California Coast Road Trip Advice
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jul 31, 2012 5:15 PM Last Post By: bluepelican
Jul 30, 2012 5:24 PM
California Coast Road Trip AdviceI'm planning a somewhat last minute trip to California for the middle of August. I'm planning to fly into LA and out of San Francisco. I'm trying to put together a rough itinerary and would love some advice.
1-2: Los Angeles - Main objective here is to just drive around and eat. I'll probably do a little bit of sightseeing, but want to avoid most of the tourist spots. Maybe spend a little time at a beach, go to comedy show one night in Hollywood, check out some of the bars
3-8: Drive up the coast with stops in Santa Barbara, SLO, Monterrey, & Santa Cruz. I plan on continuing up to the Lost Coast area and doing some hiking and camping for a few days.
9-12: Drive back down to San Francisco. Spend a couple days exploring the city, eating, going to museums, checking out the bars, etc. I'll probably also spend a day checking out Oakland and Berkeley. Fly back home.
Jul 30, 2012 8:39 PM
1Correct spelling for California's - Monterey.
I think your timing seems okay - but I expect the whole coast will be pretty full of Americans on holiday, in addition to all the international tourists milling around. Have you tested your accommodation options in all (or any) of those places yet?
And it is certainly worth an hour or two strolling around the University of California in Berkeley - it's a beauty. And there is a neat hippie/new age farmers market there on Saturdays (as there is at the Ferry Building in SF).
Jul 31, 2012 4:07 AM
Jul 31, 2012 4:32 AM
3I wouldn't agree that Highway 1 is the least impressive part of California, but I certainly agree that Yosemite NP, Hwy 395, and all that region, is certainly a superior experience.
Jul 31, 2012 9:54 AM
4I would love to spend some time in the Death Valley, Yosemite, King's Canyon,etc., but I think I'm going to have to save it for another trip when I have more time to do some actual planning and make campsite reservations. Also, this is going to be a solo trip and if I'm going to do any actual backpacking, I'd rather have someone else with me. The drive up the coast is something I've wanted to do for a few years so that's what this trip is centered around. I was actually thinking of driving all the way up to Portland, but then there's the issue of figuring out what to do with my rental car while in SF.
The majority of my time in LA and SF will likely be spent eating and drinking, although I'll likely go to places like the Griffith Observatory and Museum of Modern Art in SF. Between LA and SF, I'd like to explore some of the towns along the coast and just take in the atmosphere. I think most of my time in Lost Coast area will be spent doing short day hikes.
I haven't made any sort of reservations yet. I'm trying to keep costs to a minimum, so my plan is to stay in hostels, camp, couchsurf, and sleep in my car if necessary.
Jul 31, 2012 10:14 AM
Jul 31, 2012 3:11 PM
Jul 31, 2012 3:23 PM
7Sleeping in your car = illegal. Bad enough in a residential area, but anywhere popular with tourists is likely to be patrolled pretty heavily by the local police or park rangers. Obviously, budget accomodations like hostels and campgrounds will be as full if not more so than hotels. For examples, the HI Hostels in SF look to be fully booked the second week of August.
Also, how does one sightsee and avoid the tourist spots at the same time.
Jul 31, 2012 5:15 PM
I guess it depends on what sites you want to see. A lot of the things I'm interested in, especially in LA, are things that probably aren't on most people's radar. Anyway, it's sounds like this is not a good time to do this trip. What about the first week of September, after Labor Day?
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