Looking forward to going now. It’s a great interactive science museum! The main benefit is that you can easily pull off Highway 1 when you want to stop and enjoy a viewpoint or take a photo. Everything fell in place for the Thanksgiving weekend. The San Francisco to Los Angeles drive is well known as one of the prettiest and most scenic routes in the world, never mind America. Los Angeles. The journey is as important as the destination, right? You can click here to see the best Airbnbs in California. The best kind of road trip features great scenery, and the road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway) certainly fits the bill -- it boasts … Hi Natalia! What are the must sees in between and where should we stay overnight those 2 nights? We would be leaving from Anaheim to San Fran Could this drive be done in one day? Not quite what you’re looking for? Road Trip Around the USA: How Much Does the Dream Cost? My 2-Week California Road Trip Itinerary Itinerary Day 1-3: San Francisco. Post Thanksgiving, Praveen was supposed to shift back to SLC, where I live. Are these areas generally ok with RV’s parking up for the night? Hollywood Inn Suites Hotel — Located in the heart of Hollywood, this hotel has a range of rooms to choose from and is centrally located making it an excellent base for exploring. This will direct you to drive across the famous Golden Gate Bridge and towards Marin Headlands where you can enjoy several viewpoints of the bridge and the city of San Francisco! Your LA to San Francisco road trip is done. We would like to spend a min time to see SF attractions and then drive along the cost to LA and presumably tale a flight to LV at the end of the trip. Don’t miss the scenic ’17 Mile Drive’ and have a mooch around Carmel-by-the-Sea – a cute seaside village with shops, cafes and restaurants. That being said, if you want to spend a couple of days surfing or breaking up your journey further than both Pismo Beach or Santa Cruz are also logical places to spend a couple of nights. Road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and you’ll enjoy stunning coastal views, Californian sunshine villages, epic forests, cool towns and a wine making district or two, too. Hello! You will drive on t he best route from San Francisco to Los Angeles and o ne of the most … Its multiple … We have 11 nights/days to drive LA – San Fran. Planning a Road Trip in the USA: 11 Best Routes! If you want to go there, it’s about a 4-hour drive from LAX so you can potentially go there first and then drive back onto the PCH towards Pismo Beach. Glad you found the article helpful Abhijeet – hope you have a great time in California! Pismo Beach makes a good stop for lunch if you have spent the night in Santa Barbara as there are a number of great independent cafes and restaurants to enjoy. Click here to browse other hotels close to Carmel or Monterey! A number of the accommodation recs listed in this article have options for rooms that can accommodate up to 4 people so worth checking out some of them! Definitely one of the highlights of the San Francisco to Los Angeles road trip. Love your advise?. My family and I are planning a road trip from SF to LA to LV in End December/Early January. We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads. San Francisco to San Diego – a great California coast road trip, but only the Central California and Southern California portions As you can see, you have options! I know you're going to have an incredible time. Also, is this a busy time of year for travelers in these locations? Are you planning on driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco? Explore the lighthouse on the beautiful beach, and the Big Dipper along the boardwalk. What would be the best use of our time, travelling with kids? On a nice day, you can walk along the pier and spend an hour or two watching surfers hitting the waves. Get out at the top for an awesome view over the San Fernando Valley at the top of Topanga Overlook. Thanks kindly. Is there anywhere you can recommend for a shopping stop or a food stop between San Francisco and LA as it seems to be about a 6 hour drive. Wondering where to stop on a Los Angeles to San Francisco drive? If you’ve got time to spare in San Luis Obispo hike up Black Hill, Islay Hill, Bishop Peak and round theSan Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. If you want to drive from SF to LA the scenic route, as described here, then you’re looking at around 9 h 19 mins (454 miles) via Highway 1. You can drive between the two cities in one day along the i5 Highway though there isn’t much to see along that route compared to going along the coast. Discover the beauty of the California coast on a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco via the Pacific Coast Highway. There are several rooms to choose from and breakfast and parking are included in the room rate. We live in Australia but stay in