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Old 10-28-2018, 12:21 PM   #1
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California Highway 1 - PCH in 1 week itinerary help needed - next week (Nov/2018)

Greetings,

I have one week's time and I'd like to drive from the state line with Oregon all the way down California Highway 1, skipping over the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. I am a single mid-30s guy, and prefer attractions, sights, museums, landmarks, and general adventure.

I have searched far online and I'm surprised this problem hasn't been solved before. There's a lack of preplanned itineraries. I am also trying to limit the amount of backtracking; which I've noticed going down the Oregon coast was a by product of RVing. I'd drop "house" for a couple days and end up driving back north and south for 1-2 hours to explore all the little towns along the way. It looks like California has more central points with less inbetween, so this may be less of a problem.

I am travelling with a pickup truck and a small (17') travel trailer.

Without further ado, can anyone recommend where to stop and how many days to spend in each location?

The ideal information would be a list of towns to stay at and attractions to see, just like an itinerary! As for time-frame, I'm travelling next week

Day 1-3: Stay at town XYZ, see attraction 1,2,3,4,5

Day 4-6, Stay at town ABC, see attractions 6,7,8,9.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc500 View Post
I have one week's time and I'd like to drive from the state line with Oregon all the way down California Highway 1, skipping over the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. I am a single mid-30s guy, and prefer attractions, sights, museums, landmarks, and general adventure.

First of all, Hwy 1 doesn't even start until you're down to Leggett, Ca so you'll be on Hwy 101 from Oregon down to Leggett. Then you'll be on Avenue of the Giants - a narrow, winding, beautiful drive with lots of stuff to see, if you can find room to pull over. Once you get down to just north of Sausalito you'll be back on 101 again and you'll have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco - and you'll pay about $5 per axle in toll. You cannot avoid San Francisco unless you head north on 101 up to San Rafael and take I580 east across the Richmond Bridge (no toll that direction) and then get on I880 south towards San Jose. From San Jose you can continue on I880 until it changes to CA17 and it joins up with Hwy 1 in Santa Cruz. then you'll miss the part of Hwy 1 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.



I really doubt that you could do the entire trip the entire length of California in a week, though, unless you spend most of your time driving instead of sightseeing.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:49 PM   #3
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Check Highway 1 between Monterey and Moro Bay to see if it is open
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:10 PM   #4
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You’ll get much better feedback if you post this in the right forum. This forum is about RV Trip Wizard, the app, rather than planning a specific trip. Go up one forum level and look under Camping, Travel and Trip Planning. Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:24 PM   #5
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Casper Cove, south of Mendocino is a great place to stay, cut over to 101 at San Rafael and you can take the bridge over to Oakland and the 880 south( no toll that direction) 880 becomes 17 and takes you to Santa Cruz Hwy 1. That will get you around San Francisco and save you tolls.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. To clarify a few things:

I don't mind driving through San Francisco, I just have no desire to stop there. It's not a city best explored with an RV. I'll visit there some weekend on a $99 roundtrip flight from one of the sales and stay in a proper city hotel. This aside, the toll of the golden gate bridge is ridiculous, but it's worth it to drive across once. It's only $7 for the pickup, but add the escape and the total is now $24. Hey, it's got a temp sticker, so if they only read the rear and not the front plate it might be free. Wishful thinking.

I will see if I can find a way to move this to the other forum. I just joined and there's a big banner in the upper right that says "click here for our RV trip planning forum", which is why I posted it here.

Thank for the suggestions. I continue to solicit specific stops, things to see, and suggested camping locations. The good news is I'm finding a few LA to SFO guides, but nothing covering the whole route.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:24 AM   #7
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Are you only going one way and ending the trip in southern California during that 6 day time frame?
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:58 AM   #8
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Can't advise you on the trip but noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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Brookings, Or to San Diego, Ca is about 900 miles by the shortest way, or about 150 miles per day, speed limit 55 mph.
You want to go the longer scenic route and also stop for sightseeing, Hwy 1 is slow, maybe 35 mph avr, some curves down to 15 mph.
I think this trip is too ambitious, re think it.
Is a return included in the weeks time, my calcs is one way?
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:57 PM   #10
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With your small trailer you'll have no problems stopping wherever you want. This is really a simple trip. Don't get hung up with a definite itinerary and being so structured. Stop where it looks interesting. That's how we traveled. We would have a general destination for the day or week and play it by ear as to where we stopped. You won't need reservations that time of year.

