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The W - Random - Help from Californians - Pacific Coast Highway?
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Mr Shh
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Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

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#1 Posted on
Part of my proposed vacation plans for next year involves driving down the length of California. The day after WrestleMania, my friend and I would like to take a road trip from Seattle to LA. Now, as far as I can tell, I can take either I-5 or the Pacific Coast Highway down California. I'd like to take the PCH. What can anybody tell me about it? I consider myself a great driver (who doesn't?), but there's obviously no way for me to know how I'm gonna handle the PCH. What kind of reputation does it have? Is it "for experts only" and not recommended for visitors? I'm under the impression that the term "straight line" doesn't really apply and that it's pretty fast. Any input will be appreciated.

(edited by Mr Shh on 4.10.02 1411)
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Since: 9.12.01
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#2 Posted on
I believe you're wrong on "fast" - at least if you're talking about 1. If you don't want to take 5 (which is admittedly pretty boring) perhaps you could compromise on 101...but it's ALSO pretty slow in spots.



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DMC
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Since: 8.1.02
From: Modesto, CA

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#3 Posted on
From my limited experience on Highway 1, I would agree that it is not very fast. I guess it can be faster in some areas, but since the thing is such a tourist attraction, most people tend to take it slow to enjoy the scenery. As far as being scary, I believe that CAN apply. I remember going up on 1 north of San Francisco on our way to visit Fort Ross, the old Russian settlement north of Bodega Bay. There is basically winding highway and long cliff, and that's about it. It was pretty, but I wouldn't want to drive it. I guess just be sure that you go slow, unless it is a long, open stretch where it seems more like a regular highway.

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Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
is it true that you can lane spit? if so, me and Lilith are coming down there to ride!




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Mr Shh
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Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

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#5 Posted on
Thanks for the input. I'm guessing that since it's such a big tourist attraction, lodging along the PCH is heavily overpriced?
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#6 Posted on
Lodging on the route 1 is pretty much non-existant, but you can just drive inland for a bit to get to regular hotels and such. Food is way overpriced though, although there are some really neat views from a couple of the restaraunts.

This isn't a tourist attraction like Disney World or something. It's a tourist attraction in the sence that nobody uses it to actually get anywhere, just if they want the really nice scenic route. It's not crowded or anything. Although I've only done the San Louis Obispo to Monteray part, it was beautiful, and you can pull off at any random rest point (usually just a dirt enclave where you let people pass), go down a path or two, and find some gorgeous stuff. And this is coming from a person who considers Central Park as close to nature as I usually like to get. At least take a couple days on route 1, even if you backtrack by driving north. Why would you do that? Because...

Going north on route 1 is fine for your everyday driver, although it can be a bit nervewracking in spots. Going south on route 1 can cause anyone shory of Mario Andretti to shit their pants. I'd highly recommend going north your first time.

It's not fast at all. Expect to do 20-30 mph at points, because it's curvy as all hell and sometimes really tough to see if traffic is coming from the other direction.





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zoggy1
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Since: 1.3.02
From: Silicon Valley, California

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#7 Posted on
driving south the passenger side gets great views while the driverends up having to focus on road and then park when he/she wants a view. which is fine beacuse there are lots of places to park off and enjoy.

Mendicino county has some nice views including a big old spout hole and whale watching in the distance, town is cute too. North of Mendicino, eventually there's a part of the coast that is NOT accessible so you might end up having to cut across to highway 101 which is fine because you get to see lots of redwood trees and such. I remember going a decent speed there.

SF north bay/stinson beach is the slow winding part of highway 1. you can only go 20-25mph back and forth along the ridge. it's more likely to get you dizzy than scared. SF to Pacifica to Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz you're back to 40mph's and such with less turns. Santa Cruz to Monterey is mostly
highway again; watch out for weekend traffic here. Monterey has tourist attractions like the Wharf and the Aquarium. Monterey's 17 Mile Drive/Pebble Beach is great on a bike but a motorcade on Saturday afternoons.

I always wanted to try Big Sur from Monterey but every time I go, I see highway closed signs. So check ahead. You can double back to Highway 101 south to san luis obispo/paseo robles and cut across if you want to see hearst castle and pockets of the beach where there are hundreds of sea lions. santa barbara is a nice stop over on highway 101. from there to LA it's mostly ventura county and along the coast. check out a few beach huts, enjoy LA and even shuttle down to San Diego.

Highway 5 is good for getting down to LA as soon as possible, when you get bored driving coast and want to go 80+ mph.



