SF to LA by car

Travel Forums North America SF to LA by car

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1. Posted by dimitris7 (Budding Member 6 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hello to all,

I'm writing from Greece regarding a trip I want to make towards the end of October. I would like to ask the following question.
I have 7 days and nights to spend, to see SF and LA. These days are excluding the flight dates. So my question is should I consider spending 3 nights in SF, 1 night somewhere between SF and LA and 3 nights in LA?
From reading the various threads I am inclined to go for the scenic route.

I would appreciate any advice you guys can give me.



2. Posted by CaitlinMcC (Full Member 6 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Depends on what you want to see
I spent 5 days in SF and didn't see everything that I wanted. Alcatraz was much better than I thought and takes 1/2 to a whole day. I recommend a bus tour to see a little bit of everything.

3. Posted by jeantyc (Budding Member 73 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

San Francisco has alot to see, 3 days will definitely not be enough I would recommend using the other day in SF instead of some where else.

Have a great time

4. Posted by dimitris7 (Budding Member 6 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your replies. Will work on the planning of the trip for a while.


5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I replied to you personally already, but I'll repeat what I wrote you to help others who may have the same question:


I'd pick the two stops on the way to LA from SF if I were you. Both of the towns you mentioned (Monterey and Santa Barbara) are wonderful places to stop, especially if you also swing by Carmel and drive the 17 mile drive while in Monterey. If you take the single stop instead, you should stop at either Cambria if you take the long drive down the coast route (Highway 1), or else go to either Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo (a nice college town) if you go directly down Highway 101.

Also, make sure you stop by in Solvang--an old Danish town (just north of Santa Barbara on the inland side) before going on to spend the night in Santa Barbara. Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is near here, as is Ronald Reagan's old ranch.

In Monterey, the things to see are the Monterey Aquarium, Cannery Row (right next to the aquarium), the coastline just south of here (which leads to the 17 mile drive), the Pebble Beach area and the city of Carmel itself. Near the downtown area is the Fisherman's Wharf--although there's not much to see downtown, so I wouldn't spend much time there.

In Santa Barbara, the things to see are the Mission (the largest one in the state--and the most well preserved)--(P.S. there is also a mission in Carmel, near Monterey, as well as 20+ other ones up and down the coast)--but I digress, so let me get back to discussing Santa Barbara. You should go see the beach and if it's a weekend it, they will have arts and crafts festivals down there. Go up and down State Street for a lot of fun and good shopping.

I've written about San Diego and Las Vegas before, so you can probably look at those threads.

I hope you have a wonderful trip to California (and the US).


6. Posted by howefortun (Budding Member 2 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Driving along the Central Coast, I'd recommend wine tasting in Paso Robles...there are some great wineries there. Many of them are located along Hwy. 46 (either east or west of Hwy. 101). If you are in San Luis Obispo on a Thursday evening, their Farmers Market draws visitors from all over California. It's held downtown and offers lots of food and entertainment. Another favorite is Oceano Dunes where you can drive vehicles onto the beach. I like to rent an ATV or sign up for a hummer tour as a passenger and explore the sand dunes. This is south of San Luis Obispo.