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We are driving....

Sweden
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We are driving....

....from SF to LA via highway no 1 by the end of July this year.

We need to stay one or two nights along the way.

Do you think we should make a hotel reservation or is it possible to find a hotel/motel room available without any reservation. July/August are properbly high season period and we do not want to stay overnight in the car (not very romantic or ..!?!?).

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Milwaukee
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for Milwaukee
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1. Re: We are driving....

You will definitely need to spend at least 1 night, maybe 2 if you plan to stop along the way. Many hotels in the USA allow you to cancel a reservation up until 18:00 on your planned day of arrival with no penalty. You give them a credit card number to hold the room, but they will not charge until you arrive.

By doing this you can have the security that you have a room available, but if your plans change you can cancel the reservation with no problem.

You can book directly online through hotel web sites.

Santa Rosa, CA
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2. Re: We are driving....

I just took this same drive last summer at the same time and it is truely a beautiful drive to take! Big Sur and Montery are wonderful. We live in northern cal, so we drove down in the morning to Monterey and took an hour harbor tour on a boat and checked out the fishermans warf area. Then we headed south to San Louis Abispo for the night. Then back on the road to LA the next day. I think one night should do you if you are leaving from SF in the morning. One BIG point is to be sure and fill your gas tank in Monterey!! I had what I thought would be plenty in the rental car, but I was sweating it when the gauge was in the red and I was south of Big Sur. There are very few gas stations in that area and no phones! When I did find gas it was almost $1 US more a gallon than in Monterey, but I was glad to pay it!!

Hope you have a great trip!!

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Santa Barbara...
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3. Re: We are driving....

The best places to stop between LA and SF are Monterey/Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria to Pismo, and Santa Barbara. The middle of those choices is Cambria to Pismo.

Cancellations can be made without cost 48 hours prior to arrival.

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4. Re: We are driving....

I say reserve a hotel. You're coming from a long way. In other seasons, & other places you can get away with an impromptu schedule, but why risk it. On Hwy 1 the choices are limited in some places and you will want to stay overnight in the best places anyways. Do you want the comforts of a city or the quiet of the middle of nowhere?

If I had to choose a region to spend 1 night between SF and LA, I would choose the Monterey to Big Sur region. Monterey/Carmel for the romantic city life or Big Sur for isolated beauty. Once here you can do the other as a day trip.

If the southern section is more your style then stay somewhere along the Cambria to Pismo stretch. If you're visiting Hearst Castle, this area can be a base.

Or if you want to see the northern end of So Calif stay in Santa Barbara. Here you are 2 hours away from LA.

Just to see whether things are sold out, I checked for availability on Memorial weekend: the San Simeon Pines Seaside Resort in Cambria and the Monterey Hotel in Monterey have rooms available.

http://www.montereyhotel.com/

http://www.sspines.com/index.html

I've stayed at and enjoyed both those hotels.

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Boca Raton FL
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5. Re: We are driving....

What is the drive time from Carmel to Big Sur (being that distances don't always equate to drive times when it comes to winding roads and is US 1 one lane in each direction- or two (total 4 across, allowing passing of slow tour busses etc?)

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