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Is Santa Barbara to San Francisco "do-able" in 7 days?

Is Santa Barbara to San Francisco "do-able" in 7 days?

May 12th, 2002, 02:12 PM
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Is Santa Barbara to San Francisco "do-able" in 7 days?

We're in the beginning stages of planning a trip the 2nd week in June and were thinking of flying into LA then drive to Santa Barbara and do some whale watching (read it's a good time for blue whales in the SB channel) then drive up the coast and stop at a few places (Hearst castle, maybe Monterey/Carmel, any suggestions welcome) then spending a couple of days in SF and flying out of there. Are we trying to do too much in a week? The focus is the whale watching but we were hoping to visit SF also if we had the chance. I don't want to spend the majority of our trip driving, but don't mind a couple of hours of scenic driving every couple of days.

May 12th, 2002, 02:48 PM
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Sounds doable to me, Cyndy. Bring some warm clothes, though. It's cool near the coast. Search the site archives for many posts about the area between LA and SF.

Welcome to California.
May 12th, 2002, 02:57 PM
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This is very doable and still time to relax as well. Enjoy your trip. I think you'll love Santa Barbara and the scenic drive to San Francisco is very nice as well. Sam
May 13th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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very doable. make reservations at hearst castle and alcatraz (if that's on your agenda) in advance. it's a beautiful drive. stay at monterrey or pacific grove.
May 13th, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Your heading made me chuckle. Grew up in Ventura Couty, south of Santa Barbara, and grandparents and cousins lived on the SF peninsula so we would drive up quite often. Usually took us about 7 hours with stops for potty breaks.

Realize that you want to "see" a bit more than our quick trip allowed but be sure you can see plenty in 7 days at a quite leisurely pace.

May 13th, 2002, 01:31 PM
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This sounds like a great trip. It is the perfect introduction to the State (even if you are not a first time visitor).

May 15th, 2002, 05:50 PM
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Thanks so much everyone! Definitely appreciate the input. We've been to Tahoe before in the summer and LOVED it and look forward to going back to CA.

May 16th, 2002, 08:03 AM
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Cyndy, I just got a beautiful book from Amazon called, "Big Sur to Big Basin, California's Dramatic Central Coast." The pictures are amazing! There is also a ton of information on things to see, hidden trails, some lodging suggestions, etc. I live in California and have seen much of this part of our state, but it still makes me want to get in my car and go exploring. You might want to check it out.
May 16th, 2002, 08:33 AM
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Cyndy: As the others have said, a week is very doable for your plans - leisurly even. I am amazed at all the folks on this board who try to do the SF/Monterey/Hearst Castle/ route in 4 days INCLDING a detour to Yosemite!

4 or 5 days along the coast (yes, bring WARM clothing) finished by a couple of days in SF is a very good pace.
May 16th, 2002, 08:45 AM
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There is another wonderful book though it might be out of print. Perhaps you can find it in your library. Title is something like "Day Trips from LA." It was a wonderful resource to me when I planned the exact trip you are taking. I just searched amazon using 'california day trips' and did not find the exact title, but there are some relevant publications.

Another side trip on your way up the coast: go to Lompock (Lompoke ?) and ask a local for directions to the point that overlooks the flower fields where Burpee grows its stock for their retail seeds. Just like a patchwork quilt! In fact, your timing might coincide with their annual Flower Festival.
May 16th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Lompoc. No rhyme or reason for the spelling?

North of that, Estero Bay just voted Money Magazines one of the 10 best place to vacation. You can go to San Simeon from here .
May 16th, 2002, 08:25 PM
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Eurika! The name of the book is 'Away for the Weekend.' Check Amazon for the LA version.
May 16th, 2002, 10:28 PM
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We've done the L.A. to San Fran trip before and a week is just perfect.

We enjoy a day in Los Angeles, at the Holiday Inn near U.C.L.A, a short shuttle to the fabulous new Getty Museum. This hotel is an easy drive from L.A. Airport.

