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Another California Highway 1 Coast Drive Itinerary Review

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Family - 3 kids - flying out from Atlanta. July

Thinking of driving south to north just because saves some real money on rental car, and less traffic? But could reverse.

Fly into LA - stay in LA area visit with friends
Drive to Santa Barabara - 2 nights - bike./beach/eat/mission
Drive to Big Sur stopping at Hearst Castle
Realize skipping SLO etc but thinking ok?
2 nights Big Sur so can arrive late after long run from SB to Big Sur (Hearst Castle stop). Have a day to hike/sleep again and get up.
Drive to Santa Cruz - stop to see friends north of Monterey
2 nights in Santa Cruz (so that one full day there)
2 nights in San Francisco (where we have been a ton...... so really no sightseeing).

July - How busy?
We are native Californians but I've never seen Hearst Castle or ever been to Santa Barbara! We miss the Ocean. Kids have never seen Big Sur either. We want time in nature, time at the Ocean, lunches with views..... a little California history.

Usurally stay in houses/vrbo so hotels will be a little different. Assuming will be hard to find houses that will do only 2 nights in July.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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