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  1. Default California Road trip - PLEASE HELP

    Hi everyone,

    I'm travelling with my mother this summer in California hoping to have a lovely time and see many sights. We have done roadtrips before but only in Europe.

    When doing my research I'm encountering a few confusing things but before I explain those I will lay down our intial plans.

    25th July - Fly into LAX, rent a car, explore LA etc.
    26th - explore LA
    27th - drive to Santa Barbara via the coast
    28th - Wedding in Santa Barbra
    29th (sunday)- Leave santa Barbara for....
    6th August - Evening flight from LAX (preferably back in LA day before)

    This is where I encounter some dilemmas. We would like to see the Big Sur, San Fran and Yosemite. Even without the road closures along the coast I wouldn't know what route to take.
    We may be very wrong but we thought going from santa Barbarbra to Yosemite on the 29th is the best option becasue then we wouldnt be in Yosemite on the weekend where it is likely to be more expensive. We would then continue from Yosemite to San Fran and then down the coast, which I hear is the better way to do it.
    I have a big road map on the way from amazon to decide on our route because I feel that Google maps is not really showing us the most beautiful route.
    I know there a HUGE amount of information on the coastal trip but little seems to incorporate Yosemite and little are updated enough on the road closures in Big Sur.
    ANY help will immensly appreciated by two lovely overwhelemed Brits.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Coast Would Cost

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    According to both the CalTrans site and Google Maps, CA-1 (the Coast Highway) is still closed to all traffic for about a six mile stretch almost smack dab in the middle of its Los Angeles to San Francisco portion. While you could conceivably drive around that bit, there are a few other sections where the highway is down to one lane and traffic has to alternate. I would, therefor, suggest that you get your Coast Highway 'fix' in the San Francisco area, either going south to Big Sur or north to Point Reyes National Seashore, as day trips while there.

    That leaves you with two possible routes between the L.A. area and either San Francisco or Yosemite, CA-99 and/or I-5. I'm a big fan of using different routes whenever possible and in your case it also makes the most sense. From Santa Barbara to Yosemite, you'll have to backtrack a bit towards Los Angeles on US-101 to just north of Oxnard where CA-126 east to I-5 north to Mettler. At that point take CA-99 (freeway quality) north to Fresno and then CA-41 north into Yosemite. You would then take CA-120/I-205/I-580 west into the Bay Area. Heading south from San Francisco to Los Angeles, take I-580 east out to Tracy and get on I-5 the rest of the way.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The value of those maps.

    Quote Originally Posted by firstimeforeverything View Post
    I have a big road map on the way from amazon to decide on our route because I feel that Google maps is not really showing us the most beautiful route.
    That is the greatest benefit, to have that large map on the wall where you see it all the time. However, for more detailed information than what a large map of the whole country will give you, may I suggest that you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas (there is none better), from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. [I am assuming you are coming from the UK.]

    In the atlas you have the maps of each State, where all the roads are graded and scenic routes are highlighted. As well, there is a lot of information about the attractions found along each route - be they historical, natural/scenery or touisty. Only yesterday I bought this year's in Boston, in preparation of starting my roadtrip.


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