(Closed) Pacific Coast Road Trip – Need Your Tips!

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 32
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@kmarie719:  Drive Highway 1 from San luis Obispo to Monterey.  That’s the most scenic and includes Big Sur.

I don’t live anywhere near LA so I can’t comment on LA or San Diego.  I’d encourage you to pick two things that interest you in San Francisco.  Alcatraz does take a really long time, with ferrying and the tour (with my family, it was 4 hours).  It’s neat though, some really good views of the Bay Area can be seen there (Marin Headlands, Angel Island, Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, San Francisco itself).  You can also walk along Fisherman’s Wharf the same day you visit Alcatraz.  You can drive over the Golden Gate Bridge–be prepared to get a bill from the car rental agency though because the Golden Gate is now electronic toll tag only.

I’d skip Napa or Sonoma if you aren’t into drinking wine. 

Edit to add: Go see Muir Woods if you’re in the SF Bay area.  That way you cover the Old Growth Redwood trees.  They’re really, really tall (some are close to 300 ft tall).  They’re not as tall as up in Humboldt county or even close to the massive Sequoias in the Sierra Mtns, but you can say you saw Redwoods if that’s an interest! 🙂

 

Post # 33
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Also, have you thought about maybe taking a train through parts of it?  You can take a train from Emeryville, CA (near Oakland, CA) to Portland, OR through the night I believe via the Coast Starlight.  So you can rest up between the Bay Area and Portland.  Then you can take the train from Portland to Seattle.

 

Post # 34
Member
496 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Normally I’d say check out Muir Woods, but it can be touristy and crowded. I second the idea of Big Basin, holy moly it is stunning.

 

I’m also a big fan of Half Moon Bay/Moss Beach. We stayed here last spring http://www.cypressinn.com/ it was awesome. I can get a pretty good discount for friends and family as well, message me if you are interested. This park is downright beautiful http://www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/newffmrsite/ There’s a beach below that’s worth checking out as well.

 

 

 

 

Post # 35
Member
678 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m glad so many people told you to nix the highway in favor of the coast if you’re going to see California 🙂

When we drove from LA to Santa Barbara we had such a lovely day in Carpinteria- they have a very well-populated seal sanctuary there and an amazing Mexican restaurant, I forgot the name. Further north of Santa Barbara, we loved the La Purisima mission near Lompoc. A bit inland from there is the Danish town of Solvang and the Clairmont lavender farm (yet another beautiful day out!)

Probably not must-sees but just some ideas if you’re headed to that area.

Post # 36
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Mimiz:  I’d probably skip Half Moon Bay–it’s pretty chilly and it seems like a fairly sleepy community.  Big Basin is a good suggestion if she can work it into her schedule.

Post # 37
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We did the exact same trip this past may!!! we flew from boston to San Diego, then drove to Seattle and flew out of there. We drove on the pacific coast highway, NOT I-5!! Click on my profile, I posted a quick 4 minute video of our roadtrip! 

It was my first time out west as well–but not my fiance’s, he lived in Tahoe for a bit. DEFINENTELY drive the pacific coast highway (route 1) GORGEOUS!!! But it will take you MUCH longer!!! We also had two detours, one night to Joshua Tree (not far outside San Diego or off the coastal highway) and then again we cut over from San francisco to Lake Tahoe, then back to the pacific coast highway from San Francisco to Seattle. It took us two and half weeks total. We saved money by camping at KOAs, that were cheap and some right on the water! Best trip of my life. So jealous you get to go!

Message me if you would like any suggestions!

 

Post # 38
Member
2837 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@kmarie719:  If I were you, I would change the drive from San Fran and go up the coast- the more inland route youre taking.  I’ve done the entire Pacific coast- and it’s a beautiful drive- definitely worth it.  We stopped and stayed in Eureka, CA.  We were camping, but I am pretty sure you could find a place to stay– and it’s right in the Redwood forest — or near it.  My trip was 12 years ago, and while I vividly remember Northern CA, I may have town names messed up.  

 

Yep- I just looked it up.  We stayed at the KOA in Eureka.  I’d suggest staying in Eureka to break up the drive- you will LOVE it!!

Post # 39
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
kmarie719:  So useful! We’re entertaining the plan of a coastal trip ourselves! How did it go? Any tips/recs?

Post # 40
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

We drove the SF-LA portion of this a year ago and it was a brilliant trip.  We took three days over it, but you could easily spend more time.  Definitely take the actual coast road, it’s a stunning drive.  We overnighted in Monterey (go to the aquarium!) and San Luis Obispo.  I’d recommend it to anyone.

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