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Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

Sydney, Australia
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Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

Hi, just after some advise on our drive from Carlsbad to San Simeon. We will be driving on Sunday 20th September. What time do you think we should leave our hotel at Legoland and best route to take. We are in no rush and want to take our time. Thanks.

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Carlsbad
Carlsbad
California
San Simeon
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo County, CA
LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND California
6,651 Reviews
Carlsbad, CA
Richmond, California
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1. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

It's about 6 hours of driving, so plan accordingly. 5-405-101-1 is the most straightforward route. You would probably want to break up the day with a stop in Santa Barbara for lunch. From a little after Ventura when the road hits the ocean all the way up to San Simeon it's a beautiful drive, with a mix of oceans, mountains and vineyards.

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Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Ventura
Ventura
California
San Simeon
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo County, CA
San Diego...
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2. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

As a San Diegan, I would recommend leaving as early as possible. We went to Cambria in May (just south of San Simeon) and left about 4 in the morning, taking the scenic 101 and 1 option. My main reason for that is because when we did the same drive in March and left at noon, it took 9 hours! (5-6 of those sitting in LA traffic). Now it is easier said than done as we don't have kids to wake up and get ready, but I think the earlier you can get through LA the better. A neat place we found for breakfast was called Frankie and Lola's in Morro Bay. Great food with a nice view of Morro Rock. Also, walking around the beach and rock is a cool little place to explore and see some otters and seals while stretching your legs. Driving along the coast possibly takes a little longer, but you can't get those kind of views on the 5. Hope you have a great trip!

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San Luis Obispo County, CA
San Simeon
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San Luis Obispo County, CA
Frankie and Lola's
Frankie and Lola's
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Morro Bay
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3. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

On a Sunday morning you shouldn't have the weekday commuter traffic issues. I'd leave by 9:00. No later. You'd be in Santa Barbara for lunch. Then you can continue on from SB to San Simeon with what should be a nice and easy drive.

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Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
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San Simeon
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Carlsbad, CA
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4. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

My in-laws have multiple homes in Cambria so I've made the drive from Carlsbad many times. Door to door it is 335 miles with San Simeon being about ten miles further up the coast.

You'll take 5 to 405 to 101 to 1, but don't get off on 1 until you get to San Luis Obispo.

I would leave early as the 101 through Los Angeles can be a mess at virtually any time of the day. Skip Santa Barbara for lunch as parking can be a major pain. Instead get off in Summerland (immediately south of Montecito/Santa Barbara) and have lunch at Stacky's Seaside. You'll get a great burger and shake for a great price.

Because your destination is San Simeon I assume you are visiting Hearst Castle. It is crowded no matter what time of year you visit so reserve your tickets online before you go.

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San Luis Obispo County, CA
Carlsbad
Carlsbad
California
San Simeon
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo County, CA
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San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County, CA
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Los Angeles
California
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Santa Barbara
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Hearst Castle
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San Simeon, CA
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5. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

It's not so much the 101 traffic, it's the Hwy 5 traffic just north of Carlsbad, the Hwy 5 traffic through San Clemente, and heavy weekend traffic.

Best bet as others have mentioned...... Leave early; around 9 or so.

Good idea about Stacky's.....

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Carlsbad
Carlsbad
California
San Clemente
San Clemente
Orange County, CA
6. Re: Driving from Carlsbad to San Simeon

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