Is it mountain drive from sacr...
Yreka: Is it mountain drive from sacramento ca
You will be driving up Interstate 5 past Shasta Lake and Mt Shasta. There are mountains on that route. The driving should be reasonably easy unless you encounter snow or rain. That all depends on what time of year you are traveling.
Carmel By the Sea: Would you stay in Carmel or San Luis Obispo?
I much prefer Carmel By the Sea. Krista was correct that it is more "posh". The restaurants and hotels will cost more there. Check out some Airbnb options. It has a great small community atmosphere and we always feel so relaxed there....