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  1. #1

    Default LA to San Fran 2 days need help!!

    Hi there,

    Me and mygirlfriend are travelling to CA on October 8th this year(6 weeks to go WOO HOO!!) I just need a little advice as to what to do on the first part of our trip.

    We land in LA early evening on 8th Oct. We have a hotel arranged near to LAX for convenience (I'll need a sleep!!!) We plan to drive up the coastal road to San Francisco the next morning. My quandry is, I have tickets to see the 49ers play at Candlestick park in San Francisco on Sun 11th October at 1pm.

    I want to see as much of the coastline as possible, staying over somewhere on the Friday 9th October (Maybe Santa Maria/Santa Barbara) and then move on to somewhare like Santa Cruz/Carmel and stay over Sat 10th. I am just a little worried about getting to Candlestick park for 1pm the following day. (I would hate to miss the game!!!!!)

    Any ideas of somewhere nice to stay nearer to San Fran on the 10th would be good, or is Carmel close enough for me to drive to Candlestick the morning of the 11th?

    I'm staying in San Fran 11th, 12th and 13th too so would prefer to stay somewhere else on the 10th. After that i'm moving on to Yosemite and then to Vegas and back to LA

    Any help would be Brilliant. I have no accommodation booked inbetween the LA hotel on the 8th and San Francisco on the 11th. I'm not looking to spend $$$$ on hotels but i'd like to stay in a few nice places, kinda $200 a night maybe.



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

    Default Shouldn't be too hard

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd say as long as you are at least as far north as Monterey, you should be fine, and certainly Santa Cruz would make for a pretty easy trip on Sunday morning. I'd bet there are other fans in those cities that will also make the trip up the same day.

    I'd figure about 3 hours for the trip from Monterey and 2 hours from Santa Cruz (they could take less, but that gives you some room to deal with traffic, etc).

    The coast tends to be a more expensive place to stay, but still, $200 a night should still buy you a very nice room.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Carmel to Candlestick is approximately 120 miles, and there are several ways to get there. It shouldn't take you more than 3 hours to get there on a Sunday morning, so Carmel is a suitable overnight. If you do want to get closer, you could look at Santa Cruz. I don't know how long it usually takes to get from the highway into the Candlestick lot and get parked.

    Also, I don't see why you couldn't make it to San Luis Obispo or Morro Bay the first night, unless you want to spend a lot of time in, say, Santa Barbara or Solvang.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default options

    First day: anywhere between Santa Barbara and San Simeon would position you for the drive up the coast. In terms of "atmosphere", I would vote for Santa Barbara on the south end, and Cambria on the north end.

    On the other end of Big Sur, you have the Carmel/Pacific Grove/Monterey area; each town is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses. Carmel is small, quaint, and probably the most expensive of the three. Monterey is the largest, and has a wide array of options. Pacific Grove, in the middle, is the forgotten sister of the three, and has some nice Bed and Breakfasts... and is closer to the Monterey Bay Aquarium than most places in Monterey. As noted above, you should be able to get to the 'stick in three hours from any of these; just shoot up 101.

    If you want something closer and interesting, you may want to check out Bed and Breakfasts or other lodging along the San Mateo county coast, in the Half Moon Bay or Pacifica area. These would put you about an hour away from the 'stick. Santa Cruz also works, but is a little farther out.

    If you really really are anxious about getting there on time, book yourself into any of the airport hotels/motels around SFO, about 15 minutes from the 'stick.

    I would shoot to get there at least 90 minutes ahead of time to negotiate parking and settle in.

    Go 9ers! Beat the Falcons!

  5. #5



    Firstly thanks for the super quick replies and great advice, what a great forum.

    I think i'm going to try to head up towards Santa Maria / Morro bay on the first day, leaving LA at around 8am so i can take it a little slower and then take it easy up to Santa Cruz the next day for a Saturday night on the boardwalk? Any recommendations on places to stay in either of these places? Or will I easily find a hotel on a Friday and Saturday night in these areas? and are attractions such as the boardwalk in Santa Cruz open in October?

