Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Diego native
Try not to take hwy 1 in a rush so you can stop and relax at some of the cool little towns. I just stayed in the east village of Cambria. It's a great place to stay after you have been driving all day as it's a very charming and tiny little town with some good food for dinner. In the morning you are ready to go on hwy 1. Try the Ventana Inn for lunch in the Big Sur area. It's on the east side of the road and very easy to miss. They have an outdoor place on the hill with a great view. Another very nice place! Carmel is a very nice place to spend some time. If you stay there the options for good food are bountiful. I like Clint Eastwoods restaurant.
I just drove up hwy 1 last month to the historics and the road is a little beat up in areas. There were 4-5 construction stop zones and a couple were down to one lane. Pretty much need to crawl over those areas in the Lotus.
It's a great drive and I bet much less traffic then August.
By the way, if you are pressed for time I would pass on the Hearst Castle tour unless you are really into that sort of thing as it takes at least 2-3 hours. You park at the bottom and they bus you up the hill.