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04-09-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Driving from La Jolla to San Francisco - what to shoot?

In a few weeks I'll have two days to drive from La Jolla to San Francisco. I'm looking for suggestions for photo ops and the driving route. I plan to take a coastal route as I'm looking for spots for great scenery shots. I realize I can't take a lot of time hiking to locations, nor can I spend a lot of time at any single location. I know the La Jolla area fairly well so I don't need additional ideas there. I hope to have a few hours in SF to at least get shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a rare man-made attraction for me. I'm generally not very interested in urban settings or architecture, my main focus (pun intended) is natural scenery. I'll have lenses that range from 8 mm to 250 mm and a tripod so I'll have decent capability from a technical perspective. Looking at previous posts it sounds like Monterey, Morro Bay and Big Sur should definitely be on my list. I have previously had the opportunity to shoot the Redwoods. Thanks in advance for advice!

04-09-2016, 10:39 AM   #2
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Oh yeah, that area is great. My husband and I took a drive-along-the-coast vacation there recently. Here's my album from that trip. I labeled things as best I could and had the Pentax GPS unit for a lot of it, so you should be able to figure out from that what the stops were. Enjoy it!
04-09-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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The coastal route is awesome, but after driving it once with a need to be somewhere on schedule, I will never do it again without considerable flexibility built in! If you're going to be coastal in LA county, don't miss the Wayfarer's Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes,which has amazing bonus views of Catalina Island at sunset. North of Santa Barbara, I love the grassy plains in Gaviota just before the 101 turns inland. In Cambria, hit Moonstone Beach Drive for the boardwalk, windswept Cedars and rocky beach. Finally, there are great opportunities outside Hearst Castle in San Simeon, but the castle itself is well worth the entrance fee if you have the time.
04-10-2016, 05:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice and the pictures link!

04-13-2016, 09:15 AM   #5
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When I went we under estimated the size of San Francisco.. it is big! We ended up taking the Bart and got off at a spot we thought was close to the golden gate..boy were we off! After advise we took a street car to the warf.. did see the golden gate but from way far away..very disappointed but didn't mind the warf area except the big crowds.
I would definitely find out ahead of time how to get to were you want to go.. don't make our mistake!

Have fun!!


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04-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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I would suggest Julia Pfeiffer Burns State beach with the waterfall onto the sand (there is more to see there), and Hearst Castle tour.






Oh, for the bridge, go north across the bridge. There is a vista turnout. Then take the first (?) Sausalito exit but immediately turn left to get going south again, then an immediate exit. The road going west along the coast provides some turnouts and sort-of parking.


Last edited by SpecialK; 04-13-2016 at 12:57 PM.
04-13-2016, 05:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. My planning continues. I thought about visiting Death Valley during a different part of this trip and I just found it the 100 degree temperatures generally start in April!

04-13-2016, 07:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
and Hearst Castle tour.
What lens did you use for the pool photo? It looks great.
04-13-2016, 08:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
What lens did you use for the pool photo? It looks great.
Pentax 10-17 Fisheye.
04-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
Thanks for the advice. My planning continues. I thought about visiting Death Valley during a different part of this trip and I just found it the 100 degree temperatures generally start in April!
It's also big, so 2 days and an overnight in Pahrump Nevada, perhaps.
04-14-2016, 04:35 AM   #11
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I'd recommend staying inside the park, if you do go to Death Valley. It's a long drive from the nearby towns to the park boundaries, so staying inside the park saves a lot of time. I mean, it already takes a long time to drive anywhere within the park to begin with.
04-22-2016, 06:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I would suggest Julia Pfeiffer Burns State beach with the waterfall onto the sand (there is more to see there), and Hearst Castle tour.






Oh, for the bridge, go north across the bridge. There is a vista turnout. Then take the first (?) Sausalito exit but immediately turn left to get going south again, then an immediate exit. The road going west along the coast provides some turnouts and sort-of parking.
thanks! it's beautiful
04-22-2016, 07:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
Thanks for the advice. My planning continues. I thought about visiting Death Valley during a different part of this trip and I just found it the 100 degree temperatures generally start in April!
Yeah, but its a dry heat.

We spent almost 3 days there last August. We saw temps as high as 115. I went out in the desert at night for some great astrophotography. Drove out to the Racetrack (a long drive but worth it), and then caught the Ubehebe crater on the way out.

On the coast, there is the elephant seal rookery, smelly but very interesting. And stay on the 1 highway, the 101 cuts away and goes inland some, missing out on mile after mile of scenic beauty. Big Sur is fantastic. And Carmel, Pebble Beach, Monterey, and all the places the others have mentioned.

Make lots of photos and then show us the coast through your eyes.
04-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
Thanks for the advice. My planning continues. I thought about visiting Death Valley during a different part of this trip and I just found it the 100 degree temperatures generally start in April!
It was 95 today in Phoenix so Death Valley is going to be a tad warmer. It might be a dry heat, but it's still pretty d**** hot.

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