View Full Version : Anaheim to San Jose

03-19-2007, 04:30 PM
Hi, I have been lurking for a while ;) , but now the time to register and ask a few questions has come!

We will be driving from Anaheim to San Jose over 2 days (it was originally going to be 3 days but we've cut it down). We were planning to take the coast road when it was going to be a 3 day trip, but now we're thinking that might take too long? We'd definitely like to do it for some of the trip - is there a better way round to combine speed and convenience with seeing the coast?

We would like to stop for a while on the first day for some time at the beach (not more than an hour or so) - can anyone recommend a good place? What about somewhere to stay overnight? Originally we'd planned to go to the Monterey Aquarium on our last day - would it be possible to drive most of the way on day 1, stay overnight somewhere, do the aquarium then head to San Jose - we need to be in San Jose by about 3pm so I'm guessing that's going to be too much to fit in?

Sorry I have so many questions! Thanks in advance for any help :)

03-19-2007, 06:38 PM
Well, you can technically drive all the way to San Jose in one day. If you take the 101, it'll take you about 8-9 hours. If you'd like to stop overnight, you could stop in San Luis Obispo, which is about the half-way point. That would also give you a chance to visit Shell Beach/Pismo Beach as your beach stop (it's just 15 minutes or so before SLO). You could also hit Morro Bay while there. I recommend dinner at F. McLintock's Steakhouse & Saloon in Shell Beach.

Then, it's another 4 hours up to Monterey for the Aquarium. From there, you can get to San Jose in about 1 hour. So, if you leave SLO early enough, you can get to Monterey with at least a couple hours to do the Aquarium. Might not be quite long enough, though.

Really, I'd recommend just biting the bullet and driving all the way up in one day (with a stop at one of the beaches along the way). Then, when you get to Monterey, you can relax and enjoy a drive along the bay through Pacific Grove and Carmel. You can also take your time at the Aquarium the next day.

There's a route that takes you from Hwy 1, just above Monterey, skirting Salinas and connects you over to the 101, which will take you into San Jose. Or, you could head up Hwy 1 (non-curvy in this area) to Hwy 17 (at Santa Cruz) and take that over the hill into San Jose. I prefer the 17, because it's a beautiful drive. Particularly nice on a sunny day with all the windows down.

03-23-2007, 02:25 AM
Thanks so much for your reply - I am sorry I have not been back sooner, but for some reason I've been unable to log in since I posted the other day :rolleyes1

At the moment I think we're leaning towards stopping somewhere half-way ish and leaving out the aquarium. We'll be in San Jose for about 12 days, visiting friends, and although we've got a lot planned in that time we could probably go back to Monterey for the aquarium. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure my husband and daughter would want to spend some time at the beach so we're thinking of just doing half the drive then giving them time to enjoy the beach (I'm not a beachy-type person so I can live without it!).

My next question is .. how 'worth it' is it to drive Highway between Cambria and Carmel? I think that we adults would really enjoy the view, but I don't know how bothered my 5-year-old would be about it! Would it be better to drive the 101 to Monterey then cut back down to Highway 1 and do the 17-mile drive? Would we be missing out a lot by doing it that way? And would it save much time?

Thanks again for any help!

03-23-2007, 03:18 PM
Well... it depends how prone to carsickness any of you are. It's a curvy road. Beautiful, but curvy. I think you'd be better off to take the easier route up the 101, then hit 17 mile drive later. You'd definitely save some time. If you really want to do Hwy 1, you could take one of your SJ days and go over to Santa Cruz, then drive up to San Francisco from there.

By the way, I really do recommend hitting Santa Cruz while you're staying up in SJ. It'll take roughly 30 minutes to make the drive over the 17 (do not go during weekday rush hours!) and it's a terrific place. Your child might like some of the kids rides at the Boardwalk and you MUST have an ice cream at Marianne's on Ocean St.

03-23-2007, 05:56 PM
Last summer Highway 1 was closed just north of Half Moon Bay so you could not drive all the way to SF from Santa Cruz. It may be opened now, but definitely check before you go.

I agree with Magix - Santa Cruz is a must see and the beach is the best in all of California. Highway 1 north of there is beautiful too and there is a lot to see including lighthouses, kite flying wind surfers guys (or whatever they are called) and of couse the ocean. Plus any town that would name their college mascot the Banana Slugs has got to be A-OK

03-23-2007, 11:59 PM
I 2nd Marianne's for ice cream! I also want to vote for a trip to Bonfante gardens in Gilroy as a daytrip from San Jose. It is excellent for young children.

You can't go wrong with San Luis Obispo or Monterrey.


03-24-2007, 12:28 AM
Thanks again :)

Sorry to keep asking questions ;) but can anyone tell me roughly how long it would take to drive the 101 from San Luis Obispo / Carmel (is either better for an overnight stop?) up to Monterey? Would it be possible / sensible to then do the 17-mile drive? And then get to San Jose for mid-late lafternoon? I said approx. 3pm in the OP but it's not a set time - I just don't want to be arriving too late since my husband and I are going out that evening! :cool1: I would think it rather rude to arrive at our friends' (who we won't have seen for a year) house at, say 6pm, say hi, then go out at 6.30pm! They're being good enough to us by being happy to babysit our daughter that evening while we go off and enjoy ourselves!

And then (back on topic!) could we do a day from San Jose where we go to the Aquarium then Santa Cruz?

03-26-2007, 10:26 AM
It is about 150 miles from San Luis Obispo (on the 101) to Monterey. So it would take you 2 - 3 hours, depending on stops. Give yourself ample time to do the 17-mile drive and to putter around Monterey/Carmel. Just walking on the sidewalk along the beach is beautiful or you can rent bikes and ride to Fisherman's Wharf for an hour or two. Then coming back the next day for the Acquarium and Santa Cruz would be a great plan. Just leave from Monterey to San Jose well before afternoon traffic (3:00) and you will be fine.