Vegas-San Fran West Coast Advise
My boyfriend and I are planning to take about 10 days to drive the west coast, centred around a 3 day stay in Vegas and then the same in San Francisco. There are so many places that we would like to see that we keep changing our minds and can't decide what the best route would be. Can anyone please advise what the best stop offs and unmissables are? We don't want to cram in so much that we have no time to take it all in, but have no idea where to go. I prefer the idea of not being overly touristy and would really appreciate some backroads and beautiful truly western places. Our main problem is that we are naive about distances and are not sure what is realistic.
Can anyone help ?
Many of the interior highways of California are "twisties" -- and fairly slow-going. I wouldn't plan to do 500 mile days on any of the east-west routes, or on the coast highway. It would be better if you figure on a couple of hundred and then poke along, stopping where you want to. There are hot springs along US395, one of my favorite routes for scenery. Also, the coast highway is magnificent -- SR1. Lots of people really enjoy visiting San Simeon (known as the Hearst Castle), it was the estate of W.R. Hearst -- it is along the coast road north of Cambria, CA. You can tour the home and grounds, I believe. If you use the search feature here on the forum, and enter "San Simeon," you will get lots of hits about this route in general (called "Big Sur"), and on the Castle.
That said, the best part of touring California (for me) has always been the scenery and setting. You might drive the coast route one direction, and the inland route the other -- (US395) and if you are planning this in summer, use SR120 over Tioga Pass into or out of Yosemite National Park, depending on which direction you are going.
thank you so much - advice taken and sounds spot on !