LA for 4-6 weeks every June/July so Malibu/Santa Monica have already been covered on previous trips. Make sure to also keep an eye out for zebras and other animals when driving past Hearst Castle which are remanents of what was once the world’s largest private zoo. Day 4: Drive from Yosemite to Los Angeles (300 miles/6 hours) Exit the park via its southern entrance and go south on CA-41. There’s a lot of money floating about in San Jose and if you can get an invite into any of the head offices, take up the offer. While you can find accommodation anywhere along the Los Angeles to San Francisco drive, I recommend basing yourself in Santa Barbara and Carmel or Monterey out of all these stops along Highway 1. Arguably the highlight of the LA to San Francisco drive, Big Sur is an area of California that will undoubtedly blow you away! With so many different attractions to see, you will definitely be able to find something of interest for all types of travellers! While we explored all of the stops in this article by driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, it is arguably better to do this trip in reverse. The seals are absolutely fascinating to watch and you can easily spend an hour or so walking along the viewing platforms and seeing them from unique vantage points. We are flying into LV from UK in mid August [was the only route available from London using miles] and immediately to SF. Not quite what you’re looking for? My husband and I are traveling from LAX-San Francisco-Bob Hope Airport (he surprised me with trip) in a little more than a week. Ninety minutes from San Jose in your rental car (with no stops) you’ll find yourself in Santa Cruz. Stay on Route 27 and you’ll come across offbeat stores, diners and ramshackle saloons along the roadside. As well as possibly controlling all of our futures, San Jose also has a fascinating past. Of course you can do Highway 1 the other way, and drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a road trip, but this way is generally considered the best. Glad you found this article helpful Donna – hope you have a great time in California! Hi Terri! Where to Stay on an LA to San Francisco Drive. From the dramatic coastline to beautiful waterfalls to lush redwoods there is something for everybody at Big Sur. Right, this is actually kinda absolutely disgusting but in San Luis Obispo there’s a 15-foot high, 70-foot long alley lined with bubblegum. Last time in California was during my exchange year as a high school student in 2004. After finishing my flight school in Germany I always wanted to go back to do that road trip … Oh Malibu – not the Barbie, or the drink, but the destination. At the end of the day though, you should drive along Highway 1 whichever way makes the most sense to you! And is it possible to cover all destinations? From Santa Barbara, the scenic LA to San Francisco drive goes along the 101 through picturesque mountains and wine country. Make sure to stop at iconic sites such as Bixby Creek Bridge & McWay Waterfall which are located on Highway 1. Awesome! Click here to see their latest prices. Thank you from the bottom of my heart?? With the age of sixteen, it was a great adventure. We plan to do this in June 2020 with our 4 year old daughter. We’ll spend a few nights at Lake Tahoe then head back to San Fran for a few nights before flying out to NY. You can also see Redwoods in Muir Woods or Redwood Regional Park in Oakland which might be a more logical stop if flying from SF. I don’t want too many stops in different locations due to all the packing and unpacking! Highway 1 Road Trip! The distance on the drive from LA to San Francisco is about 382 miles (615 kilometres) and takes only around 6 hours non-stop if travelling on the i5 Highway. I wouldn’t recommend flying as it will likely take more time than driving and you’ll have a lot more options for car rental in SF. Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Lotusland are all popular things to do in Santa Barbara, while culture vultures can hone in on the Lobero Theatre, the Arlington Theatre and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/san-francisco-to-seattle-drive/ & https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/la-to-san-diego-drive/. Follow signs to Point Dume and you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, headlands, cliffs and rocky coves. Is it a good idea to leave from riverside county on a Friday at 5 am I wish I had seen your blog before I booked my flight and went in the opposite direction from San Francisco to la instead of the north drive, wonderful ideas here and will probably investigate many. For more information, see our privacy policy. We stopped at Shin’s Poke which is an excellent place to eat if you’re after a fresh poke bowl! If going down the coastal route in one day I would suggest stopping somewhere like Pismo Beach which is about halfway. It’s the perfect stop off