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  1. Default Summer Road Trip: LA to San Fran

    Hello all! My name is Summer and my boyfriend and I want to take a road trip this coming summer up to San Francisco. We haven't gone road tripping before, and we are both college students so money is a little tight. We were wondering if you more experienced road-trippers could help us figure out some fun stops on the way up or back, we'd be taking the 101 up and cutting wayyy inland to take the 5 back
    (all we know is that we want to hit up this odd little ostrich farm because my bf has been dying to try an Ostrich egg ever since he found out they were edible)
    We definitely know our way around up until Santa Barbara, but after that, not much. We were also concerned about sleeping in the car.. is that legal?
    I would realllllllly appreciate any help with this! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Missing out.

    Hello Summer and welcome to the RTA forums !

    By taking 101 up and I5 back you are going to miss the spectacular coastline through Big Sur on CA1. I would use CA1 to come back as it will put the Ocean on your side of the road heading south. There is quite a bit to do in and around Monterey and some State parks, Hearst Castle and great scenery as you head to the seaside towns of San Simeon, Cayacus and Cambria. You don't say how much time you have for the trip ?

    You should be concerned about sleeping in the car and not only from a legal point of view but also personal safety and making sure you get a good nights sleep while on the road. You should at least consider getting basic camping gear and use campgrounds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Legalities aside....

    It simply is rarely safe to sleep in a car. And where would you park? There are very few places in CA where you can legally park overnight. Campgrounds would really be your best bet. Neither is sleeping in a car particularly comfortable. You do not get proper rest to have you fresh for the next day's travel. Why not get onto Craig's list now, and start looking for a couple of basic sleeping bags, a two or three person tent and some self inflating mattresses. (These insulate as well as affording a degree of comfort.) That's about all you need, unless you want to cook your own meals.


  4. Default

    Thank you! The Big Sur sounds great! We thought we could take about 6 days total. We know we want to stay in a cheap motel outside of San Fran for one night so we can get in all the sight-seeing and such for two days. Is that too long? We really don't know how to estimate time but we aren't in any hurry to get back after we're gone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's never too long.

    Time always runs away from you on road trips so you can never have too long. In fact if you had more time and the funds you could consider driving further inland on the way up and visit places like Sequoia NP and Yosemite NP.

    If you are staying outside of SF then make sure you are close to good public transport links as parking in the city is difficult and expensive. There are some reasonable [not cheap] priced hotels near Lombard and Gough Street that have free parking for guests and is not far from the Piers and transport to the City centre. While in SF you could easily spend half a day or more visiting Alcatraz Island which is highly recommended. If you decide to do this then I would recommend booking tickets in advance to save standing in long queues at the ticket office and possible dissapointment. This is the only official Ticket office recognised by the National Park service and does not charge agent fees or sell you other tours as a way to make their profit.

    Fishermans Wharf [Pier39] Coit tower, China Town, Union Square and riding the cable cars are just part of the SF experience, perhaps a drive over the Golden Gate bridge and view the City from one of the viewpoints on the other side would appeal. Just walking around the City and it's parks is a rewarding experience all by itself.

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