We had planned to drive from San Francisco to LA along the PCH. Obviously I had not done enough research as when we got to Carmel we found out that the Highway was closed 50 miles south and had been for some time due to...More
Hi! I'm pleased to have the opportunity to share some thoughts and ideas with you: There's a lot to do in SF but one thing we did that is often overlooked is to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the view of the... More
Hi! I'm pleased to have the opportunity to share some thoughts and ideas with you: There's a lot to do in SF but one thing we did that is often overlooked is to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the view of the city from that side and continue on to Muir Woods to see the grove of giant Redwoods there. Of the typical tourist attractions in SF we liked riding the street cars, the wharf area and Alcatraz best. To plan your drive down the PCH you'll need to stay on top of the road reconstruction work from this past Spring's slide damage. I think all the work is currently scheduled to be finished by the time of your trip, but you need to stay on top of it and adjust accordingly. You can find useful info by entering Big Sur on the TA site and clicking on the forum or googling big sur california chamber of commerce and clicking on highway 1 road conditions. A general rule of thumb to follow when the road is back to normal is to get started early in the day as the traffic, beaches and scenic vista points seem to get exponentially more crowded in the afternoon hours. On the day that you travel south from SF to Carmel, you may want to consider stopping at the iconic Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Amusement Park. It is very highly rated on TA. Then in Carmel I recommend you take the 17 mile drive and take the time to walk around and explore this quaint little town. There are lots of interesting shops, places to eat and the Tuck houses are like nothing else you'll see anywhere. If you get an early start from SF and do these things you'll have a very full day. Get up early to head south from Carmel and be prepared to see some truly remarkable scenery. If you get the chance, Pfeiffer Beach is worth visiting. It has some amazing rock formations and was a location used in the filming of The Sandpiper starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Once you clear the Big Sur area the coastline is much less dramatic. You said you weren't that interested in museums, et al, but I will mention that you will be driving right by the Hearst Castle as you head south. It sits on a high bluff a couple miles east of the PCH with a panoramic view of the Pacific. Tours are given there everyday....if you're interested it's best to reserve ahead. If you allow a day to get from SLO to Santa Monica you will have plenty of time to go to the beach and explore the area in the afternoon and evening. It sounds like you're leaning toward doing the touristy things around Hollywood the next day. My family has been there, done that too. But 2 things we have done that we cherish most are taking a 45 min helicopter tour to see the famous landmarks and neighborhoods from the air and attending a concert under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. I assume you've already checked to see when the Cubs are at Dodger Stadium. Unless there is something specific you are interested in between LA and SD I would plan to hop on the interstate and drive down there non-stop. It only takes about 3 hours, so you could do that the same day the Cubs play. I've enjoyed sharing this you. Good luck in planing your trip and have a great time!