before you hit up the craziness of LA. I am travelling to LA in August 2020 with my husband and two young children for the first time. click here to get a quote from WorldNomads, https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/big-sur-day-trip-itinerary/, https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/san-francisco-to-seattle-drive/, https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/la-to-san-diego-drive/, https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/santa-barbara-day-trip/, 8 Great Reasons to Visit Cartagena, Spain, The Best Coat for London Winter (or Spring & Autumn! Entrance to the sanctuary is free. Hope you have a good time! Hi Gourav, personally I think Monterey/Carmel & Santa Barbara are the best places to spend the night when driving from San Francisco to LA. love the blog very excited! We are so looking forward to this…thanks again! You could drive in a day on a long clear highway with minimum traffic, but this would deprive you of an exhilarating experience which money could never buy. The majority of the trip will be spent on CA-99 South before using I-5 South, CA … It has been significantly upgraded over the years and is now a great mix of old school charm and modern attractions. Hi Gemma, you can see and stop at some but not all of these stops by taking the Amtrack Coastal Train and there are also some shuttle buses but it’s going to add a lot of travel time compared to driving. your 13 stops article was very inspiring for us… I know you’ve had similar questions so I’ll be short and sweet, but we land in LA and take the road at 9 am and have that day and the next to reach San Fran… The short road trip from San Francisco to Bolinas is worth it with amazing views of the coastline and the town feels incredibly down to Earth despite prices for a small delapidated shack starting at a couple … Lots to do in Santa Cruz so don’t skip it on your Pacific Coast Highway trip! You can then take advantage of the plethora of watersports offered in the area by going surfing, kayaking or paddleboarding. Thanks. Do the San Francisco to LA road trip right and you’ll end up on Ventura Beach, right in front of the pier. The main attraction of Pismo Beach is the stunning coastline that you find here along with the old school California feel. and to stop at the Pacific Grove Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. The most popular place to visit in Santa Cruz is the Beach Boardwalk which is home to one of the oldest roller coasters in the USA. Go between the glitz and glam of LA and Vegas with this road trip… Are there any ‘must see’ locations for children aged 8/11 that spring to mind and do you have any recommendations for family friendly accomodation along the way. Hi! Want to plan the trip back? Also, they like to feed you clams. However, if you fancy seeing over the top multi-million dollar homes or want to check out some of the beautiful beaches in the area such as Zuma Beach then a stop in Malibu for a couple of hours is worth it. We understand we wouldn’t have the chance to stop at all the stops but wonder if it could be done? The late Sarah Winchester built the place at a cost of over $20m, as instructed by her Medium. Hi Andrea, I don’t have any specific recommendations however I’m sure you’ll be able to find one in the major towns along the route such as Santa Barbara, Monterey or Carmel. May I ask in case I would like to spend more time from San Francisco to LA. – Los Angeles to San Francisco, California. Their guest rooms have private entrance making this a great option for people looking for more privacy. My top tips for driving from San Francisco to LA, PIN SAN FRANCISCO TO LOS ANGELES ROAD TRIP FOR LATER. Click here to see their latest prices, Found San Francisco — One of the best-rated hostels in San Francisco, you can choose from dorms and private rooms and are known for their great atmosphere which is ideal for meeting other travellers. One of my favourites is the drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon – the sites are awesome. I suggest basing yourself near Monterey/Carmel & Santa Barbara if you have 4 nights. Just an hour from Santa Cruz you’ll find Monterey Bay on the curve of the coast. Any suggestions on how to do this? There have been landslides in the past but they’re rare so I wouldn’t worry too much about it or let it impact your trip. Many thanks When beginning your LA to San Francisco drive, I suggest marking your final stop as Marin Headlands in San Francisco. The key is to start in San Francisco and head down to Los Angeles so that you’re riding along the Pacific Coast. Hi Jen! However, the stops outlined on this LA to San Francisco drive go primarily along Highway 1 and you should expect to spend at least 3 to 4 days to see all the highlights of the PCH. If you have time, take a few days to relax along the route, soak up some of the scenery and just generally