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Big Sur in november

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Sydney
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Big Sur in november

Hi,

I heard that the weather can get quite treacherous along the Big Sur making the drive impossible =(

If this being the case, what would be a recommended alternative drive going from LA to San Francisco?

How likely would it be for the roads to be closed off along the Big Sur in november? Would this effect a visit to Hearst Castle?

Also, we're planning to eat at Nepenthe, is booking essential in november? Will this also be closed off if the weather conditions are bad?

Edited: 10:14 pm, September 18, 2010
Shell Beach...
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1. Re: Big Sur in november

It's unlikely in November that the drive would be "impossible." We often visit in December and the weather has been beautiful, although rain can certainly happen. Yes, there are times in midwinter (particularly Jan and Feb) when severe storms can blow through, but you'll probably know about the weather well before you would actually be in the area.

The link below contains a link to the California department of transportation (Caltrans) website, which keeps highly detailed reports of road conditions.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g240329-i513-k3068…

There is no other way to see the entire coast between LA and SF except going through Big Sur - you'd miss a huge part of the coast and the best views. The inland route along Highway 101 is OK, but nothing compared to the coast views.

My advice: don't worry about it, but be sure to check the weather report and the Caltrans website before you get on the road.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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2. Re: Big Sur in november

November weather along the coast tends to be on the mild side. As scooterboss mentioned, the stormy season doesn't usually begin until December. It's rare for the highway to be completely closed to traffic. This only happens when there are major slides that need to be cleared or if part of the highway has collapsed (even rarer).

I have driven through Big Sur when it was raining and enjoyed it immensely, but I was traveling north to south and most of the rock slides were in the north bound lane, which occurs even when it's not raining.

You do not need to book Nepenthe if you're planning on having lunch there. But, if the highway is closed for some unforeseen reason, you will not be able to access Nepenthe from the south.

Hearst Castle would not be affected by any highway closure to the north (Big Sur coast). Only severe weather would close Hearst Castle and that is not likely in November. You would simply drive south from Hearst Castle to Highway 46 (11 miles) and travel east to Highway 101 north to Salinas where you can connect with Highway 68 over to the Monterey Peninsula.

Sydney
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3. Re: Big Sur in november

Thanks for the help scooterboss/kibblesmom.

I really hope the weather will be good. I'd be ever so disappointed if we weren't able to drive along the coast.

We're keen on renting a convertible for the drive up. Would the weather not be suitable for this?

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Big Sur in november

It is rarely convertible weather here. While November days may be mild, they will still be chilly and there are few warm daylight hours in November that would negate the added expense. Not to mention that you lose a lot of trunk space with a convertible. Unless you're a light packer, I would opt for something with a sun roof or high ceiling to maximize the views.

Sydney
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5. Re: Big Sur in november

We will be travelling light (a small sports duffle bag each).

Although, the chilly weather would be a concern and I think you've just confirmed what I feared that it wouldn't be a good idea to go with a convertible.

Shell Beach...
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6. Re: Big Sur in november

I'm used to convertibles in chilly weather. I've rented them in December and been fine. Worst case scenario, put the heat on or the top up.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Big Sur in november

Nothing beats this drive in a convertible. Absolutely fabulous. I'd reserve a convertible and then monitor the weather. If it is going to be stormy, change the reservation to a hard top car. As for what is or is not convertible weather - IMO, convertible weather is any time that the temps are above 40°F and perciptiation is not falling from the sky.

8. Re: Big Sur in november

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