Los Angeles to San Francisco via Highway 1
I am due to visit LA next week and want to drive to San Fran. Can anybody help me with some directions and the best way to get there. We are interested in using Highway One as I understand the views are fantastic. However we do not really want to drive more than 8 hours. Any ideas on the best route where we also get to see of the scenic views.
Will we be leaving from the Chinese Theatre in Hollwood.
8 hours total?
Do you mean round trip or one-way? No way can you get to San Francisco in 8 hours via the coast road (one way using I-5 is over 6 hours).
The most scenic parts of Highway 1 in southern California are about 5 hours away from where you'll be in the Hollywood area. If you want only 8 hours total, then about as far north as you could get would be Guadalupe or in that vicinity, depending on traffic and possibly construction, if any (there was last time I was in that area).
If you CAN, I'd suggest driving to Monterey (an 8 to 5 drive, not counting stops) using Highway 1, spend a night there, and then use I-5 to get back to LA (1/2 day). Doing so, you'd see the Big Sur coastline, which is spectacular. Bob
To get from L.A. to San Fran will take about 12 hours via highway 1. It's almost all 2 lane roads, and some parts could be considered dangerous because of tight curvy roads, and rock slides. Some say the prettiest part of highway 1 is Big Sur, and I tend to agree.
Have a great trip.
Somewhere in between the two Bobs
If you were able to drive non-stop along CA-1 the distance would require at least nine hours. But no one can drive that route and not stop at least a dozen times, snap some photos and wander around.
I recently did a review on a very good guide book to Route 1. There are places in that book known (previously) only to locals. <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/California-Highway-1.htm">I recommend it!</a>
Tyhe trip will be one way
If you don't want to drive for more than 8 hours, then I wouldn't suggest highway 1. theoretically it is possible to drive it in less than 8 hours without stopping, but then you really defeat the purpose of going that route. It's the type of road where you'd want to take your time and enjoy the scenery and stop at all the places along the way. There are basically 3 major ways between LA and SF.
For a 6 hour drive, take the 5 straight up. Any other route is going to take you at least an hour or two longer.
For an 8 hour drive, take 101. A little longer than the 5, can't drive as fast, but more interesting with more places to stop along the way.
for a 12 hour drive, highway one is doable. And it's not as bad as it seems because you'll probably end up stopping every couple of hours so it's not a continuous drive.
You can always hop back and forth between the three along any of the smaller highways connecting the three. But be warned that some of the roads might take you a few hours to get between there.
If you just want to see the major sections of highway 1, then the sections around Santa Barbara and Big Sur are probably the sections you want to see. You can take the 101 to skip the long, long drive between the two.
Big Sur is absolute HEAVEN. If at all possible, please do yourself a favor and take in the gorgeous scenery. Tourists come from all around the world to visit the area.
Carmel is fun too.... some great cuisine and shopping...