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Old 01-21-2010, 06:37 AM   #1
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Southern Cal. guys

I am leaving from Pgh., PA on the 5th, working my way over, visiting the Rt. 66 sites and picking my wife up at Phoenix. We want to see a bit of South. Cal for the 4 days we will be together. She wants to see the redwoods. I put new Continental DWS Extreme Contact tires on, not knowing what the weather might be like. Thought I would travel West out of Phoenix and head towards San Diego. Is Rt. 5 along the coast a nice drive? Any suggestions would be great, I have never been to that part of the country. Hope my 99 Box does well. It's my first one and I bought it 4 months ago. This is the first big trip. New clutch, tires, battery, debating about an alternator. Works fine now, but? Thanks for any info. Leaving 2-5, will hit Phoenix 2- 12. Back to Phoenix again 2-17 in AM. Put the wife back on plane and head for Florida. 72K on the Box now, lets see how she does. I printed out the list of independents, hope I don't have to use them. Bill

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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I think you want Highway 1 (aka Pacfic Coast Highway). I-5 runs up the middle of the state once it gets to LA. Hwy 1 up the coast from Morro Bay to Monterey is spectacular. Of course there is the section through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge that taken with the top down is fantastic. Just hope you have the heated seat option, you'll need it in Feb.

I've heard the run the rest of the way is good too, I haven't done that yet. Maybe someone else here on the forum can contribute.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:19 AM   #3
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It sounds like a fun trip!
I have made a bunch of 800+ mile trips in my '99 Boxster with no problems, so you should be fine. You don't say if you just want to stay in SoCal, but if you want to see redwoods you are going to have to go farther north than San Diego, the closest ones are at Sequoia National Park. I would also highly recommend cruising down Pacific Coast Highway in San Diego, and I enjoy PCH through Corona del Mar. I've been here so long, I don't think like a tourist, so the only things I can think of to do would be see the beach, drive down PCH, get an In-N-Out Burger, and enjoy the sun.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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I have driven CA Hwy 1/US 101 from Canada to Mexico and have to agree with the comments made in praise of it. And shorter trips many time. Unlike most East Coast beaches you are elevated enuf to really see the rocky cliffs and narrow beaches.

However with just a few days you need a plan. After awhile the beach towns just sort of run together, but with gorgeous coastal views in between.

If my old home SD is the prime destination, I'd say you'd want to roam no farther south than Tijuana and not north of Newport Beach.

Weather will suck in Feb, take raincoats and sweaters. Also check routes for for mudslides with current rain conditions. PCH near Malibu used to wash out regularly.

I do not like TJ, but a lot of people want to say they've been there. Like my wife and I took her in Feb .

SD Zoo is killer. In Balboa Park near historic Old Town. If you go early and don't dawdle you can take in the zoo in a morning, lunch in Old Town and head to La Jolla Cove for happy hour.

The Wild Animal Park in North County is great. Sea World and Mission Bay might float your boat also.

The weekend brunch at Hotel Del Coronado is spectacular, and you can walk the grounds to recover.

Then more PCH to Mission San Juan Capistrano and then Laguna Beach, an artists hangout and nice beachfront town. Probably make Corona Del Mar in Newport depending how much you stop for.

Vasek Polak Porsche in Hermosa Beach used to have some interesting cars if you get near there.

And the Petersen Museum in LA has a bunch.

If it is cruising you want it is there in spades. I used to say I hoped to cruise the PCH for my eternity.

Have great trip!
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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I think with the amount of time you have, trying to go up past San Fransisco into the Redwoods would make for a bunch of driving - doable but probably not as much fun than if you had gone later in the year around spring time.

I'm going to agree with with 70sixter about the route to take and places to see. We're getting a lot of rain right now as I'm typing but who knows...the days you plan to be here could be beautiful. (Here being San Diego.)

I drive up and down the San Diego coast quite often in my '01 Box or the '60 MGA. I'm currently planning the route for the upcoming San Diego Rolling British Car Day and can recommend plenty of great coastal and back country roads with lots of twists and turns.

I also went up to Napa in the Box and then back down Hwy 1 recently and it's a great drive but it's a LOT of driving.

Feel free to send me a private message and I can help you plan a route. And congrats on the new Box!
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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Agreed.

Resist the temptation to bite off more than you can chew. It's about 6 hrs from Phoenix to SD and another 12 hrs from SD to "The Redwoods" if you drive in a bee line and don't stop to enjoy the trip (maybe 24 hrs if you take the PCH all the way). In Feb this year the Redwoods will also be receiving about 50 inches of El Nino so you may not see them even if you do get there. See the south coast, enjoy the beautiful shoreline drives, skip TJ altogether and maybe spend a day in Anza Borrego on your way back to Phoenix.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:29 AM   #7
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Sound like you're going to skip running up to the Grand Canyon. I've the done the Rt66 and it a really nice drive. I alway take a laptop with MS Streets and Trips installed for all my maps/direction. No Internet needed - I have the GPS version. The laptop also allow us to down load the camera every night too. And we take a 12dc-120v inverter. Allows laptop charging, cell phone, curling iron (no kidding, she used it at a campgound, plugged into the car).
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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From San Diego, you can drive up I5 to LA, then drive up 101 to Santa Cruz. You will get some Pacific ocean views along the way. If you don't waste any time lallygagging, you can be in Santa Cruz in about 7 hours from San Diego (assuming not much traffic or weather delays). Big Basin Redwoods state park is very close to Santa Cruz. See http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=540 If you spend a day there, you can be back in Santa Cruz that night, then spend the rest of your time driving back down highway 1 through some great scenery and part of the time on 101. If you like wine or enjoyed the movie Sideways, Santa Ynez valley is about halfway from Santa Cruz to LA. Not much scenic between LA and San Diego unless you enjoy city sights. Best scenery north from Malibu along PCH, or north of Ventura / Santa Barbara area. This makes for a lot of driving and a tight, rushed schedule

Very likely crappy weather - lots of rain expected this winter. We just finished a solid week of rain, with more coming. February can be extremely wet, so you might want to have some backup plans. Summer tires won't be very good in Big Basin, so make sure the tires are good below 40

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