T Nation

California Road Trip


#1

Hi all

How realistic is flying to San Fran then heading up to Sacramento for a day then travelling south eventually getting to LA and spending time there then driving back to San Fran to fly home in two weeks, obviously I would like to stop at some places and see the sights etc

Thanks for any info you can provide


#2

Why would anyone want to go to Sacramento?


#3

Totally realistic.

There are a few good restaurants in Sac, but not much else. However, to me, LA is a waste. I’d spend time in Napa, Sonoma, Tahoe, Yosemite, and SF rather than going down to LA.

I suspect you have business of some sort in Sac and LA. If you do have to go to LA, hitting San Diego would also be a good idea.


#4

I liked the boardwalk in Santa Cruz and kayaking out in Monterrey Bay. And chasing birds with a hyper kite.


#5

Very very true! Don’t go to Sac unless there is a good reason.

I’d suggest:

Redwood forest
San Fran
Santa Cruz
Napa
Sonoma
Tahoe
Yosemite

Driving down the 101 from Pismo to San Diego
Pismo Beach
Santa Barbara
Venice Beach
Santa Monica
San Diego

You might consider driving down the 101 then come back up the 5 and branching off at Fresno to see Yosemite and Sacramento to see Tahoe, then cruise back to SF. 2 weeks would be plenty of time. In fact I’ve done this same thing.


#6

So, since others have mentioned my secret, I have a place in Santa Cruz, it’s been in my family since 1954 and I have spent many a Summer there, and spend two weeks there with my kids every Summer. I plan to retire there.

If it were up to me, I’d do the Central Coast thing, Pacifica, Santa Cruz, wineries in Bonny Doon, a trip to Mavericks, Monterey, including the aquarium, Carmel, Pebble Beach, etc . . .


#7

Oops. Forgot about that. That was great too.


#8

My buddy and I went through the upper mid west: Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, then back to Iowa in roughly 10 days. It is totally doable.


#9

Hi guys that’s some awesome feedback and info there I really appreciate it!
I’m a pretty clueless Brit when it comes to the states but I really want to make this a great trip and see what California has to offer.
I’m a bit of a Powerlifting fan boy and would love to go to supertraining gym in Sacramento which is why I want to go there and it’s only a short ish journey north of San Fran so thought that’s doable?

LA is to see Hollywood and all of that jazz(if what I’m saying is totally stupid to you ‘locals’ please tell me as like I said I’m a pretty clueless Brit lol)

The kisses wants to do some shopping and see the well known celebrity style bits of LA too.

I would LOVE to get to Yosemite but was thinking I wouldn’t have time but it’s great to hear you guys think I will.

So if I start at San Fran (will be out the airport for 4pm) how do you suggest I plan the days and where to be each day bearing in mind I would like to hit Sacramento for a day? It’s pretty hard for me to figure out how long I’ll be in each place and how long it takes to go from one to another to be honest!

Again thanks so much for this information I really appreciate it!


#10

Drive time from SF to Sac-town is about 2 hours, so long as there are no major traffic quagmires. If you have time to kill in Sacto, Old Town & the Railroad Museum are pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re visiting Alan Thrall’s facility (the supertraining gym you speak of), Old Town is just 15 minutes away. US Hwy 50 goes east to South Lake Tahoe and all its attractions, about 2 hours away, weather and traffic permitting.
Monterey is a only couple hours south of SF, but quite a trek from Sac. Plenty to see and do and eat and stay there.
Yosemite is accessible from Modesto (couple hours), Merced (90 minutes + requisite stop in quaint town of Mariposa), or Fresno (2:15 to Yosemite Valley, but more spectacular park entry). The recent nasty weather has been hard on all the highways leading in.
Kings Canyon/Sequoia has the biggest damn trees on earth, and are a couple hours east of Fresno or Visalia.
The Central Coast from Cambria to Santa Barbara is littered with little towns full of character, and tourist trap restaurants. Wine tasting stuff, too.
Hollywood really isn’t what people think it is. Some of the legendary clubs are still there (Roxy, Whisky-a-go-go, etc.) but most of the stars commute from Beverly Hills to Burbank & Studio City, where all the TV and silver screen magic happens.
San Diego has amazing beaches, a billion craft breweries, and it’s fair share of amusement features.

In writing this post I realize this: I’ve lived here all my 48 years, and can tell you I’ve only been able to enjoy a small portion of what this region has to offer.


