Adventures in Napa: Driving the Big Sur in CA

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Well, if I was going to have a 7 day vacation driving 13 hours from San Diego county to Napa and then back then I figured it would be good for a series of travel posts here on my personal blog.

I can tell you that if you take only the I-5 freeway from San Diego to Napa Valley you can probably do the trip in 9.5 hours without traffic (more like 10.5 with light traffic).  If you take the Big Sur, which is the route that has you spend much of your time on the US 1 and US 101, then the route takes you 10.5 – 11 hours without traffic and it my case it took me 13.5 hours total.

I was caught up in traffic in both LA, and San Francisco (Morning Rush Hour leaving Encinitas at 5:30am, and hit San Francisco about 5pm and hit really bad rush hour traffic on the outskirts there).

The Big Sur is worth taking though at least on the way there, this is because you get to see some really nice cliffs where the ocean just meets the rocky cliffs on the edge of the highway.


Probably one of my favorite spots along the Big Sur is the reserve where you get to peer at Elephant seals basking on the beach and there are dozens if not hundreds of them swimming, baying, fighting, sunning and kicking sand up all over their gargantuan bodies.


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Updated: July 8, 2012 — 9:43 pm