As stated in Oregon and northern California you'll be on 101, not 1. There will be side highways taking you to Hwy 1 in California at various areas. We love state parks and that's where we'd settle.

This might be a rainy trip that time of year so be prepared with some warm clothes.

Some nice areas to explore in California would be Crescent City (Redwood Nat'l Park), Trinidad/Arcata is a neat area, Ferndale, Redcrest (awesome Redwoods and nice hiking). At Leggett go over to Hwy 1; Fort Bragg/Mendocino, Bodega Bay, Olema for Pt. Reyes Nat'l Seashore then pass through San Francisco and further - anyplace you stop will be beautiful!

Google those towns for things to do and use campgroundreviews.com to finding various types of camping by plugging in a town.

Only you will know when you're running out of time and run to hurry more or call it quits. Have a great trip!
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:39 PM   #11
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Are you only going one way and ending the trip in southern California during that 6 day time frame?
Consider it one way in what is now an 8 day time frame.

There will be a drive back, but it will by a 16 hour in one long day ordeal down the interstate - not a part of the vacation.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:43 PM   #12
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Thank you - very helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
With your small trailer you'll have no problems stopping wherever you want. This is really a simple trip. Don't get hung up with a definite itinerary and being so structured. Stop where it looks interesting. That's how we traveled. We would have a general destination for the day or week and play it by ear as to where we stopped. You won't need reservations that time of year.

As stated in Oregon and northern California you'll be on 101, not 1. There will be side highways taking you to Hwy 1 in California at various areas. We love state parks and that's where we'd settle.

This might be a rainy trip that time of year so be prepared with some warm clothes.

Some nice areas to explore in California would be Crescent City (Redwood Nat'l Park), Trinidad/Arcata is a neat area, Ferndale, Redcrest (awesome Redwoods and nice hiking). At Leggett go over to Hwy 1; Fort Bragg/Mendocino, Bodega Bay, Olema for Pt. Reyes Nat'l Seashore then pass through San Francisco and further - anyplace you stop will be beautiful!

Google those towns for things to do and use campgroundreviews.com to finding various types of camping by plugging in a town.

Only you will know when you're running out of time and run to hurry more or call it quits. Have a great trip!
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:18 AM   #13
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So, we make this trip in two sections, so to do it in a week will require you to move along.

Day 1 - Oregon border - take 101 to the start of the avenue of the Giants. There are RV Campgrounds above AoG and a KOA in Benbow below the drive. Plan on stopping several times along the drive and have lunch among the Redwoods.

Day 2 - As suggested, below Leggett take PCH 1. It is twisty and tight, but just slow down and take it as it comes. As you emerge onto the coast, stop for pictures. Take your drive South and stay in Fort Bragg. Nice park on the South side of town to the East.

Day 3 - Roll South and stay at the Manchester KOA. Stop in at Mendocino.

Day 4 - Then stay at the Bodega Bay RV Park on the right as you enter town. Dinner at one of the fine food establishments, but there is a Mexican place just outside the park.

Day 5 - Follow PCH1 through SF and down the coast. It will be a lot of traffic, but you will get a sense of the charm and lifestyle.

Day 6 - Keep rolling and spend the night at the Laguna Seca Recreation area. If it's race day, you can't get in, but if not, it's worth the stop and not a bad price.

Day 7 - Then South on PCH1 ... reported to be open now. A night at Big Sir is scenic. However there is the San Simeon State Park south of Hurst Castle. A day at the Castle is a good stop. Cambria has some nice places to eat.

Day 8 - Now head South and stop in Moro Bay.

Day 9 - A day through LA and find a stop South in one of the State parks on the Beach.

Day 10 - Then on to San Diego for a day.

Now time to head home. But that is too many days. Skip Manchester KOA. Skip Hurst Castle and the stop in Big Sir. Skip the stop on the coast and roll straight through LA and down to SD. You can make the trip down to Bodega Bay from Benbow in a day. That should get you through the trip. Lots of driving. Good Luck!
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:00 AM   #14
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Hoping to hear a trip report from pc500 when the trip is complete so that others doing it can benefit from his experience.
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