Advice needed: Drive from DL to San Fran

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by Dis Ohana, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    We are driving from Disneyland to San Francisco in late December. We have about a week to get to SF from Anaheim and thought we'd drive along the coast and stay overnight in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey, then SF for two days. My question is, how is the drive along the coast at that time of year? I've heard that it rains a lot and the roads are somewhat hazardous. Would we be better off just flying into SFO and hanging out in the city?

    I know this is off topic, but I've found so much useful advice in planning our vacation on this MB, I figured you all could help me with this too. :thumbsup2
     
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  3. CalGal

    CalGal <font color=blue>Just tinkering around<br><font co

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    Often, it doesn't rain too much until Jan., so you may not have any trouble at all. Even so, you could always have a contingency plan to drive 101 rather than hwy 1. Hwy 101 is not treacherous at all. It's pretty easy to cut over to 101 from Monterey, and both San Luis and Santa Barbara are on 101.

    With 3 overnight stays, you are only driving around 2-3 hours per day. You may wish to cut out one of the overnights.
     
  4. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    Good to know, I think we'll cut San Luis Obispo out of our overnight stay. Thanks so much for the advice.
     
  5. travelgirl06

    travelgirl06 DIS Veteran

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    I agree, it shouldn't be rainy in December, so you should be fine to drive (if it is raining hard the 101 is a better bet than the 1, but otherwise the 1 is gorgeous!). San Luis Obispo would make a nice midday stop between SB and Monterey. There are a lot of nice beaches nearby (Pismo Beach & Avila Beach south of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay to the north). SB to Monterey should only be 4-5 hours of driving, so you should easily be able to slip in some time on the central coast on your way up. There are some fun elephant seals near Cambria (right off the 1) that merit a quick visit.
     
  6. Disneyanajc

    Disneyanajc ~It's just a moment...This time will pass~

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    Your trip up the coast will be beautiful, you may run into rain, but as the other poster stated you can always cut over to 101. Our favorite stop is in Cambria, we get a hotel on Moonstone Beach Drive, great views, great beach. A wonderful place to have dinner in Cambria is Brambles. For dessert ask for the Brandy Ice. Oh and you can always go to Hearst Castle and do one of the tours.
    JC

    ps from Disneyland to Cambria is about a 4 hour drive on 101.
     
  7. Niele

    Niele "when you wish upon a star"

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    Totally agree with all above. If you don't want to stop in SLO you could always stay in Morro Bay, they've got some great seafood and beautiful views. You can do a quick stop at Montana de Oro (park along the coastline at lower end of Morro Bay), beachcombing is really fun there. You might have to deal with some rain on the drive but, who knows with the weather lately, it may be the most fantastic driving weather. We drove it during late November a few years back and had no problem. Don't forget to stop at Mavericks - huge, powerful, incredible waves during winter..... Enjoy!!!
     
  8. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    Thanks for all the feedback, I feel a lot better about making the drive knowing I can get on the 101 if need be.
    I've revised the plan a little based on your reccomendations, how does this itinerary sound?:

    Saturday afternoon: Leave Disneyland ( :sad2: )
    drive to Santa Barbara (thought we'd check out Stearns Pier and walk around downtown area)

    Sunday: Visit Santa Barbara Mission Homes; leave SB around noon.
    Leave SB with stops in Solvang and Pismo Beach; stay overnight in San Luis Obispo. (Would Morro Bay or Cambria be a nicer place to stay?)

    Monday: Leave SLO and stop over in Cambria and Morro Bay; drive to Pacific Grove for a 2-night stay. Is Pacific Grove area a nice place to stay?

    Tuesday: Visit Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row. Visit Carmel. Stay another night in Pacific Grove.

    Wednesday: Leave Monterey with a stop in Santa Cruz; stay 2 nights in San Francisco.
    While in SF I thought we'd visit Fisherman's Wharf; Ghiradelli Square; Ride cable cars; visit the Golden Gate Park. Any other suggestions?

    Friday: We will be driving to Yosemite early Saturday morning, the cost of hotels goes up quite a bit on the weekends, so I thought we'd get out of town and possibly stay at Half Moon Bay overnight.

    My children are 11 & 13. We are from Hawaii and the only other time they've been off the island was to go to Disneyland. I'm so excited about this trip and want to make it special for them. I know this is way off topic for this board, and I thank you for taking time to answer my questions.
     
  9. denyd

    denyd Mouseketeer

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    One more thing to checkout before you finalize your plans is the Rachel Ray Tasty Treats & $40 a day show on the Central Coast of California. They were both on last Saturday night. Check the Food Network.com web site for the re-run schedule. These shows point out some great places to see from Monterey Bay to San Luis Obispo, including Cambria & Morro Bay.
     
  10. wdwfanatic

    wdwfanatic Mouseketeer

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    I have a ? We will be driving from Monterey to the Hollywood area and does anyone know about how long that will take? Most of the time we will probably be on the coastal highway.
     
  11. pxlbarrel

    pxlbarrel <font color=teal>They won't allow any kind of cow

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    We did that route a few years ago but in August (DL to San Jose...ok, not San Francisco but the same area).

    It actually became a mission tour...we stopped at all the missions. Unintentional at first but then it became a thing. LOL

    We took our time going up the coast. We stopped an San Simeon to do a tour of William Randolph Hearst's mansion.

    But the thing I remember is having a huge ice cream cone in San Luis Obispo. It was in an ice cream shoppe that had been featured on the Food Network. OMG, it as very yummy and very filling.

