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Late March Road Trip South of San Francisco-How Best to Divide Time

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Hi-husband & I are flying into SFO on March 24, 11 a.m. arrival, and flying back out of SFO on Tuesday, April 2nd. We will have 8 full days & are having trouble deciding how best to divide our time & where. Would like to take in the Hearst Castle, take walks on beaches, see some redwood trees, eat some great seafood, do a little shopping & of course, take some beautiful pictures. We would like to keep our hotel budget under $200/night and have looked at Santa Cruz as a possible base for a few days and then maybe the Cambria area for a few days. We have done the tourist visit to San Francisco a few years ago so this time wanted to see some other parts of the beautiful state of CA. Any ideas for fun things to do would be appreciated! Best place to see the Redwoods? Is Natural Bridges State Park as great as it looks & sounds? Restaurants you have enjoyed?

Can someone make a suggestion also on the best way to divide our time, taking Easter Sunday into consideration. Will restaurants, etc. be open on Easter? Would Santa Cruz be crazy over that weekend due to Spring break?

Sorry for all of the questions! I'm typing as my husband is asking! :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post & answer, hopefully.

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