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  1. Default L.A to San Francisco - solo driving!

    I'm new here - had a look but couldn't find anything so sorry if I'm repeat-posting!

    I'm going to California in August... definitely spending some time in San Fran but I'm meeting someone there, and they're going out before me, and I was thinking of maybe going to L.A first and then driving up to meet them.

    Wondering what is the best route - the coast road looks amazing, is it difficult or ok? Are there good places to stop and stay (if I make this trip last a couple of days)?

    I'd also be a solo female driver, I'm quite comfortable with that but you reckon it would be ok?

    How long should I be leaving to do the trip well?

    And finally, what are the best websites for route planning and car rental and all the rest?

    Any help or general tips much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default PCH Basics

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH or CA-1) is one of the great scenic drives in the world. Well worth the extra time it takes for the transit from L. A. to S. F. But it will take a minimum of two days for the drive if all you do is take the road, stop at a few of the pull-outs for the sea lion rookeries, and maybe take a short hike or two through some of the state parks on both sides of the highway as you work your way north. If you can add a day or two, then you can start adding a few longer stops at places like the Hearst Mansion in San Simeon, or the Aquarium in Monterey, an old Spanish Mission or two (the one in Carmel is still active), etc. For a three day journey, I'd recommend overnight stops in roughly Cambria and Monterey. You should not have any particular problems as a solo female driver. If you're comfortable driving alone normally, there's nothing intrinsically more dangerous about this road than the ones near your own home. You've already found the best website for trip planning ideas (in our humble opinion), any on-line mapping site (Google Maps, MapQuest and others) will give you the same basic routing information, and all the travel search engines (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and many, many others will give you the same basic pricing info regarding hotels and car rentals. Just dive in and find your best deals.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    We have many posts about this particular journey - peruse the list found by doing a search (at the top left of the page, enter your search, click "RTA", then click "Google Search").

    This link will give you the results of a search of "LA to San Francisco".

    If you can't find any ideas in these posts, be sure to post back here and let us know. We can help you with your route if there are any specific things that you'd like to see once you know what's out there. As far as how long - LA to San Francisco by the coast road I'd give at least 12 hours if not more. Mapping sites will list something on the order of 8-10, but I think that's optimistic at best.

    Are there other places that you've considered for your trip?

    Being a solo female driver will be fine. Just trust your instincts and make sure you have some maps with you.

    For car rental, I can't help you there. I imagine any of the national chains should be able to set you up for a decent price. If it is going to be a one-way rental, you will be paying more. You will also pay more if you are under 25.

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