General Question

janbb's avatar

California Jellies - can you help me out?

Asked by janbb (51584points) December 27th, 2016

Looking to do a trip to Catalina Island from the Bay Area in mid-March. Would you recommend flying or driving to the area before the ferry over? How long a drive is it likely to be – depending on route of course? Would a stop at San Simeon be feasible on the way? Thinking about a 4 or 5 day trip and would prefer to go by car but not essential.

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16 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I drove from San Francisco to LA once. It took about 5 hours on I-5, if I remember correctly. My memory could very well be faulty, though. It was more than 20 years ago.

It can be a lovely drive, but it is long in one car. It has the advantage of giving you the car in LA, which is handy. There’s less hassle than flying.

Take the train?

janbb's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake There will be two of us. Looking into all options.

zenvelo's avatar

A trip from San Francisco/San Bruno to San Simeon will take about 5 hours on Highway 1, presuming you don’t stop in Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur. And then tours of Hearst Castle take a half day.

From there to Long Beach Harbor is another 5 hours. So it is definitely doable if you are up for a long ass day, but it really ought to be broken up.

You can leave the Bay Area early in the morning (6ish), get to Hearst Castle by noon, go on a couple hour long tours, Then spend the night in San Luis Obispo.

The next day, drive to Long Beach, take an afternoon ferry to Catalina. Overnight in Avalon.

Save the I-5 quick trip for the return to he Bay Area.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^^ That sounds lovely.

canidmajor's avatar

Can we all go???

janbb's avatar

Great suggestions @zenvelo . It may be more driving than we want to do so may have to cut out San Simeon. I’ll be talking to my pal.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor And the little dogs too?

Aethelwine's avatar

The drive is worth it, especially between SF and SLO. San Luis Obispo is a lovely little college town. I lived there for two years. If you want to stay on the coast you could overnight in Morro Bay. It’s just north of SLO.

Rarebear's avatar

I hate that drive along highway 1. But that’s just me. It’s slow, you have to drive around the gawkers, and bike riders are often not paying attention. Highway 101 is much easier, but it’s not as interesting.

janbb's avatar

@Rarebear Can you go down 5 or 101 and cut across to San Simeon? I don’t know that either I or my friend would want to do Highway 1 particularly.

janbb's avatar

Thanks! That may be the way to do it if we want to get to San Simeon too. Hwy 1 sounds lovely in some ways but I can imagine getting nauseous and impatient on it too.

Rarebear's avatar

@janbb If you’ve never done it, it’s very nice. I’ve done it several times, however, and I’d rather stick a hot poker in my eye before doing it again.

janbb's avatar

@Rarebear Well, most of the decision will depend on my friend who will be doing the bulk of the driving but I suspect we’ll go for saving time and getting to where we want to go.

zenvelo's avatar

@janbb When I rode a bicycle from SF to LA, we followed 101 to Paso Robles, and then just south of Paso Robles, cut over to Hwy One and came out near Cambria.

The great part of 101 is from Gaviota south to Oxnard, you are near the water. I have a CD mix to put in at Buellton and take you all the way to downtown Santa Barbara.

Kardamom's avatar

If you do make it to San Luis Obispo, do try to see The Madonna Inn

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