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  1. #1
    Peadar Guest

    Default Route1 road trip from San Fran to San Diego

    Hi - myself and a friend have decided to head over to the states next summer (2005) - ps: we live in Ireland. We were planning on heading to San Fran - renting a car - then heading off on Route 1 to eventaully end up in San Diego. We would appreciate any help/tips for this trip. We would like to know which cities/places to stop off on the way, where are the best places for nightlife, etc etc...How much time should we set aside for a decent trip to see most of the best spots along that drive. Also - any chance anybody could give us a tip on renting a car?? is it cheaper to keep it for a certain length of time etc....which are the best companies and so on. Also - are there any places to stay away from. We hope to see a lot of LA - but don't know much about the city - any help there would be great also. I know we are asking for a lot of info - but any advice would be great.

    Thanks in advance.
    Pete & Gary.

  2. Default If

    If I were coming from 12,000 miles away, I'd spend at LEAST a week! If you'll do a search for "Route 1," or "Big Sur," I think you'll come up with a few ideas about this route. Also, try Monterey, San Simeon, and other key words of places along the route. Even just entering "California" will pull up a lot of info -- although you'd have to sift through quite a few messages to find what you're looking for.

    For car rentals, I like Alamo. I personally do not care for Thrifty, but others have had no trouble with them and recommend them. Hertz is the BEST, but you pay for the first class treatment -- I rarely use them anymore, although in days past, as a pilot who traveled extensively, I rarely used anyone else. I also got a government discount that made them nearly as cheap as any other company, so that was a consideration. Look for the best rate among the various larger companies -- Budget, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, National, Avis, etc, and go with the best deal. You'll get the best rate in periods of a week or better -- and you'll save money if you return the car to the same airport where you picked it up -- if you leave it elsewhere, there will most likely be a "drop" charge. Find out about that and decide if it is worth it to you if you do not want to drive back to SFO for your departure. Bob

  3. #3
    Peadar Guest


    Thanks Bob. thats some great info that will surely help us on our way!
    Pete & Gary from Eire.

  4. #4
    tai Guest

    Default hwy 1...

    hi...i grew up in california and know the coast well. Suggest 2 weeks if you want to really enjoy it. some places to see:
    san franciso: museum of modern art, china town, wharf, golden gate bridge, and get to point reyes seashore in Marin.
    Take hwy 1 to Santa Cruz. See wharf. Go to Montery, see aquarium, then to Carmel for town and Carmel Mission. Camp in Big Sir at Pfieffer State Park..get reservations early for 1 - 2 nights. Then down 1 to Hearst Castle. Next Santa Barbara, play on beach. Next Los Angeles: Would do Getty Museum, beaches, and then get out. San Diego...see the zoo, Marine World, beaches...drop down into Mexico if you likie. That's a start. Enjoy your trip. Glad to answer questions if you have them.

    Bon Voyage, Tai.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Really good books

    There are a number of guide books to route 1 -- the best, by far, is one of the least expensive. Check out California Highway One
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-06-2007 at 01:52 PM.

  6. #6
    imported_Mark Guest


    well lads,
    im also from ireland,me and two of my mates are thinkin of doin the same thing for the summer.were gonna do a good bit of research,but thinkin of just goin over and seein where the wind takes us.Enjoy your trip....

  7. #7
    Reggie Guest

    Default California road trip

    My wife Annie and I did our second west coast road trip in September 2003. There are so many good things to see and do, but if you can make it into San Luis Obispo on a Thursday evening for the Farmers Market you'll have a great time. Super food, super music and a super atmosphere - we really enjoyed it! We are "oldies", 58 and 57 years young, from England and have made several road trips through various parts of the USA and thoroughly enjoyed every one. Hope to make many more. Enjoy your trip

  8. #8
    imported_Bill Guest

    Default Trip - San Diego to San Francisco

    Suggest at San Diego you go to:
    Zoo takes 3/4 to 2 day
    Drive over the bridge to the island and see the sights
    Go to the Coronado Island - beautiful sights
    Drive east to Davidson, CA for a since drive thru the forest and to see the "apple capital of CA" where you can eat the best apple pie available. Takes 1 day.
    Drive N along the beach to La Jolla and have lunch there.

    Drive N to Newport Beach and go out to the Boardwalk and have a frozen banana.

    Long Beach: Queen Mary in the port.

    Drive on to LA - so much to do: Farmers Market, Hollywood,stop by La Brea Tar Pits, Go to a baseball game-Dodger Stadium, Drive along Wilshire Blvd, Universal Studios, etc.

