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Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Belfast, United...
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Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

I would like some advice on the PCH route from SF to LA with two stopovers on the way down. I am travelling with my husband and two daughters ages 13 and 10 who love to shop and would like info on shopping on route for many bargains. Our hotel budget would be no more than $150 per night. Any advice greatly received :-)

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

When will you be visiting? It matters as certain times of the year mean higher lodging rates and rates will be higher with 4 of you no matter what.

Monterey and Pismo Beach would be my two recommendations for your two stopover nights.

There's a factory outlet mall in Pismo Beach. There's one near Monterey, as well, but it's mostly vacant now.

Monterey lodging: Casa Munras, Cypress Gardens Inn, Monterey Bay Lodge

Pismo Beach lodging: Oxford Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Kon Tiki Inn, Sea Gypsy Inn

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

We will be visiting end of June. Are there outlets in gilroy?

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Yes, there are outlets in Gilroy, but it would mean by-passing the drive along the coast to fit it in.

Your hotel budget may be too optimistic with an end of June visit, as that is high tourist season. It's probably too early to start looking for lodging along the coast. Many hotels don't book this far in advance.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp… has all those outlet stores you can go to enroute. Yes the Garlic Capital of the world, famous for its fries, ice-cream and garlic wine is home to many of those outlets. It is an hour and a half south of SF and you can get there by going 280 S to 85 S to 101 S and you will see them in Gilroy enroute to Monterey

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Can you get off the PCH to go to gilroy outlets? And then back on the PCH? How far from the PCH to gilroy? Thanks for everyones help :-)

Washington State
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6. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Here is a little bit about the Hwy 1 drive, including info about where it's called the Pacific Coast Highway and where it's called the Cabrillo Highway (but it's always Hwy 1.) tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182763 There is more info in the Top Questions (upper right of the California state forum page.)

Here is the Google Maps route for your proposed drive: http://goo.gl/maps/rcXYZ By shopping in Gilroy on Day 1, you won't really have time for much sightseeing in Monterey. Day 2 will be focused on the scenic stops, marine mammals, and sights through Big Sur.

If this were my trip, I'd spend more time enjoying the unique places to experience and less time at outlets. If your trip includes Los Angeles or Las Vegas, there is lots of shopping available there!

Belfast, United...
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7. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Thanks for your advice but the google maps route is not loading up on my ipad :-(

Washington State
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8. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Shoot! I hope you have access to a regular computer. Or you can create your own Google Map: San Francisco -> Gilroy (via 280) -> Monterey -> Pismo Beach (via Hwy 1) -> Los Angeles

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

You don't have to bypass the coast to visit Gilroy - you will bypass some coastline since Gilroy is inland, but you can still drive through Big Sur, which is the most scenic part of the coast that most people are interested in.

Since you only have 3 days for this drive, if you want to visit Gilroy, this is what I would do:

Day 1: Leave SF about 8:30 or 9am, drive to Gilroy - this will get you there about 10 or 10:30. Spend 3-4 hours shopping, then go to Monterey. This will get you there about 2-3, so you still have some time for sightseeing.

Day 2: Spend a couple more hours sightseeing in the Monterey area in the morning, then drive south through Big Sur, stoping along the way. Get fixings for a picnic lunch before heading south so that you can stop for lunch whenever the mood hits you. And make sure you don't stay too long in Monterey because you won't want to rush the drive through Big Sur. Stay the night in Cambria or Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach would be my choice with the kids, but Cambria is closer, so it would make the drive shorter on Day 2.

Day 3: Drive south, stoping in Santa Barbara for a few hours of sightseeing and lunch, and then onto LA.

10. Re: Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

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