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North to South or South to North?

Colchester, UK
6 posts
1 review
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North to South or South to North?

First trip to California coming up in September and I can't tell you how excited I am! We're flying into LAX for 2 weeks staying a day or 2 with friends at the beginning and end. We definitely want to drive the Big Sur and spend some time in San Francisco but would also like to visit Las Vegas.

So here's my question. Do we drive from LA to Vegas and then to San Francisco via Bakersfield and then I-5, leaving the Big Sur, etc., for the drive North to South, or do we head straight up to San Francisco and come back via Vegas? We'd like to spend maybe 2 days in Vegas and 3 in San Francisco.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
25,630 posts
5,668 reviews
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1. Re: North to South or South to North?

In September another option is:

1) Drive from LA to Big Sur/Monterey.

2) Drive to San Francisco

3) Drive to Yosemite and spend the night

4) Drive to Las Vegas - you will drive through Death Valley.

5) Return to LA.

That way you also get to see 2 beautiful national park as part of your journey.



Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
20,409 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: North to South or South to North?


I'm excited for you! California is an awesome place, especially along the coast. I agree with mini's itinerary for you since it makes the most sense and it gives you more of California to see. The drive up to Big Sur is spectacular as is Carmel and Monterey, which you should also visit.

San Francisco is, in my opinion, a magical place. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge and ride a cable car to Union Square. Visit the observation deck from the Embarcadero Center.... the view is unbelievable!

Have fun planning, drive safely and enjoy your trip.

Colchester, UK
6 posts
1 review
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3. Re: North to South or South to North?

Thank you both for your input, it's greatly appreciated. I really can't wait.

4. Re: North to South or South to North?

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