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      09-07-2010, 08:48 AM   #1
Neon01
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Looking for good drives within 3-4 hours of Fresno, CA

Hi all, I'm flying out to Fresno to buy a used M3 from a guy that lives nearby. We will likely conclude the transaction in the morning no later than 11am, so I'll have the rest of the day and evening to enjoy driving some of California's roads before I need to get back to my hotel in Fresno that night and drop the car off with the transporter the next morning.

I was hoping I might be able to drive some of those gorgeous coast roads (near Monterey?), but I don't know enough about the area to say whether that would be the best approach. I'm thinking I'll have about 9-10 hours total before I really need to be back to the hotel. My emphasis is obviously on good roads for driving, but sightseeing (while driving ) and good food is a secondary priority.

Any recommendations?
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      09-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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Towards San Francisco, I think. They have some nice roads out there. Maybe even take your car to Alekshop's dyno day if you're buying around that time. I went canyoning in NorCal with my buddy, and the roads are terrific and the scenery is gorgeous.

My buddy always told me that deep down inside I was a NorCal kinda guy....I always tell him he's just hella crazy, but whatever.
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      09-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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Fres-yes! Kidding, Fresno sucks. Anywho, Fresno is basically at the base of the Sierra Nevadas so there are tons of great mountain roads about 1-2 hrs east of Fresno.
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      09-09-2010, 06:51 PM   #4
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When are you making the purchase? East of Fresno are some great roads, but if you wanna head south there's some great stuff in central cali too, you just have to know where to look. PM me
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      09-13-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
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California, while not as big as Texas, isn't compact. East into the Sierra's is much closer than west. Plus there are more choices and less traffic likely than what's available in the Coast Range and along the coast.

With the caveat that it's been many years since I've been on any of these roads: As long as it's a weekday and being after Labor Day even the main mountain highways should have fairly low traffic. 168 to Shaver Lake and on to Huntington Lake isn't bad. 41 into Yosemite Valley and then 140 back would be a lot of fun. Plus, Yosemite Valley is something to see if you haven't been there. 49 is good. 180 up into Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks is great. Plus there's lots of feeder roads. If you don't get specific feedback, put a loop together maximizing the squiggly lines that fits your time using Google Maps.

Update 9/24/10: I know the OP didn't end up needing advise, but in case someone else happens on this thread: 41 to Yosemite is heavily traveled even after labor day (and there are lots of people in the valley). Traffic on 140 is light, but there is a big slide that can mean a 20 minute delay (if you hit it wrong). 41 out of Morro Bay through Arroyo Grande to Shandon is quite good and lightly traveled on week days.
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Last edited by calintexas; 09-25-2010 at 12:05 AM. Reason: Revised route advise.
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      09-13-2010, 11:31 PM   #6
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buttonwillow race track, 45mins from fresno
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      09-14-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, I ended up buying a different M3 from a guy back east. The guy in Cali was being a prick, so I walked.
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