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  1. Default Las Vegas to Monterey CA to LA in February

    Leaving Las Vegas on Monday morning to Monterey, Ca. I heard something about Los Banos and Gilroy and garlic. We have to be in Los Angeles Friday afternoon. We would love to leisurely drive the coast on hwy. 1. We like to stop and eat at unique places, and we would love to see redwoods and wineries. We don't have hotels in mind. We're concerned about the weather in February. Can you help.

  2. Default Los Banos?

    Los Banos? Now I have to ask, what have you heard about this small town in the Central Valley?

    Having said that, I've stayed in the town a few times, and passed through numerous times. It's got proxmity to a couple of wildlife refuges, a good Mexican restaurants, a couple of reasonable hotels, a footnote or two in history, a hot springs (Los Banos = "the baths"), and ...... hmmm.....aahh.... *thinking*...... oh yeah, on the way over Pacheco Pass to San Jose area. Seriously, what have you heard about it? It's not a bad town, but there isn't a lot to recommend it.

    For a week long trip, from Las Vegas to LA via Monterey you do have some options. Places you might stop between LV and Monterey might include:
    - Death Valley (a good month to visit)
    - Yosemite (snowy, most likely, but always scenic -- and won't be crowded in Feb)
    - Sequoia (most of park may be closed, and the drive through the park will probably be closed, but the visitors center and the main lodge are open all winter)

    Depending upon timing and your taste, you could make it to SF (it's doable in a long day's drive from LV to SF), then head south.

    Typically its a 2 -3 day drive south from Monterey to LA, depending where you want to stop and what you want to do. So the other days are your choice...

    There are wineries near Monterey, around a hundred near Paso Robles, and in the Solvang/ San Ynez area. Several opportunities here to go wine tasting.

    For interesting food... hmm.. There are some places near Cambria which have some good food I've heard -- California Coastal specialties, such as abalone, which is raised on some aquatic farms near there. A couple of the standards, and a bit out of the way include the Hitching Post in Casmalia (you need to look that up on a map...) or the Far Western in Guadalupe (if I recall that name properly -- but I haven't been here in years...). The Santa Maria area is known for its tri-tip barbeque and Santa Maria-style beans, but other than the Far Western, I don't know of any really recommended places.

  3. Default

    Thanks for responding. Actually what I read was to exit hwy. 5 in Los Banos and take hwy to Gilroy passing a ridge , some pretty scenery? I've never been to this area so I don't know, but I do know I want to travel hwy.1. We're worried about the weather on the coast in February,foggy,rainy? Info on 17-mile Drive, Big Sur,. What would your route be from Vegas to Death Valley , and points of interest. Would 4 hours be enogh time in death valley?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default February is often the nicest on the coast

    Quote Originally Posted by jill t View Post
    Thanks for responding. Actually what I read was to exit hwy. 5 in Los Banos and take hwy to Gilroy
    OK -- actually that is just the locals route to the Monterey Bay area. During the Spring -- it can be gorgeous wildflowers on the green, verdant hills. CA-152 is also called the Pacheo Pass Road and it does pass the San Luis Reservoir -- but it is four lane highway and in February it might not be as scenic as other routes. Plus, if you are going to Monterey and the Big Sur, going to Gilroy is out of the way. When you reach CA-156 (just past Case de Fruta -- a local tourist trap/shopping area) you would follow CA-156 to US-101 and then on down to CA-1 for the trip down the coast.
    We're worried about the weather on the coast in February,foggy,rainy?
    It is really hard to predict weather in February since we are still in a drought -- but in most years the weather on the coast is relatively clear -- Summer time has the densest fog due to the intense heats of the inner coastal valleys. (Summer heat causes fog to appear when the heated air of the land reaches the colder air masses that circulate above the ocean).
    Info on 17-mile Drive, Big Sur,.
    There is lots of information about the coast drive on this Forum here is one must-see place and one of our favorite drives in this article.
    What would your route be from Vegas to Death Valley , and points of interest. Would 4 hours be enough time in death valley?
    Las Vegas to NV-160 to Pahrump and then Bell Vista Avenue to Stateline Road to Furnace Creek. Here some more ideas about this. 24 hours is a better time frame -- but you can see some of the major attractions in four hours. And are some possible routes for the other parts of your trip.


  5. #5

    Default Monterey info

    I'm not sure about your route, but I can recommend some things in the Monterey area. Gilroy is the garlic capital of the country but the Garlic Festival is in the summer. Mostly, there are lots of outlet stores there. Not something I think would be a big draw for you. You might find some good garlicy dishes at restaurants in the little downtown area.

    Definitely plan a visit to Carmel. Little Napoli has good Italian Food and Forge in the Forest has good food as well, with an outdoor eating area. Have a drink (but don't waste your money on the food) at the Hog's setting....Clint Eastwood used to own it but he no longer does. He now owns Mission Ranch which I have heard has great food.

    You can do the 17 mile drive from Carmel to Pacific Grove. Lover's Point in Pacific Grove is nice to see as well. I can't recommend the restaurant, Lattitudes, that sits right at Lover's Point though. Not very good food. Point Lobos is a great park for hiking and is right near Monterey. Big Sur is great but there's not a ton of things to do there unless you like hiking and camping. The coastal drive, though, is incredible. The Big Sur Bakery is right on HWY 1 and has great food. Pizza is cooked in a wood burning stove and they use very fresh ingredients.

    Pacific Grove has a cute, small downtown. The Red Door has great sandwiches and homemade soups. Petra is a Greek restaurant and they have a great gyros platter. Del Monte Cafe has a great cinnamon french toast for breakfast.

    Cannery Row in Monterey is very touristy but should be pretty slow when you are here. Monterey has one of the best aquariums in the country, if you're in to that sort of thing. Downtown Monterey doesn't offer a ton of activities, but you might like strolling around there for a bit. It's always fun to walk around Fisherman's warf and watch the sea lions and seals. Willy's in Cannery Row has southern style food and they serve a great artichoke appetizer and fried twinkie dessert. A good locals hangout/restaurant is the Sandbar and Grill. It's located right on the pier (the one BESIDE Fisherman's Warf...not on the warf).

    Heading up north towards Santa Cruz, there is a cute town called Capitola. Great little restaurants and shops on the shore.

    I have heard that Monterey is about a five hour drive up the coast from Los Angeles. Hearst Castle is along the way, near Cambria. Cambria was another cute town with lots of motels right on the water. As someone else recommended, the wineries in Paso Robles are great. I prefer them to Napa. Napa and Sonoma charge so much for a tasting nowadays.

    San Francisco is definitely my favorite part about living here. It is just so much fun.

    I hope this helps! Good luck on your trip.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-12-2007 at 06:58 PM. Reason: added a link to a great guide for wineries....

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