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  1. #1

    Default For those who have driven SR-1...

    Hello!

    I am running through my streets and trips trying to plan out my route and have a small question on SR-1 (from LA to San Fran). Now, I understand that this route is a trip not to be missed, but I also understand that if you want to do the whole thing, it is quite long.

    I am looking for opinions on which part should definately be driven, which towns should be visited and which can be skipped. I will be going from LA to San Fran and would like to try to do this in a day, but can stretch a stop/sleepover somewhere in between. I am not sure the whole route could/should be done in this time.

    Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated! As for stuff to see and do, I am open to anything.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default OK in one day

    Quote Originally Posted by roadie4
    I am running through my streets and trips trying to plan out my route and have a small question on SR-1 (from LA to San Fran). Now, I understand that this route is a trip not to be missed, but I also understand that if you want to do the whole thing, it is quite long.
    I have driven that route ~ 25 times in recent years. It can be done easily in a day -- but it would be a long day.

    There are several dozen posts about some of our favorite coast highway locations -- use the search function (in the green navigation bar) and search for coast highway. One of the must-stops would be the seal lion sanctuary.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-19-2005 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Add some detail

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Middle is the Heart

    I've driven most of the coast highway between LA and SF, and the part you really don't want to miss is the section from just north of San Luis Obispo up to Monterey. If you use CA-154 to cut over from Santa Barbara through Santa Ynez to US-101 at the southern end and use CA-17 to return inland to join the 85 and 280 freeways at the northern end, you can still make the drive in one moderately long day. You can pull over and enjoy the views and sea life where you find them, but places that you might plan on spending a little out of car time include Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for some spectacular oceanside topography and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for some quieter inland hiking,

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    I've done the full trip from LA to SF maybe about 20+ times, and almost always in 1 long day. Fastest was about 8 hours, but usually around 12-13 hours (including stops for sightseeing). I took the trip a few months ago and it was the first time I took 2 full days, and I still see something new every time. If this is gonna be your first and last time, and want to try and see everything, I'd say make it a two day trip. Hearst Castle in San Simeon can be a whole day in itself, the rest of the road is not a drive that you can really speed through. A large portion of it is a 20-40 mph drive through twisty roads, and even on the straighter section you'll either be going through small cities with lower speed limits, or there will be slow drivers looking at the views.

    Personally, I like the northern section from SLO to SF also. It might be because I've been on the southern section a lot more often during day trips so it's not as "new" for me. But the northern section is a lot more scenic if you like the ocean and mountain views. A few of the more popular sights along or near PCH

    Hearst Castle
    Ano Nuevo? (sea lion place near San Simeon)
    Monterey Bay Aquarium
    Carmel by the sea
    Big Sur
    Big Basin Redwoods
    Santa Cruz Boardwalk
    Bixby bridge (supposed to be one of the most photographed bridges or something)
    Solvang (dont forget to take a picture with the big red shoe)
    Half Moon bay (eat dinner at the haunted Moss beach distillery and visit the infamous Maverick's surf spot)
    A lot of small towns that were really cool with little shops, but I can't remember the names right now. I just drove and stopped whenever something looked interesting.

    Next time I drive it, I'm probably gonna try and explore more of the backroads rather than sticking to the coast. One area I haven't seen yet is the Old Coast road in Big Sur, which is supposed to be a really beautiful drive.

  5. #5

    Default Thank you

    These are great! Looks like the journey is going to be a lot of fun. Thanks everybody!

  6. #6

    Default

    Where is the motel I've heard of along the route that has the unusual themed rooms? Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Madonna Inn

    Quote Originally Posted by PSU 98
    Where is the motel I've heard of along the route that has the unusual themed rooms? Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
    There a number of places that would fit that description -- but the most famous would be the Madonna Inn near San Luis Obispo.

    Mark

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