We are driving from San Francisco to LA but only wanting to take 1.5 days. We are thinking of switching between 1 and 101. What are the best parts to drive on highway 1 for the best views?
There’s a lot of dramatic scenery along Route 1 in Big Sur. The road through there should be repaired and open in mid September. If you are traveling before then you will mostly be on the 101 freeway. Depending on what you want to see, and depending if Route 1 is open, will decide where you are going to sleep. When it is open, Route 1 through Big Sur is a slow drive, so even if it’s open you may choose to skip it because you are short on time. The other place that you could be departing from the 101 is to see San Simeon, Cambria, and Morro Bay.Edited: 12 June 2018, 10:18
>>only wanting to take 1.5 days. <<
Is the half-day based on leaving SF after noon, or arriving in LA before noon?
If leaving SF late and you don't mind a very long next day of driving, you could drive the 3 hours to Monterey and spend the night. The next morning, start very very early, drive south on Hwy. 1 to see Big Sur. If the road is still closed, turn around and head back to Monterey to connect to Hwy. 101 and drive to LA. If it's open, continue along the coast to the Cambria area, then connect to Hwy. 101. (This last will be best if you have 2 or more drivers -- driving Big Sur requires ALL your attention, so the driver is usually fatigued. Having someone else drive the rest of the way would be best.)
(There's no way to only drive "part" of Big Sur on Hwy. 1 -- a range of mountains cuts it off from the inland part of the state. Once you're on Hwy. 1 south of Carmel, the only way 'out' with the current road closure is back through Carmel/Monterey to connect to 101. If the road is open, the only way 'out' is all the way south to Cambria.)