2 hours north of LA gets you to the Santa Barbara area, you could go up the 154 into the wine country, some nice roads, great scenery/wine/food to be found in Santa YnezGreat thread, I'll be out in LA visiting my parents next week and will have access to my dad's S2000 (it's no Elise but for this purpose it will work fine). I'm willing to drive up to 2 hours past LA (assuming no stops) and plan to make a whole day out of it. Out of the list that the OP put up, which one of those spots can I hit? Obviously I'm not going to make it anywhere near SF.
When the good weather months are back,I would be up for a small well organized weekend group road trip up north! 5-6 cars would be managable with radios and we could stay in Montery, possibly when there is a cool race event happening at laguna seca, or go on up into Napa ? Could take a friday offwork , head up friday day, come back sunday afternoon? At the motor 4 toys show I talked with a cool Elise owner Marc who lives in Montery and drove down for the event! We could hook up with him and some other locals .....Well I made it back here's a couple of photo's while I compile the rest and the map. It was absolutely amazing. Crystal clear sky's, cool but not cold, the road literally to myself, I'm so glad I went. Thanks for all the tips it really helped out. Mark this one off the list of things to do before I die, only problem is I think I need to go again!
Excellent, thanks for the tip on the drive up/down 1. We're making a round trip so we may consider taking 5 up for at least part of the drive. I think we plan to hit Pismo first for some ATV action then head up to Hearst and Big Sur.Hearst Castle up to Monterey is the meat of the Highway 1 drive and is best taken heading south (that way your on the coast side). So yeah you could save time by taking Highway5 (which is a boring flat road), LA to SF. Or you could take it part way and cut over to one of a couple of fun backroads to 101 part of the way up. Big Sur Nepenthe, would be a good spot to eat at. Just north of Hearst Castle, stop and check out the Sea Lions. Carmel is a nice little town (and if your into art type shops).
I was thinking Carmel/Monterey might have more hotels than Big Sur, however that would mean driving backwards for a bit since we're heading from LA north and back.If your looking for a place to stay in the central coast, you could try Monterey/Carmel or a little north Seaside/ Marina. Should be cheaper and more places to pick from and a good base to start from. For a day you could check out Monterey, Carmel, 17 mile drive and Point Lobos. Then as you head out stop in Big Sur (breakfast, maybe) and Hearst Castle on your way back to LA.
BTW 58 would be a good road to cut over from 5 to 101 on your way to Pismo (coming from LA). Then 101 the rest of the way to SF.
I spent some time and did some research to come up with a new itenerary. Let me know what you guys think. I'd love to know if I'm packing too much into one day or timeframes are realistic (both driving and seeing places). If any of these places are not worth seeing let me know too! I.E. do you just drive through Big Sur and stop along the highway or are there activities to do?For your initial plan- drive time alone would be a good 6-7 hours. Figure about 3 hours for Hearst Castle and 2 or 3 for Pismo. Morro bay is cool (The West Coast Lotus Meet was there a few years ago) and might be worth a hour or two. Then to fit in Big Sur... think that's trying to pack a bit much into one day. Breaking some of that up on the in and out bound legs of the trip would allow you a little time to relax and enjoy it. Maybe save Hearst Castle for the return trip- it would make for a good mid-way point to stop and kick back for a while.