3 days - Santa Monica Pier to SF - sights? budget Lodging?...

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by glasswave, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Hi all, doing a fly & buy of a Honda Fit in LA-LA and heading North along the coast. I won't have camping gear so I will be looking for budget lodging. I'll take 3 days. Maybe 4, and head out to Turlock, near Modesto, from the North end, so I won't have find lodgings near SF. Don't want to spend much time off the pavement, but some smooth gravel roads here and there should be fine.

    Any advice on places to stay? Or sights to see. I thought that the Hearst castle might be worth a look, but perhaps it's a bit too corporate. Going through Big Sur should be OK as far as roads? I know there is construction, but I assume the waits should not be too bad?

    Any tips and advice for routes, budget sleeps, bies and/or sights would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. K. L. Rocket

    K. L. Rocket Big bouncy make big happy

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    Yosemite is worth going out of your way.
    [​IMG]

    If you decide to visit Hearst Castle, you'll need reservations.

    You can check road conditions through Caltrans.
    #2
  3. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Thanks, I already planned to head up Yosemite way, but not till after my coastal trip. I know the Sierras fairly well, but haven't been up the coast since I was about 5 or 6. :-)
    #3
  4. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    It's summer. Highway 1 will be busy, plus chilly and foggy (it's summer!!). But still worth the drive, keeping in mind the traffic and weather. :1drink Getting an early start will improve the traffic situation.
    #4
  5. MapleRoad

    MapleRoad Been here awhile Supporter

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    I cannot say this strongly enough: plan your trip for weekdays. Traffic on weekends is horrible, because everyone saw That Picture on Pinstatwitface and have to take their own.

    What kind of things do you enjoy seeing? Elephant seals along Hwy 1 might be exciting for some and boring for you. Do you like vineyards? Dump the coast and drive the eastern side of the coastal range. Peachtree and Indian Springs roads are beautiful, and you've got AC in the car.
    #5
  6. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    I get the impression that the fog, when it shows up at all, tends to burn off by 11:00 or so. Right?

    Temps seem to indicate highs in the upper 60's to mid 70's and lows in the low 50's. That sounds fairly warm to me. Perfect actually.

    Hopefully med week will keep some of the traffic at bay on S coast and the weekend will minimize traffic to a degree when I cross the bay area. We hall see.

    But I am a bit worried about long delays due to construction around Big Sur.
    #6
  7. MapleRoad

    MapleRoad Been here awhile Supporter

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    Generally you won't find long delays on 1. Caltrans sets things up fairly efficiently for traffic to keep moving through the one-way controls. Mid week, I expect you'll find very short queues at the one-way traffic controls, if any at all. Right now, I only found only one such control in place, so you should have a good ride. Most motorcyclists will make their way forward to the front of the queue, as well. It's a good idea since you're probably going to ride faster than the cars.

    The fog can burn off, or it can remain all day. It can even be as thick as pea soup in some places, and clear in others.
    #7
  8. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    What @MapleRoad said. Fog can burn off at 11 a.m., or at 5 p.m., or anytime in between. I have found in the past that the sun breaks out right before you get to the Big Sur Park entrance, probably due to its distance from the coast.
    #8
  9. el Pete

    el Pete toda su base

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    Make a side trip to Mission San Antonio de Padua, which is located on Fort Hunter Liggett. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Highway 1 to the Fort is a classic ride. No dirt, just a twisty road through coastal mountains and oaks. More fun on a bike, but still a worthwhile drive in the Fit.

    And for the amount of money you'll spend on motels, you could buy an inexpensive tent, pad and sleeping bag...:thumbup
    #9
  10. palinka

    palinka Long timer

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    Just rode hwy 1 through Big Sur this weekend. Went north on Saturday afternoon, and back yesterday morning.
    Construction was not an issue. On the way up on Saturday we only had to stop once for construction, and it was for less than a minute.
    On Monday morning there were a few more construction zones, but traffic was light and we got waved through most places. Only had to stop twice and again for less than a minute each time. We were on bikes and found the constructions stops to be a bit of a blessing as we could filter to the front, clear a bunch of RVs, and then have open roads ahead of us for miles.
    Tourist traffic was a bit of a nightmare on Saturday, especially as we got to Bixby bridge and up closer to Carmel/Monterey. But traffic was surprisingly really light on Monday am. Left Monterey at 8:30am, we were getting gas in Morro Bay less than 2 hours later.
    My suggestion is to take the 1 early in the morning, while all the tourists are still busy checking out of their hotels, and you'll be fine. You might get a bit of fog or sunshine, probably a mix of both. It's an epic drive, it's worth it even with tourist traffic.
    #10
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  11. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Sorry Guys,

    I forgot to say thanks for all of the good advice and post a trip follow-up.

    I had an excellent time and saw a bunch of new terrain. I didn't take much in the way of pics, but here's a couple...

    "Miss Fit" visits El Cap...

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    Missy strikes up a close relationship with a cute, young "Cinnamon Girl"...
    Crossing the Trinity Mnts and heading down to the Coastal Redwoods

    [​IMG]

    Route maps, if anyone's interested...

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    [​IMG]
    #11
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I'd be interested to know what lodging/sleeping arrangements you made and the associated costs.
    #12
  13. rjnutt

    rjnutt Desert tortoise

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    What a great trip, you definitely saw some nice country!
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  14. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Sundial Lodge $66 -- excellent

    American Inn Grover Beach $83 -- not so good a room but nice people

    Ocean Inn Monteray $177 -- Got nipped for an expensive place in Monterrey and it sucked
    #14
  15. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    I forgot to mention, the Trinity mountains and nearby coast has got to be one of the best adv riding spots around if you are looking for paved twisties, long dirt roads and spectacular scenery.
    #15