    We also ended up staying overnight in Carmel because there were no rooms left in Monterey. That was ok because we did the 17 mile drive early in the morning before it got crowded and it was beautiful.
     
  12. Niele

    Niele "when you wish upon a star"

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    Wow, Dis Ohana, that sounds almost like the trip we took a few years ago. Hit Disneyland and Universal Studios, then drove up the coast to Morro and stayed at the Embarcadero Inn #888-223-5777(watched sea lions on the balcony and had fire place in rooms), then drove up to Monterey and stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel #800-368-2468 (more sea lions and otters from balcony), hit the aquarium and drove "17 mile drive", then over to Yosemite at the Ahwahnee Hotel #559-253-5635 (watched bears from our window), then up to Lake Tahoe for some skiing then to Bodega Bay and the Inn at the Tides #800-541-7788, and then drove down the coast and finally got to San Francisco. There is a great place, the Wharf Inn #877-275-7889, they have a 2 BR "penthouse/family suite" (nothing that fancy, I think it was only the 4th floor, but it had a lanai with table and chairs looking right out over the wharf area and another smaller lanai looking straight up to downtown, really cool views and so close to the fresh fish/cioppino at the market - we'd grab some and take it up to the room). We are also from Hawaii and it was our daughter's first trip to the mainland, and she was about 18 at the time!!!! You will have a total blast. Just make sure you stop alot to stretch your legs and take lots of pictures. :goodvibes
     
  13. DisQueen

    DisQueen <font color=FF3300>Seeing it all again through my

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    If you are in Cambria for a meal, try Lynn's. It's great food and suitable for a family. It's a local's favorite and known for their baked goods and gift foods like preserves. I think there's one in San Luis also. Depending on your kids, you might prefer a night in Morro Bay vs. Cambria. Morro Bay beaches are good for beachcombing, even when it's chilly. Cambria is beautiful, but it's lots of B&B's and little shops.
     
  14. travelgirl06

    travelgirl06 DIS Veteran

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    San Luis Obispo has an Embassy Suites that is nice for the family, each suite is two rooms (a bedroom and a living room with a pull out couch), plus you get free breakfast and cocktail hour, there are also hot tubs (inside and out) and an indoor pool. The only disadvantage is that you are about 15-20 minutes from the beach, but you are in a town with lots of great food and tons to do. If you decide to stay in Morro or Cambria, I would recommend reading other DISers suggestion to make sure you get a great hotel (both of these towns are on/very near the water, but they are smaller towns so it depends what you're looking for).
     
  15. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    I can't believe I missed this show! The next one is in September, I already set up a reminder so I can watch it then. Thanks!

    Niele: I am checking out the hotels you suggested, sounds like what we're looking for. Thanks for passing that info along. We're renting a house in Yosemite West closer to the Badger Pass - hopefully there will be snow when we're there. This will be the first time we all see snow (not counting Maunakea :rotfl: )! We are planning on visiting Awahnee for the Sunday brunch.

    Travelgirl: We're going to book at Embassy Suites; we definitely could use some room on a trip this long. We will spend time at Morro Bay and Cambria, looks like there are some great restaurants there. Definitely will try Lynn's as DisQueen suggested. And the ice cream at SLO that pxlbarrel suggested! That sounds good.. :thumbsup2

    Thank you all for the great suggestions. I know it's a way off but I'm so excited. I don't know anywhere else that I would have got such great information. Thank you so much! :wave2:
     
  16. Niele

    Niele "when you wish upon a star"

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    Now I'm really jealous - I want to go. As for snow, you'll almost definitely see it in Yosemite. We had great snow there at Thanksgiving time. One suggestion, rent an SUV with snow or all-weather tires and/or be sure to take chains. There are some roads during winter which, depending on the weather, may require this. You WILL have a great time. Aloha!
     
  17. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    I called Budget to ask about all weather tires and chains - they said they don't rent cars that way and discourage customers from driving in the snow. Do you know where I could rent a car that comes with these things? I am renting the car in Anaheim. Thanks!
     
  18. Niele

    Niele "when you wish upon a star"

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    We've always used Hertz and they do have "winterized" suv's. We've got one reserved for our February ski trip to Tahoe. It costs like $8-$10 more per day but it comes with ice scrapper, ski racks and snow or all weather tires. You can check it out online at their website, you can pick the "extras" at the bottom when you're picking out the car. We usually get a car with the navigation system too. I'm not too good with directions on the mainland ..... :cloud9:
     
  19. jlmarr

    jlmarr See you at Fenton's

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    If you are so inclined you might have dinner at the Hitching Post in Buellton (same exit off the 101 to get to Solvang). This is the restaurant that was featured in the movie "Sideways":

    http://www.hitchingpost2.com/restaurant.html
     
  20. Leofoenget

    Leofoenget DIS Veteran

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    Actually Monterey in December is wonderful. I would say do the drive in 2 days it will be nice.
     
  21. Dis Ohana

    Dis Ohana All your dreams can come true if you have the cour

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    Niele: I tried the Hertz website and did not see the "winterized" option. I'll call directly to see if they can add it on. Mahalo!

    jlmarr: I love Sideways! I'm going to watch that movie again before our trip. Thanks for the link for the Hitching Post, the menu looks great. We're going to try to stop there for dinner.

    Leo: Thanks for the comment on Monterey; we weren't really sure what to expect weather wise and wasn't sure if a two night stay would be two too many.

    Thank you all again for your advice. If anyone else has suggestions on where to eat or what to do I'd love to hear it.

    :wave2:
     

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