Advice for west coast road trip? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for west coast road trip?

Hi!
In september Im coming from Norway over to San Francisco with my girlfriend to drive down the coast along Highway 1.
We are planning to see places like Monterey, Carmel, LA and San Diego.
After San Diego we will be heading eastwards, planning to see Grand Canyon before we end up in Las Vegas, where we will be spending a few days before finishing of with a week in New York.
First of all are there any automotive sights or events that is recommended to see? (Well arrive in San Francisco on the 2. of september, picking up the rental car on the 6. of september and arrive in Las Vegas on the 19th and flying out of Las Vegas on the 22.)
Secondly are there any other things/places that is really worth seeing which isnt necessarily mentioned in tourist guides/books?
(were in our early/mid thirties if age is any consideration )

Any input is apprecited ?


Thanks

Tor
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 02:18 PM
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Am most familiar with Northern and Central Calif. Starting off with motorsports- tracks, Laguna Seca (near Monterey) has the American LeMans races going on Sept 17th. Infineon Raceway in Sonoma has a open track day 9/10-11 (odds are good I'll be there one or both days- in which case your welcome to stop by and catch a ride).

Can give you lots of feedback on backroad drives and a few stops- Hearst Castle, Pt Reyes (north of SF) and a ton of other spots... Yosemite and Death Valley if you want to check out landscapes.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!
Laguna Seca on the 17th of september sound interesting. To bad its so close to the date were supposed to arrive in Vegas.

Hearst Castle is already on our todo list Any particular road we should take when coming from the north?
What other spots are you thinking of?
Yosemite and Death Valley is interesting, but not quite sure how we should fit them in a trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas via San Diego and Grand Canyon.



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Am most familiar with Northern and Central Calif. Starting off with motorsports- tracks, Laguna Seca (near Monterey) has the American LeMans races going on Sept 17th. Infineon Raceway in Sonoma has a open track day 9/10-11 (odds are good I'll be there one or both days- in which case your welcome to stop by and catch a ride).

Can give you lots of feedback on backroad drives and a few stops- Hearst Castle, Pt Reyes (north of SF) and a ton of other spots... Yosemite and Death Valley if you want to check out landscapes.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:13 AM
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Not sure what your schedule looks like. Picking up a car 9/6 with an arrival in Las Vegas of 9/19 gives you almost two weeks. Yosemite would be a bit over 3 hours east of San Francisco. Pt Reyes a little over an hour north. If time allows you should try to fit at least one in. Muir Woods is only 11 north of the Golden Gate. For that matter Sausalito, right across the bridge should be on the list.

Monterey area, Pt Lobos is a nice spot to spend a few hours, would assume you already have 17 mile drive on the list.

Hearst Castle- sounds like your taking Highway 1 down and it's right off of it. Be sure to take some time in Big Sur. Near Hearst Castle- the beach with the Elephant Seals. Cambria is a nice little town if your spending the night.

Backroad drives- Highway 58 might fit for you (it connects Highway 101 to Highway 5). Likewise heading south from San Fran, you can take Highway 35 (Skyline) into the San Jose area, then Highway 17 (or more back-roads) to catch Highway 1. Santa Cruz has a beach and boardwalk that is worth a stop and right across the bay from Monterey.

Santa Barbara in another city worthy of a stop.

Death Valley would be a good hour side trip on your way to Las Vegas and most likely still providing lots of heat (not that Vegas would be cool).
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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The schedule is what you see here Not very fixed...
We have also talked about seing a bit of Napa valley.
How much time should we calculate if we include Pt Reyes, Yosemite and possibly Napa in a north leg of our trip before were heading south towards Monterey? I guess we would need to find a place to stay up north, but Ive understood finding places to stay close to the national park can be a bit difficult/expensive, or do I not need to worry about that?

17 mile drive is on the list yes

Is it worth doing Highway 58 rather than following Highway 1 further down along the coast through San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara?

Appreciate all the good advice , thanks

Any car museums along the way worth mentioning?
(Ive seen "The auto collection" at Imperial Palace in Vegas)

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Not sure what your schedule looks like. Picking up a car 9/6 with an arrival in Las Vegas of 9/19 gives you almost two weeks. Yosemite would be a bit over 3 hours east of San Francisco. Pt Reyes a little over an hour north. If time allows you should try to fit at least one in. Muir Woods is only 11 north of the Golden Gate. For that matter Sausalito, right across the bridge should be on the list.

Monterey area, Pt Lobos is a nice spot to spend a few hours, would assume you already have 17 mile drive on the list.

