What route are you planning on taking? 101, or along the coast highway 1?
Highway 1 along the coast is the prettiest, but it is a really long drive.
Using the 101 and I-5, Google maps shows the distance to be around 530 miles or 10 hours of driving. Monterey (or Carmel) is approximately at the halfway point, which would be a great midpoint stop for a day or longer. You could also take Hwy 1 to Monterey, which would make the first day's drive slower but much more scenic. Once there, you can determine if you can get through to LA via Hwy 1.
BTW, the 10 hour estimate is probably optimistic and is highly dependent on traffic conditions and road closures, especially in the urban areas.
I 5 is the fastest and in my opinion the least scenic drive from N. Cal to S. Cal. Using mostly highway 1 it is probably closer to 12 hours of driving. That is assuming that by the time you go, highway 1 is open. Its been closed off and on from Carmel south the last two weeks because of the fires up here.
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