Route 1, driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco and beyond

Written by Lisa. Published on Tuesday, 19th May 2015
Our drive from Los Angeles up to Napa Valley using Route 1 along the coast

We had originally planned to split our route 1 trip into 2 days, driving a little bit on the day that we picked up our car (to a small place called Lompoc) and then continuing on to Napa the second day.

The first day was a little more packed than expected. After picking up the car we needed to get some groceries and also find our camping gear which turned out to take a lot longer than we'd intended.

We then hit really bad traffic in Malibu which meant that we arrived into Lompoc pretty late, although the drive along the way as the sun was going down over the Pacific was lovely.

The next day we were all set for our big drive. We saw sweeping coastlines and cool bridges (a lot of the scenery actually reminded us of home on the North Coast!).

Driving Route 1

Driving Route 1

We soon realised however with all of our stopping at viewpoints etc that we were going to arrive in Napa well after dark and have to set up camp for the first time. We made the decision to stop at a motel in Seaside which is in the Monterey Bay Area so that we could enjoy the rest of the drive the next day and arrive early into Napa.

Planning pit-stop on the beach at Monterey Bay

Planning pit-stop on the beach at Monterey Bay

This worked out much better for us and meant a lot less stressing and tense nerves. The next day we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge which was pretty fun and saw a bit more of the coastline before heading inland to Napa.

I guess what we learnt from this was to add about an hour or two to Google's directions and that 2 days is not enough to fully appreciate the beauty of Route 1!

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