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Whitebacon
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#8 Posted on
Me and the fam took 1 from SLO to Monterey one time a few years back, and the general consensus was to take my pops out back and shoot him.



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Madame Manga
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Since: 16.1.02
From: Silicon Valley

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#9 Posted on

    Originally posted by rikidozan
    is it true that you can lane spit? if so, me and Lilith are coming down there to ride!


Lane-splitting is California kosher, IIRC. The Hell's Angels do it all the time, at least. But anyone who lane-splits my four-cylinder '98 Civic on the twisty bits of 1 can die the death of a three-hundred-foot crash into the raging surf. ;-)

MM
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Originally posted by Madame Manga

      Originally posted by rikidozan
      is it true that you can lane spit? if so, me and Lilith are coming down there to ride!


    Lane-splitting is California kosher, IIRC. The Hell's Angels do it all the time, at least. But anyone who lane-splits my four-cylinder '98 Civic on the twisty bits of 1 can die the death of a three-hundred-foot crash into the raging surf. ;-)

    MM



well, anyone who lane splits on twisties, either w/ car or bike, is asking for trouble...i've been riding almost 3 years, and i still need the full lane to take a twistie...



Raw rhymed with glory. Smackdown made me all shades of happy. WWE is getting good again. The crops?
Jeezum Spice! Someone stole my crops. What in the ham fat is going on. That's just poo-doo!
That's just my 2.458 Yen.
R-D-Z
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#11 Posted on

    Originally posted by Mr Shh
    Part of my proposed vacation plans for next year involves driving down the length of California. The day after WrestleMania, my friend and I would like to take a road trip from Seattle to LA.
Just wondering -- how much time do you have available for Seattle to LA?

Oh, & as zoggy alluded, Dramamine for the stretch north of San Francisco, along the winding cliffs.
Mr Shh
Toulouse








Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 day
#12 Posted on

    Originally posted by emma

      Originally posted by Mr Shh
      Part of my proposed vacation plans for next year involves driving down the length of California. The day after WrestleMania, my friend and I would like to take a road trip from Seattle to LA.
    Just wondering -- how much time do you have available for Seattle to LA?

    Oh, & as zoggy alluded, Dramamine for the stretch north of San Francisco, along the winding cliffs.



Well, I would leave Seattle Monday AM the day after WM, and take most of the week to drive down to LA. And I realize now it would take most, if not all, of that week to get down to LA, considering how curvy the PCH is. I don't intend to spend much time at all in LA (actually, I just wanna go to a taping of The Price is Right). It's all about the road trip. A little ambitious, I know.
Mike Sweetser
Boerewors








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, Washington

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#13 Posted on

    Originally posted by Mr Shh

      Originally posted by emma

        Originally posted by Mr Shh
        Part of my proposed vacation plans for next year involves driving down the length of California. The day after WrestleMania, my friend and I would like to take a road trip from Seattle to LA.
      Just wondering -- how much time do you have available for Seattle to LA?

      Oh, & as zoggy alluded, Dramamine for the stretch north of San Francisco, along the winding cliffs.



    Well, I would leave Seattle Monday AM the day after WM, and take most of the week to drive down to LA. And I realize now it would take most, if not all, of that week to get down to LA, considering how curvy the PCH is. I don't intend to spend much time at all in LA (actually, I just wanna go to a taping of The Price is Right). It's all about the road trip. A little ambitious, I know.



How many stops are you making along the way? It should only take you about two days to make it to LA - I drove from San Diego to Spokane (a longer trip considering I had to cut across Oregon) and it took..

* 5 hours from San Diego to Sacramento
* 17 hours from Sacramento to Spokane

Oregon definitely requires a good amount of NoDoz, as does northern California, unless you like looking at empty fields.
Keep in mind I didn't take the PCH, but took I-5 all the way through California, then cut across Oregon on I-84 instead of continuing up to Portland. If you do take the PCH, expect to go about 40 MPH on average and stop in a ton of small towns
Mike



Jack's Back.
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#14 Posted on
Yeah, fastest available route is definitely I5, & I can personally attest that the LA to SF section of that (at least) is the most boring slab of freeway I've ever driven on.

But since you seem to be interested in the scenic route, Mr Shhh, the PCH is the thing to do. I've taken several different sections of it at a time, & its all just gorgeous. My pals are basically all saying to allow at least 4 days from Oregon to LA on the PCH. I've got a book called California Beaches that outlines some of the towns along the way, with places to stay & such.

Sounds fun!
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