#11

If you look into supertraining I’d like to know what happens with that, post back here with details. They probably don’t just let any random person stop by so I’d to know what it takes to train there.


#12

Alan Thrall and Untamed Strength is in Sacramento. Our own Alpha recently trained with him, and did some video there with Alan, so you might want to ask him on for info on his training log. If you aren’t familiar with Alan, he has a fantastic youtube channel. It would be a blast to pay Alan to coach you for an hour or two, if he has the time.

I have to agree with @The_Myth, and @bigjeff68 regarding LA. Hollywood is kinda gross and touristy. Not much worth seeing. Drive down Hollywood Blvd or Rodeo Drive if you must, just to say you’ve been there, but it’s NOT worth a day. If you’re into museums, gardens, architecture, The Getty is really cool.

San Fran. Skip Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s just a bunch of tourist shops.
Big Sur is beautiful. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the prettiest places on the planet if you’re interested in hiking. Beautiful drive down the PCH, with little scenic beach towns all the way down.
Santa Barbara - If you have kids, they have a great zoo with an ocean view.
La Jolla and San Diego really nice. Tons to do.


#13

When I posted earlier I was on a work break and was a bit rushed. I thought about what someone coming all the way from the other side of the globe would really consider worthwhile ventures while visiting this great state and took into consideration what info you have given us.

San Francisco:
The missus want shopping? Go to Union Square. This is the Mecca for that activity.

Take a trolley. The Powell-Hyde trolley goes down toward the wharfs and past iconic Lombard St.

Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The California Academy of Sciences is a world class natural museum in Golden Gate Park.

Monterey Bay has the Aquarium and Cannery Row, and a bunch of sightseeing and history. And a way more laid back pace than the city. It’s a state of mind.

SF to LA by car: (In ideal conditions) 8 hours on I-5, maybe 12 hours on US101, and a couple of days via the PCH (CA Hwy 1)

Disneyland? Crowded, expensive, noisy…and I can’t wait to go again.

Universal Studios? Same, but the greatest escalator on earth makes it all worth it.

San Diego is a couple hours south of LA, but a great place to visit. Balboa Park alone has a week worth of attractions. The Zoo, and Aeronautical/Space Museum were my personal favorites. Mission Beach is the quintessential California beach.


#14

If you’re going all the way down to LA, visit San Diego as well.

La Jolla is breathtakingly beautiful. One of those tour guide books should help you with the best spots for touristy stuff.

LA either has too much or virtually nothing to do. Just visiting Hollywood and the like will take half a day at most. The travel from LA to San Diego is ~2-3 hours (depends on traffic), so it might be a good idea to go straight down to San Diego after you do stuff in LA.

If you have two weeks, then I’d definitely suggest that you plan out to visit Yosemite.

Visit Yosemite.

Especially if you’re a Brit and don’t know when you’ll visit the West Coast again.

VISIT YOSEMITE.


#15

If you go north to south (the bay to socal) try to take Highway 1. It’s unreal.

Sac-Davis area is fun but I can’t recommend going to Sac on purpose lol. The 530 & 707 are where my heart still is. Wine country to lassen to eureka to shasta. LA was less fun than Oceanside & SD, I felt like it was north jersey with better weather. I never made it to Yosemite, but headed back this summer & I’ll be there fer shurrr.


#16

Is it a terrible idea to drive from Sacramento east along highway 50 I believe it is, then south along highway 395 down to mammoth lakes, starting this journey from Sacramento at about 5pm though? In May.
Is it a doable drive or is that super dangerous and risky?

Thanks for all the info so far guys!


#17

Given the weather we’ve been having here lately, best to consult the weather services and local road conditions.

The drought ended in spectacular fashion for Norcal. The rainy season should be over by May, but given the shit that’s been going on recently you never know.


#18

Ok thanks magick, so if the weather isn’t ok it will be an ok drive when dark? I have looked at where there are food/fuel stops and there are a fair few along the way, any idea if they will be safe to stop at or it will be my last ever holiday? Haha over in the U.K. Most people seem to think if we go anywhere really out of the way and have to stop for fuel we won’t be catching our return flight home lol


#19

You’ll be fine.


#20

That is good to hear haha

Is the any nice places between Yosemite and san Fran? The area where Modesto and Fresno are, are they nice places?