Next day we drive north, stopping in Summerland or Montecito for breakfast, then spend a night or two in Santa Barbara where Harbor View Inn has become our favorite.

Haven't had much good luck roomwise around Carmel and Monterey, but up in San Francisco we like a well-located B&B called San Remo (shared baths however and very small rooms). Best Western Tuscan Inn is also surprisingly nice.

Avis usually has the best rates for the one way car rental, though parking in San Francisco is difficult. Last time we dropped the car in downtown San Fran and then spent 3 days without a car. We flew out of Oakland Airport instead of San Fran airport, because the city subway goes to the Oakland Airport and we were travelling light and on a budget.

If you enjoy scenic driving you are in for a treat.

Best day to arrive in L.A. is Saturday, much less traffic, and up in Santa Barbara the hotel rates go down for Sun Mon and Tues. Same up in Monterey/ Carmel - weekends at these tourist spots are sky-high and often sold out.
May 17th, 2002, 06:15 AM
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Personally I would put San Francisco on the bottom of your list of places to see. At one time it was a great place to visit. I was so impressed by it that I decided to move there. What a mistake. The homeless population has gotten out of control. I live in the Inner Sunset (a middle class area) and there are people who use my front steps to sleep on. If they minded their own business it would not be so bad, but being harrassed for money has been more of a problem lately. People use the streets like a public dump as well as a public toilet. In addition, the crime rate has steadily been increasing. If it weren't for my job, I would move.
May 17th, 2002, 08:58 AM
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San Francisco may be the worst cities in America, but too many of its residents are lost in such a haze of self-righteous entitlement and aggrieved internecine warfare that they don't even seem to know it. And the things that are wrong with San Francisco were so many years, so many decades, in the making.

The local transportation system is a scandal. In Chicago one zooms around by car, "el" and cab. In San Francisco, one never zooms, anywhere, by any means. The city's bus and subway network, called Muni, is the thalidomide baby of transportation systems. As far as I can determine from the reporting on it, it's
been run by incompetents for more than 20 years. The fares are about the cheapest of any major city -- only a dollar. But any politician who suggested raising fares to help the system would get laughed out of town. If you talk about curbing peoples' antisocial behavior in San Francisco, you get tagged as a Giuliani. But it's actually a fundamental quality-of-life issue for the city's weakest and mostdefenseless people. Bus drivers are too busy snarling to attempt to enforce decent behavior on the buses. Those who try get
threatened and attacked. And when thugs are threatening other passengers, it drives all but the most desperate away.

Cabs aren't the answer because there hardly are any. In most of the city you can't depend on getting one before 9 p.m. on non-weekend nights. I'm always struck by the crowds of tourists lined up outside pricey hotels and restaurants, wanly waiting for a cab. They're probably so caught up in the romance of the city that they don't think about how pathetic it is that they have to spend an hour waiting for a ride back to their overpriced hotel.

The homeless are considered a mark of pride here that the city does not harass the homeless. The trouble with this is that the city does nothing to help them, either. The result is an ongoing human
tragedy of epic proportions. On Haight Street, on a given Saturday,you can see dozens of teenagers and those in their 20s, fried out of their skulls, systematically killing themselves and each other. A large portion of the other homeless you see on the street are
obviously victims of substance abuse of one form or another. San Franciscans view this as a laudable example of their tolerance. But for the addicted, this sort of tolerance is not so much freedom as a trap. Most San Franciscans like political positions that remove from
them the responsibility to actually do something about a particular issue. The city's homeless policies coincide nicely with this tendency.

In terms of the cultural scene, I could never quite figure out why San Francisco is considered a cultural center. The theater scene here, particularly the mainstream commercial fare, is undistinguished. (The one superior theater company is the Berkeley Repertory, across the bay.) The music scene, save for a few underground turntablists, is unnotable. The symphony and opera are considered only decent, the museums less so. The architecture is the visual equivalent of fingernails scraping across the blackboard of the horizon, a panorama of boxy columns and clumsy attempts at attention-getting. This, too, is an effect that took decades to accomplish.
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