I am arriving on June 6th. at night to San Francisco and will have 10 days in California for a dream holiday. I was thinking of driving down the coast to Los Angeles. I don't know how long I should take on that drive; maybe even continue south to San Diego? or maybe going for a few days to Las Vegas? or Sight-seeing in LA?
I was wondering if any of you have suggestions for my trip as I've never been to the west coast and don't really know the distances and how much time I should spend in each place.
Also, how is the weather there at that time of the year?
thanks in Advance.
You can easy do the trip from San Fransisco to San Diego in one day without hurrying. But then you would miss all the little and big towns along the way. With that amount of time you have plenty of time to pop in and see most of them, including Monterey on the coast.
The coast road you don't actually see that much other than the sea, and there are lots and lots of twists and turns (46 miles of sharp turns at one point) on that road.
Los Angeles is HUGE. Many years ago I hit it and 85 miles later I was still driving across it.
Use the motorways (freeways, and toll roads) in LA or you can find yourself spending hours on small roads in jams and at lights and not getting anywhere. Note: You are often allowed to turn on a red light (except where prohibited) but use caution.
If you see a motorbike on the road at any time, check your speed as it is possibly a cop.
Rush hour in LA is a nightmare where all lanes fill up and traffic crawls along. If you travel down to San Diego in rush hour, you'll find a lot of cars are going the same way, so a slow journey.
Often in petrol stations, you pay first and if you do not use all the money you handed over, you get change.
Motels in California used to be cheap many years ago but not nowadays, and they are not that good. Hotels booked on the internet can be much cheaper and much better.
Las Vegas? Have you got too much money? Check to see if you can take your car out of the State. Some companies do not allow it.
Do get yourself a decent map of California.
Note. Every time I've been there, it's always Jan-Feb period and apart from one year when there was a bit of snow in San Fransisco, I've had brilliant weather.
If in SF on Sunday morning, go visit Chinatown. It's packed. Do remember when parked to put your car in gear and the wheels pointed into the curb in SF as some streets are very, very steep.
How much time in each place? As long as it takes.
A guide book to California might be worth it so you don't miss anything good out.
LA SF are almost 6, 7 hours ride I reckon. Its bit to much if you have only 10 days but if you are in California i wouldn't miss O.C. Laguna beach, Huntington beach, Newport,... Great places
Are you going by yourself or with others? If you are going with others there are so many cool theme parks and activities to go to, but those will take up a whole day.
If you go to San Francisco and spend a day or two there you can enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, I love going on the trolleys, Lombard Street is known as the "crookedest road in the world" which you can drive down. If you are into museums or history you can go to the Exploratorium or to Alcatraz (the old prison that is on an island, you can take a ferry to it).
By rushing south from SF to S. California, you'd be driving right past many beautiful places - for what purpose, to see the freeways of LA??? Go to the library/bookstore and get a travel book on Calif and READ THE BOOK!
I give you a some tips hope it will help u.
Fly in to San Francisco on Day 1, and spend Day 2 and Day 3 enjoying the City by the Bay. On Day 1, find Market Street and catch one of the historic F-Market streetcars heading toward Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. At Pier 39, greet the sea lions (follow the barking) and continue to the end of the pier for a dead-on view of Alcatraz Island. Walk to Aquatic Park to complete a tour of Fisherman's Wharf. On Bay Street, catch a 30-Stockton bus to Beach Street. The walk from the Palace of Fine Arts through the Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge is lovely.
On Day 2, fling yourself onto a Powell-Hyde cable car for the brief ride to Lombard Street. Walk down via the staircases on either side and, heading north, find the San Francisco Art Institute. Follow Filbert Street to Washington Square Park in North Beach and stroll around or walk up Grant Avenue past Union Street and follow the signs to Coit Tower. Spend the afternoon exploring Chinatown.
Day 3 is a walk in Golden Gate Park, where you can get in some culture at the de Young and Asian art museums and some fresh air in the Strybing Arboretum. In the afternoon, take a trip downtown to the Museum of Modern Art. Then relax in Yerba Buena Gardens across the street. Dine around Union Square if you're ambitious enough to see an 8 p.m. show at ACT or another theater. Night owls can finish the evening catching the second set at the Boom Boom Room.
Thanks for sharing such an important information about California, San Diego, Las Vegas, & sans francisco. Will help me a lot in my upcoming trip
I think it totally depends on what you're interested in. I'm more into the outdoors which California is INCREDIBLE for. That being said, Don't miss SF, fricken awesome city. Pinki Rawat up there sounds like (s)he knows what there talking about as far SF goes. Though I might also suggest the National Science Academy (more of a natural history museum but on steroids!) That's in Golden Gate Park which is also amazing and if you're in SF on a Thursday night, over 21 yo can go in for drinks, music and shows all while hanging out in the aquarium, or the rain dome surrounded by tropical butterflies. That's how it was a couple years ago anyway. Check it out online make sure its still happening. Just across the Bay is Berkeley which is SO cool. GREAT place for people watching and home to University of California Berkeley. Lots of good shows and events usually going on!
If you like beer or wine, (AND getting off the tourist traack) GO NORTH! of SF. You've got beautiful rugged coastline, green hills, forests and rivers all the way up to Oregon. But only within a couple hours north of SF (and you get to cross the Golden Gate) there's loads of wineries and microbreweries scattered all over the place in the tiny little artsy/ hick/ hippie towns of Sonoma County. I'm sure there a beer or wine tour you could take.
Also to the East of SF head up to the Sierras and Lake Tahoe, GORGEOUS. Big kids play ground! Hiking, beautiful clear lake, mountain biking, rock climbing, you name it. I recommend Tahoe City (more of a town) but if you want night out on the town and such head to South Lake.
From there you can head south and hit up all the iconic national parks like Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, all the way down to Mohave and Joshua Tree. All incredible! If you go the coast side, don't miss Monterey, (the aquarium is amazing) and I say drive down the 1, Pacific Coast Highway. Yeah its a bit slower and the roads are twisted but Big Sur (the area you drive through) is stunningly beautiful. Loads of places to hike and camp. If you take the 101 down, or even worse the 5 , there's not much to look at along the road.
San Luis Obispo is an awesome college town (at the southern end of Big Sur), Santa Barbara is beautiful in many ways,if you want parties/beaches/meet young peeps then check out Isla Vista. Its where all the college students from UCSB live and on a sunny day, it's like walking onto a movie set for some romantic comedy at a California University. Ventura's also really cool (great surf), then you can also take the 1 (PCH) again which branches off the 101 after Oxnard I think and drive along world famous surf breaks like Leo Carillo, and Malibu AND avoid all the congestion up until it plops you out in Santa Monica! Personally, not a huge fan of LA but there are heaps of stuff to do and see. I'm just not very knowledgeable about it
California's AMAZING! Enjoy!
I love Ventura as well it's one of my favorites! Not a fan of LA but I do understand peoples desire to go there. When you've lived there it's not so great but it does have the notoriety. Stay on the PCH if you can it's wicked pretty!
The weather is always great during this time. In LA and in the central valley of California might be hot though. I really recommend for you to go to Yosemite National Park then on to San Francisco and from there go to Napa wine country.
Hope you have a blast. If you need any advise let me know.
PS - I've lived in California all my life and couldn't think of another place to live.