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Matan asked

Road trip from SF to LA

Hey, I'm traveling this September (2017) from San Francisco to LA. I have a total of 5.5 days to do the road trip+staying in LA. What is the best way to plan the trip? Is there a way to push in Las Vegas as well or will it be too tight? 

I also heard that a part of road 1 is blocked at the moment, so I was thinking of driving through road 1 from San Francisco to Big Sur and then get on the highway.

What would you recommend? how should I distribute my time and where should I spend the nights?



2 Answers
answered by

Hey Matan,

I have done this drive many times.  I am from San Francisco and head down south using Highway 5.  If you are looking for a beautiful scenic drive, then take take Hwy 1, but like you said, portions of it have been blocked off.  So you will have to make your way around. 

I suggest driving directly to Los Angeles a straight shot with no wasted time.  The coastline of CA is beautiful, but I think you would need more time on your hands in order to take it all in and make random stops/spending the night in fun coastal towns.  Don't bother with Big Sur.  Everything is closed right now due to erosion.  

Take Hwy 5 straight to LA.  That will take you about 5-6 hours (depending on traffic and when you leave).  Another option would be Freeway 101.  This will take longer than Hwy 5.  

If you are looking to squeeze in Las Vegas, you only need 2 days on the strip (I have done this trip many times as well).  Driving from SF to Vegas will take you about 9-10 hours.  Stay two days then book it to LA.  

As for where to stay in LA, not sure I can help you there.  Too bad you're not headed from LA to SF (so much more scenic up here).  

Good Luck!


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)
  2. Los Angeles (city)
  3. Big Sur (city)
  4. Las Vegas (city)
answered first by

If you want to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles and include Las Vegas that will increase the drive time by 10 or 12 hours.  You can do it, but you will just be driving most of the time.

You can drive along the coast via Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel By the Sea, if you go all the way to Big Sur you will have to turn around and come back.  You can go back to the coast around Morro Bay and finish up that way.  This trip will take about 9 hours and you can stop in Monterey and Carmel for a day.

Or you can go from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley and then down to Sequoia National Park - Foothills Visitor Center before you go to LA.  That trip will take about 11 hours driving.

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