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California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

Gothenburg, Sweden
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California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

i am driving from San Francisco L.A early feb.

i am stoping for a night in santa cruz and then 1 night in santa barbara.

just curious on what rout to take on my journey. ive heard high way 1 have the best views but high way 101 is quicker. is there a section i should drive and then cut back to high way 101 to save time ?

aslo wondering if there are any red woods i drive through on my way ?

thanks

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1. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

There are several opportunities to see redwoods. Along Hwy 1 you have Limekikn and Pfeiffer SP which have redwoods. ALSO CLOSE TO santa Cruz are big basin and henry cowell state parks.

Menlo Park...
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2. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

since you have time and are not in a hurry, you could see redwoods on the way to Santa Cruz at Butano Park east of Pescadero, just off hwy 1. I would suggest taking hwy 1 all the way from SF, since the coast is lovely north of SAnta Cruz. Then as you head south from Santa Cruz, you will pass through redwoods along the highway through the town of Big Sur. After you finish the Big Sur drive, hwy 1 will rejoin 101 just south of San Luis Obispo, so stay on 101 to santa Barbara and LA.

San Jose, California
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3. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

Butano is one of my favorite parks, but the trees are second growth. I would go to Henry Cowell since you have some old growth (i.e. really big trees) there.

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4. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

Do you need to save time? It is not much slower, really, to take Hwy 1 south from San Francisco. Hwy 101 is often traffic clogged and goes through ugly industrial areas. I avoid it as much as possible.

On Hwy 1 you pass some beaches, a lighthouse, an elephant seal preserve, etc. and have nice views. When you get to Santa Cruz, it is only 7 miles up Hwy 9 to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=546

If you want an alternate route to Santa Cruz, take Hwy 280 from San Francisco. This is a fast and beautiful freeway which goes through the foothills of the coast range. Take Hwy 85, when you get to Cupertino, marked "Gilroy", then watch for the Santa Cruz exit, Hwy 17. You will then go over the aforementioned coast range on a four lane divided road with 12 miles of twisty and turny.

When you come down from the hill and get back on freeway, take the Mount Hermon Exit and go over to Felton, turn left on the main street (which is Hwy 9) and watch for the Henry Cowell signs, at the edge of town. To get to Santa Cruz, then, turn left on Hwy 9 and you are 7 miles away from Hwy 1.

From Santa Cruz you are only 45 minutes from Monterey.

Do you have accommodations settled in Santa Cruz yet? Let me know if I can help.

You should not miss the drive on Highway 1 from the Monterey area to Cambria, through Big Sur. The best way to do this is to stay in the Monterey area and take the next day for the drive. Cambria is often the next overnight stop, rather than Santa Barbara because it gives you more time in the Big Sur area to explore and whatever.

It is near Hearst Castle, if you are interested in touring that. It also has charming lodgings with ocean views on Moonstone Walk. You could have reservations for the first tour of Hearst Castle the next morning and then go on your way to LA.

You could stop at Santa Barbara for a visit on your way.

Gothenburg, Sweden
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5. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

My itinory is as follows

Day 1-Leave SF on the 8th staying

1 night in Santa Cruz.

Day 2- leave Santa Cruz 1 night in Santa Barbara.

Day 3 leave Santa Barbara to LA.

All the accommodation is booked and locked in.

This is the end of a 1 month holiday thought mexico And America.

Thanks you all for your help I might try and buy myself a road map of the coast here in aus so I can get more of an idea of all the highways your talking about. I tried google earth but Much prefer using a map.

What times of day do you recommend leaving to travel to my next destination ?

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara via Highway 1 through Big Sur is at least a 6 hour drive WITHOUT stops!!

With our shorter daylight hours in early February, you're not going to have much time for stops en route before it gets dark on you. Nor will you have much time for seeing anything in Santa Barbara before you leave for LA.

IF you by-pass Big Sur for the faster route down Highway 101, you'll miss out on some of California's best scenic spots. All that depends, of course, on whether that part of the highway is open. Winter rains could bring rock/mud slides and close the highway. which would make Big Sur moot, anyway.

IF Highway 1 is open through Big Sur, and you opt for taking the scenic route, you're pretty much committed once you pass Carmel. There are NO short cuts back to Highway 101. As dhauk pointed out, Highway 1 eventually leads to Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo and it's all multi lane highway/freeway driving all the way to Santa Barbara.

I would leave Santa Cruz by 8 am to ensure enough daylight for the drive to Santa Barbara.

SF to Santa Cruz is a 2 hour drive, tops.

Edited: 6:49 pm, January 08, 2013
San Jose, California
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7. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

For looking at maps online for planning purposes, try maps.google.com instead of Google Earth. It is closer to looking at an actual map. For your trip though, definitely get a paper map.

You say your accomodation is booked, but is it really locked in (i.e. pre-paid, no refunds, no cancelations)? If so, then yes, you are stuck with a long drive to Santa Barbara. But if you have made loding reservations that are cancellable, then you aren't locked in and can change your itinerary around a bit.

If you are locked into this, I would do the following:

Day 1: Leave SF before 7 or after 9 and take Hwy 1 down to Santa Cruz. If you leave early, Half Moon Bay is a good breakfast stop. Visit Henry Cowell state park for the redwoods, then spend the afternoon in Santa Cruz/Capitola.

Day 2: Get an early start from Santa Cruz and have breakfast in Monterey or Carmel. This will be a long day of driving, so you want to get going as soon as possible to make the most of the short daylight hours. Check the road conditions on Hwy 1 through Big Sur and the weather conditions. If the road is clear and there isn't a storm, drive through Big Sur - pick up a picnic lunch before leaving Monterey/Carmel so that you can combine a lunch stop with a sightseeing stop.

If the road is not clear and/or there is a storm, go to Point Lobos state reserve for a little sightseeing and then head inland and take Hwy 101 south. You will link up with the ocean again at about Pismo Beach, so that would make a nice lunch stop.

Continue onto Santa Barbara.

Day 3: Since SB to LA isn't that long of a drive, I would spend the morning in SB and have lunch there, then drive to LA in the afternoon.

Gothenburg, Sweden
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8. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

Thanks you so much. All this information is exactly what I needed. I will leave at 8am from Santa Cruz where you be the best place to stop of a bite to eat on the Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara drive ? Thanks again

9. Re: California hwy 1 drive red woods ?

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