March 23, 2016

The Journey: Los Angeles to San Francisco

In our recurring “The Journey” feature, we highlight scenic and interesting drives that can be made in a weekend.

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Two of California’s largest cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, are separated by nearly 500 miles of natural beauty. Along the way, you’ll find staggering seaside cliffs, pristine sandy beaches, and towering redwood forests. Considering the wide breadth of sightseeing opportunities, it’s astounding that such a trip can be made in a weekend.

The quickest way to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco is to take Interstate 5, an inland route that spans about 400 miles. It’ll take you about 6 or 6.5 hours without too much traffic, but this is the no-frills option—there’s not much sightseeing to be had here. If you’re in a rush to get to your destination, this might be the right way to go, but if you have time to spare we’d definitely recommend taking a more scenic route. 

The 101 will take you about an hour longer than the 5, and you’ll get a chance to see some actual scenery. Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo are among the high points of this drive.

If you’ve got the time and you’re prepared to go all in, take Highway 1, California’s coastal route. You might need to set aside a long weekend to enjoy all the scenery and points of interest that this route has to offer, as it takes close to about 10 hours of driving, minus additional traffic time (which is inevitable). This route includes the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), the section of Route 1 that spans from Dana Point to Oxnard.

On your way north from San Luis Obispo, consider stopping at Morro Bay, a quaint fishing village known for a huge volcanic rock that juts out of the water. Big Sur is one of the major sightseeing points along the 1, with 90 miles of breathtaking rugged coastline. Carmel, Pebble Beach, and Monterey are additional points of interest in Monterey County.

As you make your way up to the Bay Area, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk is worth a stop—it features arcade games, rides, and an historic carousel (also, be sure to try the excellent saltwater taffy). And as you close in on San Francisco, check out Half Moon Bay, a cute seaside town and popular weekend destination for San Francisco residents.


Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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