Traveling to southern CA, tips?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nitromac, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    US
    #1
    I'm heading to San Jose for a business trip but will have 3 days afterward to do anything. Having never been west of niagara falls, I'm not sure what to expect in terms of weather. I know in new england this winter has been much warmer than before, but don't know if the same goes for CA. I want to see as much nature/landscapes/whatever as possible, cities are not really my thing.

    I wanted to do a long drive through Yosemite, down to LA through the san antonio mountain area (specifically the Angeles Crest Highway) and back up to San Jose along the coast, spanning 2 or 3 days.

    Turns out it also snows in California (who knew! ;) ) and I read that some roads (like the one that goes through Yosemite) may be closed for the winter. Since the whole point of this drive is to see a ton of different places, this limits my options.

    Any locals who might know if the angeles crest highway (route 2) is open during the winter? A little snow is fine (I live in new england) but I don't want to be stuck in a blizzard on a mountain.

    Any other places in the area that are worth seeing? I'm trying to find things on google earth but there's always some places that look much better in person.
     
  2. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #2
    You can drive into Yosemite Valley year-round, but you'll need to bring chains with you at this time of the year. It is Tioga Pass (and most of 120 through the high country) that is closed for the winter. In good weather it is a 3.5-4 hour drive to the valley, and so it'll probably take longer in winter once you're in the mountains. Given all of that, you might consider staying a night nearby, so that you can take your time without worrying about a long drive ahead of you.

    Big Basin Redwoods State Park is close to SJ too. You could do a 12 mile hike during a day trip it is so close. There are several other preserves and parks in that area that are nice to walk around too.

    Edit: Oh and the drive down the coast through Big Sur is breathtaking.
     
  3. weatherwax macrumors member

    weatherwax

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #3
    Redwoods for sure, but if you get down to LA check out the griffith park observatory - you get a great view of the city as well!
     
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
    #5
    The Getty Museum (free and beautiful), Venice beach boardwalk (try Poke-poke so so good), Santa Monica 3rd st promenade and pier, Hollywood hills has some amazing property and houses.
     
  6. High Desert macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Location:
    Powell Butte, Or.
    #6
    Sort of depends on whether you want to drive the mountainous are, central valley route, or down the coast highway. To me, central valley is a whole bunch of nothing but ag land (no offense to anyone living there intended), just not my kind of area, The route you were talking about, over Yosemite is Hiway 395, but as OP said, Tioga pass, from the valley to 395 is close din the winter. If you went the coast route, leaving SJ on US 101, I'd drive south to Moss Landing, stop at Phil's Fish Market and grab some fresh seafood (copping is excellent), then head to Monterey and maybe see the aquarium, then south to maybe Hearst Castle tour, maybe stay in Solvang. Also on the way down is Big Sur, incredible open views, lighthouses, etc. Fir 3 days, you would have to pick and choose unless you want to spend all your time in a car, driving if you have to return to SJC to depart. Used to live down that way and work in San Jose. Nice place, but glad to not live there anymore. Good luck, enjoy the travels
     
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #7
    that's quite true; SJ to LA along the coast route is around 400 miles, and back thru the central valley is 350 miles.......so a pretty full day each way, and that's without time for stopping and looking at things
     
  8. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #8
    Bring a gask mask, patience, and a small car??
     
  9. High Desert macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Location:
    Powell Butte, Or.
    #9
    Thought about this some more and the time constraint you are facing. 3 days is not much time to do anything like what you want. This time of the year, a trip to Napa / Sonoma / Healdsburg area would be fun if you are into wines, tasting and tours, all north of San Francisco on 101. Would also give you a chance to see the city of you're interested in that. Just west of there would be John muir woods if you wanted to see the big redwoods, then come back down Hiway 1 (coast hi way) from SF to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Castroville, San Juan Bautista (great Mexican restaurant there) and back to SJC. Just another option to consider. Only thing you'll need is lotsa money. Enjoy,
     
  10. Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #10
    Angeles Crest will likely be closed to nonresidents at this point. My recommendation to anyone visiting California is the visit the Spanish missions. We have a ton of them, and each one is very unique in the way they're built (through Native American "Slave" Labor) and the history behind each one.
     

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