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  1. Default San Francisco to Las Vegas - June 2015

    Hi there. I am looking for some help and hope that someone will be able to assist. I appreciate there are lots of threads on this forum about this, but I was looking for some more bespoke help if possible!! In two weeks time me and my friends are heading to SF from the UK then plan to take a drive to LV via the Big Sur. We are planning to leave on a Thursday morning and spend a few hours at lunch time whale watching in Monterey before completing the Big Sur. We really want to know where the best place to stop on the trip will be. We want to get to Vegas for mid-afternoon on the Friday and plan to head off around 9/10am in the morning. We were considering staying at Morro Bay but there didn’t seem loads to do there. We really are open on places to stay. We’re not looking for anything overly lively, and want reasonable but affordable accommodation (who doesn’t)!

    I am hoping someone will be able to offer some advice on how long it will take to get to Monterey from SF on a Thursday morning and where we should aim to stay to get to LV at our desired time. We are open to ideas so if anyone can help that would be great. Sorry for all the questions but this seemed a very friendly forum, and thanks in advance for any help you can provide!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you might be underestimating travel times a bit, as what you're laying out is probably going to need a small adjustment to your timeline.

    First, You should plan for at least 2.5-3 hours to get to Monterey, although it will depend somewhat on your starting point in the city, traffic, and your choice of route.

    If you spend a few hours around Monterey, and then drive down the coast, it's going to be evening by the time you get to the Morro Bay area. I've always found Morro Bay to be a very pleasant coastal town, but there are several other options in the area you could look at, including Cambria, San Luis Obispo, and considering your plan for the next day, Paso Robles could be the best choice, as it would give you the biggest head start toward Vegas.

    From the central coast, you're looking at 7 to 8 hours of driving to get to Vegas, so if you want to get to Vegas by mid-afternoon, you're probably going to have to look at getting on the road a bit earlier than 9 or 10.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your help. With regards to driving on the major roads at night, is this possible? We are not overly experienced at driving overseas. We would love to get a head start but it seems this will be tough?

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


    Major roads can be driven at night in the US safely - in most situations.

    However, in the plan you're laying out, your situation would not be one of them.

    Trying to drive into the night, after you've already been traveling all day - and that's what you'd be doing here - is not a smart idea. By the time you get to the central coast, you will have already been traveling for at least 12 hours, and that's tiring - to the point where it is difficult to continue driving safely.

    Adding to the problems is that after the Central Coast, you're not going to be traveling on Major Roads. CA-46 is a good road, but it's a secondary, 2-lane, highway that takes you over a small mountain range and then into the Central Valley. There's just not many options for places to stop until you reach I-5 - a 2 hour drive from the coast.

    You really need to plan to spend the night near the coast, and if you want to reach Vegas by mid-afternoon, you'll have to leave earlier in the morning. There's just not really any other way to make it work.

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