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Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

My husband and I will rent a car at LAX and drive the coast up north and stop off at the beautiful spots along the way. We've been to San Francisco so can skip SF and end in San Jose where we would fly home from. Would appreciate your suggestions for how to drive the route and what to see, how many nights recommended in various spots etc. Our travels would start on a Tuesday in March and would end in San Jose on Sunday. Itinerary suggestions please. Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
22,173 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

Santa Barbara: 2 nights

Cambria: 1 night

Monterey/Carmel: 2 nights

2. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

Thank you, appreciate it!

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
22,173 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

Santa Barbara is often called the California Riviera. Lots of red tiled roofs, palm trees and mild weather. Popular tourist sights include Stearns Wharf, the historical California mission, the courthouse and surrounding gardens, the zoo and State Street shops.

The drive up to Cambria passes through Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Pismo is a classic California beach town with a wide stretch of sandy beach and lots of touristy shops. San Luis Obispo's downtown has lots of shops as well as another historical California mission. Morro Bay us a fishing village known for the huge rock standing guard over the harbor entrance. Cambria is a charming seaside town nestled in the pines with a pretty pebbly coastline and lots of unique, fun shops. Cambria sets you up nicely for the Big Sur drive.

Big Sur is 90 miles of rugged and remote coastline. The popular sights along that stretch of coast include the elephant seal rookery, McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Nepenthe for lunch with an amazing view hundreds of feet above the ocean, Pfeiffer Beach, Bixby Bridge and Point Lobos State Reserve.

In the Monterey area: Carmel By The Sea, Carmel Beach with its white sand and wind swept cypress trees, The 17 Mile Drive, Asilomar Beach, Lover's Point,the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row.

Monterey to San Jose: Santa Cruz, Henry Cowell Redwoods

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,915 posts
79 reviews
4. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

I agree with Kibbles!

5. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

That is so helpful since I know absolutely nothing about the area. Thanks so much.

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
22,173 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

If it helps, all of the towns I mentioned have their own websites with a list of lodgings, places to eat and things to see/do.

I hope you have an awesome time exploring our beautiful coastline.

7. Re: Itinerary from LA to San Jose by car

So much appreciated!

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