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LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

California City...
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LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

Dear experts and travel enthusiastic....

Early August we plan to pick up our child from a overnight camp in Ojai from LA, then make a short trip along the FWY 1 up to Monterey.

Our timing for pickup in Ojai is 4PM on a Friday and we have five nights before returning back to LA on the following Wednesday.

We can't decide between two ways to make our trip a relaxing but "efficient" one.

Route#1: LA stop over Ojai, spend one night in SLO or Pismo (may be too expensive?), drive to Monterey, spend a couple nights in Monterey, then enjoy the coastal drive from there, spend one night Cambria, and last night in Santa Barbara before heading back to LA.

Concern(s) about Route#1: it may be too scary to drive by the cliff southbound (is it?)

What we like about Route#1: we have on stop in Santa Barbara to break down the trip back home.

Route#2: LA stop over Ojai, spend one night in SLO, drive along the coastal line toward Monterey, "smell the roses" along the way on Morro Bay, Hearst Castel, spend one night in either San Simeon or Cambria, get up and have a full day drive up to Monterey passing Big Surf..etc., spend 3 nights in Monterey, drive back to LA via FWY 5.

Concerns about Route#2: long drive back to LA on our last vacation day

What we like about Route#2: feel less scary not having to drive along the cliff between Cambria and Monterey.

We have driven this route over 20 years ago, therefore can't remember much of it (scary or not along the cliff).

Thank you for your thoughts for making this trip a unfortgettable one.

Mentioned in this post
Ojai
Ojai
California
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Cambria
Cambria
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Morro Bay
Morro Bay
San Luis Obispo County, CA
San Simeon
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo County, CA
San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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149 reviews
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1. Re: LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

route 2 but drive back on 101 all the way back

California City...
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2. Re: LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

Thank you Belomiser. Mapquest gave me FWY 5 to get back. Is 101 easier and quicker? I assume you agree with me that driving north is better (less scary) than driving south along the cliffs, right? Thanks again for rapid reply.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

Well yes Highway 1 is mostly a 2 lane road so you are one lane away from the cliff if that makes you feel better -- going from LA to SF

You will be on 101 from LA to San Luis Obispo (when you come back from Ojai) and then the part you won't be doing will be from Monterey to 101 and down to SLO. More interesting road than 5 which is boring and quite a drive East from the coast in this neck of the woods

Mentioned in this post
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Ojai
Ojai
California
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
California City...
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4. Re: LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

Will we see more traffic on 101 versus 5? MapQuest shows 5.5 hours back to LA. I am trying figure out if that's comparable as driving from Vegas back to LA....especially back to work the next day.

Is there any relatively interesting spot(s) we can stop for a break on this long drive back to LA?

Does this make sense to you: LA passing Ojai arriving SLO for one night, Cambria another night, then Monterey or Carmel three nights? SLO seems to be pretty close to Cambria. But we will arrive in SLO in the evening. We thought spending the next morning to check out SLO and nearby beaches, then head over to the Hearst Castle area (maybe do a quick tour there). We thought having a full day to do the drive from Cambria to Monterey passing Big Sur may make the highlight of our trip. what do you think?

We are also interested in hearing your views on staying in Carmel (probably more $$$) versus Monterey. If you have any interesting points of stays, we are all ears.

Thank you. We so appreciate your sharing of experience and great knowledge.

Mentioned in this post
Ojai
Ojai
California
Cambria
Cambria
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle
5,912 Reviews
San Simeon, CA
5. Re: LA to Monterey Bay area and back to LA in 6 days

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