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Drive from LA to Carmel with overnight near Hearst Castle

Drive from LA to Carmel with overnight near Hearst Castle

Old Aug 5th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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Drive from LA to Carmel with overnight near Hearst Castle

Good morning all!

My husband and I will be arriving in LA on Thursday evening, December 22. We hope to overnight somewhere near the airport and start our journey north early on Friday, December 23. We are scheduled to spend a week at Highlands Inn in Carmel starting Christmas Eve.

We are planning to enjoy the route and hopefully do an evening Christmas Tour at Hearst Castle on December 23, overnighting in the area, and then taking our time on Christmas Eve to arrive in Carmel--touring the area extensively for the week.

We haven't determined if we should return from SFO or San Jose or just drive back down to LA. We wil leave California on either January 1 or January 2--leaving us one or two days to stay somewhere besides Carmel.

Any and all advise appreciated as we are unsure how much time to allow between LA and Hearst Castle--evening tour. And, where should we consider an overnight, taking into account that the evening tour means not much time to enjoy a quaint inn or B&B.

And, any advise for "must do" things in the area or advise for New Year's Eve and Day would be appreciated.

We are totally flexible on our plans and can even consider arriving in SFO instead of LA.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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First, the airport hotel. If you are willing to use Priceline or Hotwire, there are often very good deals for LAX airport hotels, including the standard chains -- Marriott, Hyatt, etc.

Second, if you take the night tour of Hearst Castle, I'd stay somewhere very close by, but I don't particularly like driving in unfamiliar areas at night -- San Simeon, Cambria (although that's heading a little south), and Paso Robles would all work, but since you're planning to head up the coast the next day, San Simeon would probably be best. I'm not sure what hotels there are, other than I know there's a Motel 6 (don't ask - but we almost stayed there a couple of weeks ago).

As for what city to return from, since you have a few days, I'd suggest coming to San Francisco after Carmel, spend a few days, and then leave from SFO.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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I believe there's a Best Western Cavalier right near San Simeon.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 08:03 AM
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Now I remember - there is a Best Western - we saw it from the road.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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If you leave LA early in the morning, even around 9 a.m., you should have plenty of time to arrive at Hearst Castle by late afternoon, while still enjoying a leisurely drive up scenic H'way 1.

Cambria has some nice seaside motels and is close to Hearst Castle, altho' as sf7 noted, a bit south. It's been a long time since I was there, but I do recall seeing a number of hotels/motels in San Simeon, right on the main road.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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>>

I was there two Sundays ago, and this is true - but I wasn't looking for a motel, so I didn't pay close attention! Just google San Simeon hotels and pick one that's "oceanfront" (i.e. on the Cabrillo Highway, although I note that the address for the Best Western Cavalier is "Hearst Drive").
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 08:19 AM
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We enjoyed the Best Western in Cambria -
http://www.bestwesternfiresideinn.com/

Ocean views from the patio. Fireplace in room. Free breakfast.

We also enjoyed visiting the nearby Paso Robles wineries. My favorite was Peachy Canyon.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Here's another possibility, although since it will be Christmas Eve, stuff may be closed:

On the day after your Hearst Castle tour, head south -- do a little loop of Cambria, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, then keep going up the coast to Carmel.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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We recently stayed at the Best Western Fireside. I just thought that after an evening tour they wouldn't want to drive much.

That fireplace in the room was turned down so low it wouldn't have dried a sock! Otherwise, we liked the stay.
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