From Socal through Big Sur to SFO

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Feb 18th, 2004, 10:26 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2003
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From Socal through Big Sur to SFO

Requesting assistance on coastal trip! Leaving Flying from FL into old hometown of Newport Bch after few days leaving on Monday...goal to spend time around Big Sur (Cambria etc) on way to San Francisco and Napa. Fly back to FL (boo hoo!) on Sat am.

We are looking for unstructured, romantic time (yes, Nepenthe! Yes, Deetjen's, no aquarium -kidless this time!) My questions:

How long does it take to drive from LA to Morro? Cambria? Is Big Sur to far to drive in a day (meaning all driving no playing!)...will we miss too much along the way?

Would it be better (less tourist more romantic) to stay in Carmel or Monterey? And, which one of those over Big Sur?

Finally, doing a quick run of Napa in a long day...need a quaint BB in the area.

Know it is a lot of territory for 6 days! Any advice is greatly heeded for this trip or another!!
J
Jster is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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LA To Big sur can be done in a day--if you don't get caught in an LA traffic jam--and go on 101, not rte 1. Big sur lodging varies widely--from VERY expensive (Post Ranch Inn) to Expensive (Ventana) to relatively cheap (Deetjen's, Big sur Lodge). It depends on the ambience you want and the cost. big sur is the most beatiful but has fewer stores and restaurants--Carmel is charming-has many nice places to stay (highlands Inn, Tickle Pink) and more stores and restaurants--and Monterey is a city with somewhat less charm but is the cheapest (Hyatt, HIlton).
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Feb 18th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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You're missing Santa Barbara? Surely worth one night....
bookhall is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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L.A. to Big Sur might take most of the day, but time to stop for lunch. Depends on when you're going (i.e. time of year), but a nice drive. Morro Bay or even Pismo Beach would be a good place to stop for the night. We took 101 last weekend from LA to Monterey -- took us 5 hours with a stop in San Luis Obispo to check out the mission. The historic part of SLO by the mission is really worth a stop. They really cleaned it up and it has that Santa Barbara feel to it -- really, nice!

One thing I should point out is that in recent years, there is increasing traffic in and around Santa Barbara, and their widening the highway, with all the construction, has not helped. On the way back down, we were stuck for over an hour in rush hour traffic, which was just painful.

I'd take Pacific Grove or Carmel over Monterey for the less tourist, more romantic approach, although I love Monterey with all my heart!

If the weather is nice (and it was pretty good last weekend), I'd suggest renting bikes just before the wharf at Monterey ($6/hr), and riding them along the very long bike path to Pacific Grove. You can stop at Lover's Point, then continue on to the lighthouse, or even further, stopping for some great, and very romantic views of the coast and the wildlife.

Enjoy!
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Feb 20th, 2004, 11:12 AM
  #5
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Thank you all for the advice...love the deetjen's feel. Will try to spend more time in Santa Barbara (been there only once)....think we will spend more time in Carmel as well. Thanks for the pacific grove and Carmel tips. We are for sure renting bikes and bringing our blades and hiking boots....
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Feb 25th, 2004, 01:48 PM
  #6
 
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If you're looking for a romantic place for dinner near Monterey, try the The Bath House in Pacific Grove. As for a window table. The food is terrific and you have a breathtaking view of Monterey Bay.
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