san fran to l.a

Travel Forums North America san fran to l.a

Last Post This thread is marked as being about USA
1. Posted by bayles_83 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


im off to san fran in january and was going to hire a car. i have 4 nights spare between san fran and l.a. i was wanting some advise on what the best places to stay in those four nights were. was also maybe thinking heading up to yosemite then go back down to the coast. would four nights be enough to do that?? or is that asking to much. and is there plenty of places to stay along the way??

any help would be greatly appreciated thanks.

2. Posted by ladybug66 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I am doing this route in October in the opposite direction, i'm coming up from San Diego to LA to San Fran.

From what I can see Highway 1 is the way to go - the Big Sur coast. And places like Santa Cruz, Monterey (for the aquarium), San Simeon for Hearst Castle have all been mentioned.

I too am taking about 5 days to work my way from LA to San Fran with a trip inland to Yosemite so from what I've been reading it's do-able. The coast is meant to be amazing, a must see.

Obviously I haven't done it yet but i've been reading a lot about the route and the area.

3. Posted by Kimee129 (Full Member 37 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hey guys, First let me wish you both a safe trip. I would highly recommend Yosemite, but I am almost positive that you will not be able to see the whole park due to snow there. The Tioga Pass is closed when they have snow which starts in Late Oct to early November. So in January it is going to be closed.

Four days driving down the coast would be ideal. If you leave San Fran please start on Hwy 1. One of my favorite towns is Morro Bay. It is a small town with gorgeous scenery. It is only a couple of hours from San Fran so would be a nice lunch stop. You can continue on down the coast to Big Sur. There are several spas and cabins to rent, but January is the off season. You could either find a steal of a deal or be very expensive. I would book now if I had the chance. If you are into hiking I could recommend a few trails. Big Sur area would have the deer out, fishing, and there is a waterfall that flows directly from the mountain straight into the ocean. From what I understand it is the only one of the Pacific Coast outside of Hawaii. From Big Sur you can go down to Hearst Castle. This is a gorgeous place to see, but to be honest I never had the money to go.

There is a Youth Hostel at Pidgeon Point (Pescadero, Ca). It is an old lighthouse that I would highly recommend. Usually great prices. I highly receommend the outdoor whirlpool in the winter. The waves crashing against the shore and the smell of the ocean is very romantic if you are going with a special someone. Be forwarned ahead of time when I was there last there were no local grocery stores or restraunts to eat at. You may want to stop ahead of time. This stretch of coast is the prettiest. January will be cold, but sometimes the clear days are perfect weather. Make sure you pack layers. Monterrey and Santa Barbara are stops along the way. Good luck and happy travels. Kim

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2015 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Just be aware that the Sierra parks (Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia) are open for winter sports at that time, and road access is often limited. As the other poster said, Tioga Pass closes early.

Be sure to see the Monterey Peninsula just north of Big Sur. This area is famous for world class golf, nature and high living. Nature lovers will enjoy Pt. Lobos State Park. The Peninsula includes the towns of Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey.

North of San Francisco, the Sonoma County Coastline is equally spectacular and very close to the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country and Tomales Bay Oyster Beds (try the BBQ Oysters with garlic butter).

For those of you coming to the area in summer, I recommend the fantastic flavors at the Gilroy Garlic Festival (between Salinas and San Jose).

Salinas (due east of the Monterey Peninsula) is the salad bowl of America - a large percentage of our produce is grown in the area.

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I suggest the following route for those who want to do both the forests and the coast between SF and LA (this is going from south to north).

Start in LA, leave early and head north to Sequoia National Park. Tour the park and its giant redwoods, then stay in Fresno overnight. Go southwest on Highway 41 the next day and connect to Highway 46 into Paso Robles. Spend the night here or in Cambria just west of here on the coast. (Visit Cambria and its Moonstone Beach in either case.) Consider the wine tasting along Highway 46 between Paso Robles and Cambria.

Spend the next day driving the few miles north from Cambria and visit Hearst Castle. After visiting Hearst Castle, head on north via the coast route (Highway 1) onto Carmel and Monterey. Spend the night here or an hours drive north in Santa Cruz.

Spend the next day driving the 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours to San Jose and visit the Winchester Mystery House. Then drive the remaining 1 hour on up to San Francisco.


6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Heres a US/Australia comparison chart
I never imagined Australia was that big.
Its about 350 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Actually, your chart, while interesting, is only comparing Australia's size to the size of the US mainland.

Here is a comparison of Alaska (the United States' 49th state) to the US mainland (the first 48 states).

Hawaii (the 50th state) should also be included in the computation of the US land mass, as should the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the District of Columbia, the Marianas, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. However, these are all quite small in size.