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Travelling in California

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1. Posted by stephwmac7 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


I'm going to drive around California in September for 3 weeks and have booked all accomodation apart from two nights.

For those 2 nights:- im planning to drive down the Big Sur from San Francisco to LA over 2 days, and would like to stay somewhere over night when doing this trip.

The second night I've not booked I will be driving from Las Vegas upto Yosemite national park over 2 days.

I would prefer to do most of the driving on both journeys on the first day, so I arrive at my destination relatively early.

Does anyone have experience of doing this, or have any suggestions on nice places to stop over.

Thanks in advance


2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2012 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Between SF and LA, you should stop on the Monterey Peninsula (Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel & Pt. Lobos Park) - you'll find the best selection of nicer hotels in the village of Carmel (a pricey area) and more motel type places in Pacific Grove. Big Sur also has a very few nice hotels, but this is almost complete isolation. Then once in S. California - Cambria near Hearst Castle is a popular place to stop while touring the former Hearst Estate (Hearst Castle is now a CA State Park). Glad you're giving that drive 2 days since you don't want to rush through as many do. The area just east of the Monterey Peninsula is the salad bowl of the USA - where a great deal of the lettuce, garlic, berries and artichokes eaten in the USA are grown. In late August there's a Garlic Festival that's very colorful and delicious in Gilroy (north of Salinas) - where you could try garlic ice cream, garlic wine and all the Cioppino you can hold.

3. Posted by melwurmus (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

If you feel adventurous, I remember driving through Death Valley on a dirt track on our way to Oakhurst, stayed overnight, and Yosemite. That was in April 1997 and I must admit I was a bit naive going on that drive, but I have still fond memories of driving in the middle of nowhere and meeting just one other car.

On the same trip we went also from SF to LA and stayed around San Simeon, close to Hearst Castle.
Last year we stayed in Santa Cruz on our way to Santa Barbara, and yes the Monterey Peninsula is a must see. But if you stay there it's still quite a way to go to LA.

If you're interested there is a seal colony around Hearst Castle which is worth stopping for, funny enough I don't remember seeing that in 1997.

Despite having recently been there I could go straight again, it was so much fun.

Enjoy your driving.

4. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

This site will help you plan some trips through California's finest country side

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Actually, the Garlic Festival in Gilroy is held the last weekend in July--meaning it just took place last week.

In July and August in southern California they hold three different art festivals in the city of Laguna Beach. Try to go to the Sawdust Festival late in the afternoon and at night for a wonderful time.

Daawon is correct that the best places to stay are either in the Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove area or in Cambria (or just west in Paso Robles or south in Pismo Beach. Santa Barbara or Solvang (a town done up like a dutch town with windmills and pastry shops) are also possibilities--and good places to make a stop.

There are great wineries just north of Solvang (near Los Olivos) or just east of Cambria/south of Paso Robles along Highway 46.


6. Posted by larginejoh (Inactive 12 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting jambo101

This site will help you plan some trips through California's finest country side

The links that you have provided is seems to be helpful to steph.