    Judging by googlemaps and a few others it should take me about 2 - 2 1/2 hours to get to candlestick park from Santa Cruz if i take a scenic route along the coast, via half moon bay. I plan to get to 'the stick' at around 11.30-12noon so we can saok up the atmosphere and be tourists and buy some foam fingers and replica jerseys!!! So I guess i'll be leaving Santa Cruz at around 8 am ish.

    I was just a little worried about whizzing through places on the way and missing out on stuff, but i'm sure its possible to spend 2 weeks getting from LA to San Francisco properly, so i guess it gives me plenty of excuses to come back!!

    Thanks again.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Santa Cruz

    I believe the boardwalk is open weekends in October, but you should check their website.

    That time of year I would think, even on weekends, that you can find a room... but I can't speak from personal experience (too far away from me to have observed how full it is on a regular basis, too close to have actually spent a night there).

    If you know for sure you want to stay in SC, you should do some research and book something that best meets your budget, location and taste requirements. In any case you're not going to end up having to sleep on the beach, you're at the edge of a large urban area and there will be a room SOMEWHERE. Just don't wait until 9pm to start looking for it.

  7. #7


    Thanks again guys, i'll check out the boardwalk website. Yep the rides are oen on the 10th so thats great news!

    I reckon we'll visit there on the way through and possibly try to stay somewhere towards half moon bay. Makes for a leisurly drive over to candlestick in the morning so we can get parked up and settled in for the game.

    I'll check out hotels in the half moon bay area and probably book one so that i've got something to work towards!

    Thanks again

  8. #8

    Default LA - San Fran - Yosemite - Vegas - LA My itinerary

    Oct 8th we arrive, here's my ininerary. Any idea's or tips would be welcomed.

    OCT 8TH - Land at LAX (7PM) and pick up hire car, straight to hotel near LAX to get some sleep.
    OCT 9TH - Leave hotel and head up PCH (slowly!) might try to see Neverland ranch on the way too. overnight stay at Cayucos
    OCT 10TH - Cayucos - Santa Cruz via PCH maybe stop at Hearst Castle on the way
    OCT 11TH - Leave Santa Cruz (Early!!) to get to Candlestick park to see the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons then travel back on ourselves to go to Half Moon bay for the night.
    OCT 12TH - Leave Half Moon (Do 17 mile drive in pebble beach) and travel to San Fran centre (Nr union Sq)
    OCT 13TH - Day in San Francisco, Segway tour of the bay and then Alcatraz in the afternoon. rest of the day mooching/shopping
    OCT 14TH - Morning in San Fran shopping / Golden Gate and then on to Groveland for the PM
    OCT 15TH - Day in Yosemite NP and then back to Groveland
    OCT 16TH - Through Tioga pass and end up in Bishop.
    OCT 17TH - From Bishop to Beatty NV via a stop at Stovepipe wells and Scotty's castle.
    OCT 18TH - Beatty into Death Valley and see badwater/furnace creek and onto Vegas
    OCT 19TH - Vegas normal touristy stuff and then see cirq de soliel (KA) in the evening
    OCT 20TH - Vegas again - Helicopter trip to the grand canyon and evening in the casino's
    OCT 21ST - Drive the long road from Vegas to LA (maybe a stop at palm springs?) and hopefully spend the evening in LA doing some last minute shopping / sights and back to the same hotel as before
    OCT 22ND - Morning in LA again shopping / sights before flying home at 6pm
    OCT 23RD - Planning how I can come and live in the USA or at worst, planning the next road trip!!

    Any thoughts/ comments would be welcome.


    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-26-2009 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Please keep all questions about this trip in one thread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just About Set

    You seem to have things pretty well in hand. There are many options for each of the legs of your trip, but presumably the choices you've made, about where to stay while seeing Yosemite, how to see the Grand Canyon, splitting your time between driving and sight-seeing, etc., all suit you. You also seem to have a good handle on what you want to see and accomplish at each location on your trip. So at this point I think you can just relax and enjoy your trip as it unfolds.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only thing I might do differently is go to Pebble Beach on the way to Yosemite instead of making it a day trip out of SF.

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