chill out. Hi Josiane, you can see all the stops listed in this article over 3-4 nights, staying in Santa Barbara and Monterey or Carmel. If you want to get from LA to San Francisco while also seeing some of the best views in California, pack up a car and take a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1. Hi John, that sounds do-able if you don’t plan on making any of these stops. Enjoy every second! For an adventure, head to Oceano Dunes … Hello, The 14-day California road trip itinerary would take us from San Francisco, through Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and finally … This magnificent San Francisco to Los Angeles road trip takes scenic route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Wow! As I’m terrified of heights this is a real concern. Planning a LA to San Fran drive and was wondering if you have recommendations for stops with handcrafted cocktails also ? Hello! We’re planning to stop for 2 nights on the way from Santa Monica to San Fran, being Cambria and somewhere around Monterey. Hi Albert, I believe you need to find a campsite to park your RV for the night, however, I’m not sure about the specific rules for RVs in California. Like, on purpose. How Much Will a California Trip Cost in 2020? Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Is it all managable or should we drop smth out of it? An LA to San Francisco drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in California is undoubtedly one of the best road trips in the world. I’m looking forward to this drive in September, leaving from San Diego to San Francisco. I’m taking my mother for her 72nd bday and my 3.5 yo daughter This is a perfect road trip plan. If you need to rent a car prior to setting off on your Los Angeles to San Francisco road trip then I recommend searching on Rentalcars.com to find the best deal for car hire as they aggregate prices across all the major providers. If you don’t feel like getting into the water then there are also a number of hiking opportunities in the area. There are private rooms as well as dorms available. Ill then fly out of vegas on the 16th. San Francisco is a great city. The highlight of San Simeon is Hearst Castle high up on The Enchanted Hill. Bixby Bridge is a must-see vista. The main benefit is that you can easily pull off Highway 1 when you want to stop … S tarting from the west coast at San Francisco, the Californian road trip first touches Los Angles, travels through multiple cities and the heartlands before c oncluding with the E ast C oa st. The town of Carmel is quite charming to walk through and there are a number of artisan shops to check out. Hug the coastline here and you’ll get to see Stearns Wharf and East Beach too. Is Monterey a good place to stop half way if we do a quick tour of LA and the stops before Monterey on day 1 and continue the rest of the stops and do a quick tour of San Fran on day 2? They have a range of clean and comfortable rooms available and a friendly staff that will go above and beyond to ensure you have a great stay. Click here to browse other hotels in Los Angeles! just to make sure especially when family is traveling along. What kind of weather should one expect between Christmas and New Years? Thanks . Santa Barbara is a great place to stop for the night with the town having many great accommodation options such as this secluded studio with panoramic views or this luxury private room near the beach. The best road trips from L.A. From weekend jaunts to extended vacations, here’s a list of the best road trips from L.A. By Kate Wertheimer and Time Out editors Posted: Tuesday November 10 … Answer 1 of 7: Planning driving from SF to LA but seems too much In a day .Want to do Big Sur and quirky towns like Monterey or Carmel Where would you plan to stop over night or take 2 days rough itinery … Really appreciate your response. Can tou give me an idea please?! I’m not sure if Santa Monica to Monterey is too far to drive in one day? . xx Wouldn’t mind going again tbh. The San Francisco to Los Angeles drive is still one of my absolute favourite I’ve ever done. Is it better to do a San Francisco to Los Angeles Drive? The Wharf is a great place to start for restaurants and shops and if you have the time you can go on a whale watching boat or fishing expedition too. A fantastic breakfast is included in the room rate. Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. Solvang is an unusual stop and not something you would expect to find on a Los Angeles to San Francisco road trip however it makes for a good detour if you are longing for a taste of Europe! Both these areas have a number of attractions that can be explored over a couple of days while the other stops work better as pitstops when driving. Hope you have a great trip! Unfortunately, there isn’t an alternative route if you want to see the majority of these sites!

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