    Drive up and have lunch at Santa Barbara on the ocean front.
    Drive over the mt on Hwy 154 to Santa Ynez and stop at Solvang for the best in pastries. Drive to Lompoc and see where they grow flower seeds...acres of whites, reds, blues, etc.
    Drive on to San Simeon and see Hearst Castle then on to Big Sur, on to Carmel and take the 17 mile Drive into Monterey, CA.

    On to San Fran--See the Fisherman's wharf, get a big ice cream Sunday at Ghirardelli's, drive down Lombard St - crookedest street in the world, take a boat to Alcatraz, Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Wood and see some magnificent redwood trees, stop at Sausalito and have lunch at one of the restaurants that is cantileverd over the water that gives you a spectacular view of San Francisco, walk along the wharf, take the trolly downtown, etc.


  9. #9
    imported_Ann Guest

    Default Hwy 1 Road trip

    Your car rental will really depend on if you're planning to pick-up the vehicle in SF and then drop it off in SD. If this is your plan, then your best bet is to pick a national company that will allow you an alternate drop off site, unlimited miles and of course buy the insurance. Since this is a car trip, you may want to splurge and get a convertible as this will allow you more photo opportunities without having to pull over. This is especially important in SF, where parking is limited! For some driving idea's & places to visit, check-out my boyfriends blog at

    SF: You should really plan to stay 2 days in the city. If you're fast, you can do all the major tourist attractions in one day. Start the day in North Beach w/Italian canoli and espresso (this is also where you can end the night w/clubs and strip bars on Bay Street) walk along Columbus and then head down Stockton through China Town. In China Town, you'll have to try Dim Sum to go which you can walk off while taking in all the shops and sites on Stockton to Union Square for premium shopping. Continue on Powell to my favorite stop; Rasputin Music & more. After being amazed by Rasputin's inventory, head next door for a slice of Blonde's Pizza to eat while standing in line to catch the cable car to Fisherman's Warf. From Fisherman's Warf, take a ferry to Alcatraz (make sure you purchase your ticket in advance because they sell-out during the summer). Once you're back on the Warf, walk around the pier, take pic's of the sea lions, Ghirardeli's Square. There's nothing better than a pitcher of beer & a mountain of hot wings at Hooters to rest before heading back out for some night life.

    Santa Cruz: 2 hours South of SF. Head straight to the Board Walk for a roller coaster ride followed by a funnel cake before hoping back into the car for an hour ride to Monterey.

    Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur: Start at the Warf then drive through Cannery Row (if you have time, spend a few hours at the Monterey Aquarium), back on the coast, if it's a warm day, pick-up a snow cone at Lover's Point to enjoy on your coast ride which will take you to 17-mile drive (this is fun, but can be skipped in the interest of time). One of my favorite restaurants is the Fishwife in Pacific Grove. If you skip 17-mile drive, continue on Hwy 1 to Carmel and make a right onto Beach Ave, where there are lots of cute shops and galleries which can be enjoyed from the car as you drive by, do the loop at the Beach where you really should stop for a few minutes to take pics. Then head back up Beach Street to Hwy 1. (You may want to make a stop at the Hog's Breath, where you can get a couple of pints at a bar that had been owned by Clint Eastwood). Your next stop is Nepenthe in Big Sur. The shop and especially their collection of bells on the patio with the view of the Ocean is spectacular. For lunch grab a bite at the café next to the shop and soak in the view. You can pay extra to be served at the restaurant upstairs.

    San Luis Obispo: plan to stay the night here and if you're able, do a tour of Hearst Castle.

    Santa Barbara: plan to stop off in Santa Barbara for lunch before heading down to SD.

    San Diego: In San Pablo Park have breakfast at The Big Kitchen where Whoopi Goldberg used to work (another of my favorite breakfast places is The Broken Yoke in down town) before heading into the Zoo to walk off your breakfast! For a seafood lunch go to the Seafood Market in Point Lomas. Head to Old Town using the trolley for some yummy Mexican food; drive to Coronado and take in the views at the Hotel Del Coronado.

    For me, a trip to SD has to include taking the train to Tijuana and walking to Ave. Revolucion. Just don't get tempted into buying a lot of cheap tourist junk. You'll regret having to lug it all back. I make an exception for a blanket, which you can usually talk down to $20-25 USD. For night life, the bars are filled with US teenagers getting drunk on cheap alcohol. Not that there's anything wrong with that! =)

  10. #10
    Jodie Guest

    Default california road trip

    Pete and Gary, there are a few questions before I can give you advice. It is important to know how old you are, what your interests are, what sort of night life do you prefer, if you are gay or straight. all this is important info for the best trip. Do you want to camp out or stay in a hotel? If choosing hotels you are missing half the fun. Unless you are not the outdoors type. Fill me in and I can give you advice. Also there are alot of parts of Los Angeles you want to avoid getting lost. Looking forward to your response...Jodie

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