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Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

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London, United...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

Hi All,

My husband and I are planning a 4 day road trip driving from LA to San Fran. This is our rough plan with stops booked along the way. Do you think we have left enough time to fully experience the Big Sur? We plan to keep to the coastal roads where ever possible including through twin lakes and lighthouse point park in Santa Cruz. We plan to end Day 4 in Half Moon Bay for a short drive the next day into San Fran to drop off the car by midday. Any comments/suggestions much appreciated!

Friday - Drive LA to Pismo Beach via Malibu, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.

Saturday - Spend morning in Pismo Beach, drive to Moonstone Beach Cambria for wine tasting at 4pm. Via San Luis Op, Morrow Bay.

Sunday - Drive Cambria to Carmel via Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, Point Lobos

Monday - Drive Carmel to Half moon bay via Monterey, Santa Cruz

Tuesday - Drive from Half moon bay to Union sq SF via West Coast road and GG park.

We don't mind early starts and will be sharing the driving.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
40,627 posts
150 reviews
1. Re: Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

Looks ok. have a great trip.

Is Monday in Half Moon Bay ? Sure why not but you are just a couple of hours North of Carmel and yes you could spend a long time in SC and on the drive from Carmel to HMB. Also you are just about 40 minutes south of SF -- Unless you love to change hotels nightly, I would just drive to SF.

But if you stick to your plans to stay the night in HMB,

On Tuesday, Not sure what you plan to do but sure you can drive from HMB North on Hwy 1 and then join 280 and 19th avenue to go into SF and GG Park and then to Union Square. A better use of the car would be to go to GG bridge and to the North side and check Marin Headlands as well and also Twin Peaks in SF before going to Union Sq. (What is the West Coast road? )

Edited: 4:15 pm, March 18, 2013
London, United...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

Thanks for the advice, your idea of using the car on Tuesday to do GG bridge and Marin headlands is great, will work it in.

We are planning to spend a few hrs in Carmel on the Monday morning before setting off on our drive to HMB, arriving at around 7pm for a good nights sleep before heading on to SF for 3 days. Sorry don't know which roads just want to stick to the coast heading up from HMB to GG park.

Off in less than 2 weeks time!

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
18,215 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

Friday: Take Santa Maria off your list. There is nothing there of interest. It's a farm town with big box stores and lots of crime as of late.

Saturday: Looks okay. Where will you be wine tasting at 4:00 pm? That's about when the wineries stop serving.

Sunday: Leave Cambria early so you have time to enjoy the sights along the Big Sur coast AND have time for some of the sights in Carmel/Monterey. Actually, I would add that night at Half Moon Bay to Monterey/Carmel and just drive to SF via Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Carmel to SF is only a 3 hour drive without stops and there isn't as much to do in Half Moon Bay as there is in Monterey/Carmel.

London, United...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

Thanks for the heads' up on Santa Maria.

Plan to go to the wine tasting room at Moonstone Cellars in Cambria, we wanted somewhere we could walk back from afterwards so we can enjoy the wine!

Yeah i think your right, plan to spend more time in Carmel Monterey. Half moon bay is really just a late night stop over to get our heads down before starting a 3 day holiday in San Fran.

Thanks for the advice.

5. Re: Five Day Road Trip LA to San Fran

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