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Old 21st March 2011, 16:12   #1
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Default Drive from San Francisco to LA

I thought I will share one of the best driving experiences I've ever had. And it happened during the Thanksgiving weekend in the US. I took off from work and went to San Francisco (beautiful, charming city) for 12 days. One on weekend during my stay there, I decided to rent a car and had planned to meet up my friend who was in Palo Alto.

I booked the car online, went to the office, picked up the keys to a Chevy Malibu AT, and waited for my friend to get off the Caltrain he had boarded from Palo Alto. He got in the car, and I said, so where do we go? He said, "I'm game for anything". I suggested, "How about we drive to LA?". He nodded, and off we went.

It was about 10:30am when we left SFO. We took off on the US-101, following the directions on road without using the GPS. But we realized that were weren't going on the road we wanted to be, as US-101 was inland.

San Francisco to LA, is about 400 odd miles, and there are more than two routes you can go on. But the best road without any shadow of a doubt is the US-1/Cabrillo Highway also called the Pacific coast highway. And as the name suggests, it runs right along the coast. What you get is one of the best scenic views you can think off. Pacific ocean on the left with its blue waters and beautiful beaches, and on the left is the cliffs and hills you drive through. So 50 miles into our journey, we wanted to shift to US-1 from US-101, and we asked Cindy our GPS guide to reroute us via US-1.

It seems, what stood between US-101 and US-1 was a forest reserve and a mountain range. So the drive from US-101 to US-1, although slow, snaked through the forest, with curves and bends all through the way. I didn't cross more than 40 mph, but the drive was beautiful. Green cover all around, and sun rays sneaking through the canopy. It drizzled on and off and just added to the beautiful atmosphere. We drove for almost an hour through this, and it must've been 30-40 miles. The Malibu handled beautifully around the bends and curves, and it had good low end torque to tackle the climbs. It was also great catching up with a college friend from Bangalore in California, and we had a great time chatting up old stories.

We get out of the green cover, and into the open, thinking, what an amazing drive that was. Within a few miles, we hit the US-1, and our jaws dropped. Why, you ask? See for yourself.


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Our first stop on the way.

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Surfing on the beach

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Curves after curves along the coast

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Rocky Creek bridge, built originally in 1923!!

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More curves

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Mountainous landscape on one side...

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...the beautiful ocean on the other

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and a fantastic road in between!!

Some more pictures from the road....
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That's some rich guy's house, with his private drive way and a view of the ocean while he sits on the potty.

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It was 9pm by the time we reached Oxnard, and decided to shack up there for the night, and visit LA the next morning. So we pulled over and had dinner In N Out. They have the best burgers. If you ever go to Cali, make sure you have their burgers.

So the next day we drove to LA, and since we had to return the same day back to SFO, we drove around the town. We drove through the beautifully manicured gardens of Beverly Hills and the mansions of Malibu. And of course Sunset Blvd!!

Pictures from LA

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A view of the Capitol Records building, the company which almost said no to the Beatles, but later ended up bringing the Beatlesmania to the US!!

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The Chevy Malibu I rented for the weekend.

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Beverly Hills

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Downtown LA

It was almost noon when we were done driving around LA. After a quick lunch, we started our drive back to Palo Alto actually. By the time we reached , it was 11pm in the night, tired and exhausted from 900 miles of driving, but with memories to last a lifetime.

Rough map of our drive:

Drive from San Francisco to LA-capture.jpg

If I ever were to drive on that drive on that road again, I would try and do it on a bike.
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Old 21st March 2011, 18:03   #2
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Did this exact same route on a Chevy Impala 3 yrs back, just that the starting point was San Jose instead of SFO. And the pix you've put up have just taken me back to that trip.

And needless to say, Chevy Impala handled like a dream!

Cheers mate!
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Old 21st March 2011, 18:11   #3
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

^^ Same here. I did the same route from SJC to LA sometime 2006. We drove a Toyota Avalon.

@teknicsand : Nice pics
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Old 21st March 2011, 19:20   #4
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

I've done this drive twice. Once in a Pontiac G6 and once in the Mustang convertible. Needless to say the drive is simply amazing!! I even had a race with a guy in a pontiac Solstice. I didn't really like the way the pontiac under-steered. The only "issue" i had with both cars was that they were both AT. I didn't like the way they shifted and it can become a pain on inclines.

However, the drive itself was divine! The other drive that I can think of was from Paris to Nurburgring which went through luxemberg and had a mountain road section. I have some pictures from the Pacific-1 drive which I will post for sure.
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Old 21st March 2011, 23:13   #5
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Great write up and great pics!!! i love the importer/tuner scene in the bay area. i wish we had nice enough roads here in india so i can introduce the whole stance hella flush trend.
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Old 21st March 2011, 23:58   #6
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Wonderful pics. Just drove from SFO to San Diego back to back last month while I was there. Fantastic drive. Only complaint is that the rental scene in USA is pretty sad - no exotics from avis, hertz etc! And yeah speed limits :(
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Old 22nd March 2011, 00:07   #7
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Awesome pics. Need some more. The Highway 1 (route 1) is the best way to go. Stunning scenery and nature at its best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Only complaint is that the rental scene in USA is pretty sad - no exotics from avis, hertz etc! And yeah speed limits :(

The scene is good if you hunt around. Hertz has camaro, avis has mustang. If you want true exotics, you have to find company like exoticarrental.com. they would help you get true exotic cars like mercedes sl,clk, porsche, corvette. Obviously, it will burn a hole in your pocket, so be careful

Last edited by chevelle : 22nd March 2011 at 00:08.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 00:13   #8
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Rental scene in US is awesome !

Where else you can get a brand new Dodge Challenger R/T 400ish BHP for $190 for 6 days!!
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Old 22nd March 2011, 00:42   #9
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Default Re: Drive from San Francisco to LA

Thanks guys!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijitaparadh View Post
Rental scene in US is awesome !

Where else you can get a brand new Dodge Challenger R/T 400ish BHP for $190 for 6 days!!
True that!!

I've wanted to rent a convertible and drive during the fall season. Still on my wishlist.

Here are some more pictures:

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Devil's Slide - a WWII military bunker. We had to park our car on the side of the road and climb up this small his. It was a no trespassing area, but we still went up because of the amazing views it had of the ocean, the mountains and the road.

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New bridge and tunnel being constructed

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