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Off-topic, slightly. The wife and I are heading to San Fran and LA mid april... staying with my uncle there for 4 days and then hiring a car (TBD what exactly as do have 2 large suitcases and carry-ons) from the 14th to the 23rd. Our flight back is from LAX.

Option 1:
Travel to Yosemite, spend couple nights there and then drive to LA

Option 2:

Take pacific coast highway down to LA and miss Yosemite.

We have 8 days after completing San Fran for the rest of our stay so we're thinking if we do Highway 1, to hit places like Santa Cruz, Carmel/Monterey )Aquarium etc), Big Sur etc, Cayucos, Santa Barbara (also stop through San Luis Obispo etc and check out the boys at Accuair!) and then LA.

What do you guys recommend to do and why?

Also, best place to buy things like BE bearings and anything else not too expensive for the M6, whilst out there?


Thanks,
 

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You can't go wrong with either trip. The wife and I have spent many many nights on both your routes over the years. Half the time we make the trip, we take the m5 and blast up the Coast (less traffic Northbound) -- talk about fun twisties for almost 200 miles. The other half, we take the LandCruiser and stop to play along the way.

For our honeymoon, we took two weeks camped and surfed and wine tasted our way from San Luis Obispo, to Morrow Bay, to our cabin in Monterey.

The trip down HWY 1 unparalleled. Yosemite is awesome, but only one location. What are you planning to do in Yosemite? Climb? Camp? Etc...getting unstuck in the Yosemite backcountry off Tioga Pass, after a couple nights of backcountry skiing with the wife:



The trip down the Coast provides more flexibility. Everything from wine tasting to seeing zebras.

All of pictures below are from roads less traveled off HWY1.

I have thousands more pics of Yosemite and HWY 1 on my laptop, but here are some off my phone.










Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Kinda out of your way, but best California coast visuals are north - like really north - up between Eureka and Crescent City along the Lost Coast. Seeing stands of ~300ft tall trees on ridges overlooking the ocean is I think unique to that place. Ditto for elk wandering around on a beach. Fern Canyon is like something out of the Triassic.

And nobody really knows about the place, hardly any tourists, the 5 is too far inland - it is mostly local/regional PCH traffic around there. It is only section of California where one can truly get away from people and still not be in a desert.
 
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