Hearst Castle- sounds like your taking Highway 1 down and it's right off of it. Be sure to take some time in Big Sur. Near Hearst Castle- the beach with the Elephant Seals. Cambria is a nice little town if your spending the night.

Backroad drives- Highway 58 might fit for you (it connects Highway 101 to Highway 5). Likewise heading south from San Fran, you can take Highway 35 (Skyline) into the San Jose area, then Highway 17 (or more back-roads) to catch Highway 1. Santa Cruz has a beach and boardwalk that is worth a stop and right across the bay from Monterey.

Santa Barbara in another city worthy of a stop.

Death Valley would be a good hour side trip on your way to Las Vegas and most likely still providing lots of heat (not that Vegas would be cool).
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:18 PM
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The meat of the Highway 1 drive is between Monterey and Moro Bay (with the best of the best the northern side). You can catch Highway 46 to Highway 101, 58 will take you to Highway5 (but would by-pass Santa Barbara). However if you go to Yosemite, Highway 120 would give you the same sort of flavor.

Pt Reyes can be done as a day trip. Napa and Sonoma, 1-2 days. Yosemite you should allow most of two days. Staying in the valley the only really expense spot would be the Ahwahnee Hotel (a good place to eat). The rest of the valley isn't bad but likely sold out. In the park the Wawona hotel would be your best bet- otherwise you can find places outside the park.

Blackhawk museum (Danville) and Canpea Design- Scotts Valley (am doing a meet and drive to there at the end of the month) are the local car museums.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!
Sounds like we might do a small tour north/northwest of San Francisco, just
got to make sure that we have enough time for the trip down south

Would you know anything about the area further south?
Im thinking about the area between San Diego and Las Vegas.
Were thinking of driving from San Diego over to Flagstaff before seeing
Grand Canyon on the way to Vegas.

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The meat of the Highway 1 drive is between Monterey and Moro Bay (with the best of the best the northern side). You can catch Highway 46 to Highway 101, 58 will take you to Highway5 (but would by-pass Santa Barbara). However if you go to Yosemite, Highway 120 would give you the same sort of flavor.

Pt Reyes can be done as a day trip. Napa and Sonoma, 1-2 days. Yosemite you should allow most of two days. Staying in the valley the only really expense spot would be the Ahwahnee Hotel (a good place to eat). The rest of the valley isn't bad but likely sold out. In the park the Wawona hotel would be your best bet- otherwise you can find places outside the park.

Blackhawk museum (Danville) and Canpea Design- Scotts Valley (am doing a meet and drive to there at the end of the month) are the local car museums.

Last edited by seight; 07-20-2011 at 12:40 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 01:24 PM
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Tor- not familiar with those areas. Hopefully some other members can help out with Southern CA and AZ.

Your covering a fair amount of territory (doing it in two weeks should allow you to soak it in). Sounds like it'll be a good trip.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 01:50 PM
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Even though I'm from Chicago and am in California every 4-6 weeks on business, I've never had a chance to do this drive.

My wife and I are doing it on 8/17 - fly into LAX, rent a Jeep Wrangler (was debating shipping the Elise) and then going up through 1 (Santa Barbara, SLO) and then up to Pebble Beach for Monterey Week.

I'll report back after our findings!

Cheers
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 02:06 PM
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SwingLo- lots of great roads, if not the Elise or a sports car, hope you at least have a soft top Wrangler.

LOL- watched the Giants game last night. They show some pretty funny stuff going on in the stands... that kid was one of the better ones.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Should be good yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryB View Post
Tor- not familiar with those areas. Hopefully some other members can help out with Southern CA and AZ.

Your covering a fair amount of territory (doing it in two weeks should allow you to soak it in). Sounds like it'll be a good trip.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 03:34 PM
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If you do Santa Barbara, take the 154 up to Solvang and do some wine-tasting. The 154 is a bit of a shortcut that will take you right back to the 101 once up the hill. There's also an old stagecoach stop called Cold Spring Tavern that brings out some nice bikes and cars on the weekends. Good food, too. Stunning views from that drive, and of the bridge if you stop at Cold Spring.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!
Sounds like a very good suggestion. We will keep that in mind

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If you do Santa Barbara, take the 154 up to Solvang and do some wine-tasting. The 154 is a bit of a shortcut that will take you right back to the 101 once up the hill. There's also an old stagecoach stop called Cold Spring Tavern that brings out some nice bikes and cars on the weekends. Good food, too. Stunning views from that drive, and of the bridge if you stop at Cold Spring.
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