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SF down coast & back up - help needed!

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Hubby and I are planning a getaway for 5 short nights down the coast. It has always been my dream to drive down the California coast and we are finally doing it, however short it is. I've got the SF portion figured out, but the rest has me going back and forth. This trip will be at the end of April.

On the Sunday afternoon of our trip (after 2 nights in SF) we plan to leave SF and drive down the coast. I see that the Big Sur Marathon is on and will be blocking the highway for 6 hours that day, so this is why we are leaving later in the day. I would also assume Monterey will be busy and as I've found out, the hotel prices are higher. So, I decided to head further south. My only question is to where? We do love wine, so I'd like to do a wine tour and I see most of them leave first thing in the morning. This means 2 nights at one hotel in either San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Cambria or somewhere else in that vicinity. The Sycamore Springs hotel sounds amazing with having a hot springs tub on your balcony, but poor reviews are having me second guess this. The Madonna Inn looks amazing too. But, I am also really partial to being close or overlooking the ocean.

After this I'd like to hike in Big Sur for the day and then head to Carmel for a hotel stay hopefully on the water.

I'd also love to do a kayak tour, but not sure if Monterrey is the best answer or somewhere more south on our middle nights.

Basically, I'm asking the best place for kayaking on the coast and the best place to stay to enjoy a wine tour, the beach and a fabulous hotel all in one.


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