausalito?
    Depart from SF on the 20, spend 2 days between SF and LA (where? Cambria? Carmel? Monterey? San Luis?).
    One night in LA (we have already been, not that much we want to see there)
    San Diego 23-27? Maybe fit in a day trip to Mexico?

    thanks in advance!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    You have a good plan outlined there!

    San Francisco -- so much to see and do in the area. Muir Woods, Sausalito, both great. Napa or Sonoma Valley (wine country) if that appeals to you. Golden Gate Park and its many museums (including one I would LOVE to go to, the Disney museum). Fisherman's Wharf, especially if you love shopping (Ghirardelli Square) or seafood (lots of restaurants).

    On the way south, Cambria or San Simeon would be good points. The Hearst Castle is a good place to see, if that interests you.

    As far as going into Mexico goes -- I wouldn't. Lots of unrest there makes it a very uncomfortable place to be. There is so much to see and do in San Diego that I created a thread awhile back, just click here.


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