late Feb./early March SF to SD itinerary

Aug 30th, 2004, 05:42 AM
  #1  
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late Feb./early March SF to SD itinerary

Here's a nine day itinerary I'm considering. Suggestions SO welcome!

Feb. 26-Feb. 28 San Francisco (never been!)
March 1 - drive to Cambria and spend night
March 2 - drive to LA and spend night to do WB tour next morning. (maybe)
March 3 - drive into San Diego for three night stay (conference). Have been here before but am thinking of doing the zoo and Sea World again.

My family gets sick of tours pretty quickly and am planning to do Alcatraz and Chinatown in SF. SO I may have to choose between Hearst Castle and WB Studios while en route to San Diego. If we don't do WB we'll probably drive on through to San Diego OR spend the night in Santa Barbara or Ventura. What do you think?
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 03:27 PM
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Hi, crazy4Hawaii!

Here are a few suggestions: leave SF earlier on the 28th and spend the night in Carmel/Pacific Grove.

The next morning, have breakfast at the Village Corner or any number of wonderful little places to eat. Walk along Carmel Beach and watch the dogs at play.

If there is no fog the next morning go to Point Lobos (2 miles south of Carmel). It's beautiful when the sun is shining.

Stop off at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (23/ 32? miles south of Carmel). Take a short one hour hike into the redwoods.

Next stop Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see McWay Falls (1/2 easy walk).

Just before you get to Cambria and along the highway near San Simeon, stop off at any of the "Beach Access" to take a gander at the elephant seals. Hold your nose!

Do the evening tour of Hearst Castle. Spend night in Cambria.

If you start out early enough you may be able to do an afternoon tour of WB.

Then on to San Diego. Zoo is great, so is Sea World.

Have a great trip! Welcome to California!
easytraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 04:56 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions. It sounds like there are lots of neat things to see between San Francisco and Cambria and not so much between Cambria and San Diego - so I should take it slower the first leg of the journey down the coast? The drive between Cambria and San Diego sounds a bit long. No way to break it up further, though, unless I shave more time off of San Francisco...
Anyplace to stay in Carmel that you would particularly recommend?
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Er, "not so much between Cambria and San Diego"?!? Santa Barbara, Malibu, the 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County, the beach communities of Orange County.... I'd say there are a couple of interesting things to see on the way. And when you're in San Diego, Balboa Park has other attractions besides the Zoo (museums, the park itself).

But, since you're making this a SF-SD focused trip, why even drive? Flights are inexpensive and you'll have more time in the cities....
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Aug 31st, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Obviously I'm interested in seeing points in between or I wouldn't have mentioned stopping in Cambria, nor would I have bothered posting this thread.
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Aug 31st, 2004, 07:18 AM
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Sorry to sound a bit harsh.... It does seem you're giving the largest city (and most populous metropolitan area) in the state short shrift-- you could fill a week in the LA area. Or in San Francisco. Or San Diego.

The obvious spot to stop between Cambria and LA would be Santa Barbara. It's about two hours driving, and you could have a very nice lunch and walkabout there. Now, the problem will be that you'll hit LA just about when rush hour starts (a 3 PM to 8 PM event on some highways), but if you feel up to a leisurely drive down PCH, your reward will be the lovely views of the Pacific as you head into Malibu. From there, you can hop the Santa Monica Freeway to all points within LA (although by that time of day it will be a fairly slow hop).

Where will you be staying in the LA area? If you do want to do the Warner Brothers Tour, you may want to stay in Burbank. I live south of LA, so I probably won't be of much help in choosing lodging (and anyway, I'd probably stay in Beverly Hills-- it's not that expensive!), but others will have advice.
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Aug 31st, 2004, 07:34 AM
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Nice suggestion for Santa Barbara, I've lived in CA all of my life and have yet to see this gorgeous place.

We were up at our condo Sun. (Huntington Lake) and some renters from SB had just stayed with us. They ended up to be relatives of my husband's who live there. She left a nice brochure about Santa Barbara on our countertop.

I had such fun browsing through it in the hot tub and ended up chatting with another lady in the spa who was from SD and raved about SB. Maybe some day!

If you have the opportunity, I say visit Santa Barbara. Looks like there are many nice places to eat there, also. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Thank you so much for your kind replies. I fell in love with California the one time I had an opportunity to visit. For those of us who live on the other side of the country, we get out there so seldom that we probably try to fit too much into to little time. Since I'm so unfamiliar with CA, I'm sure most of my questions sound very ignorant. I apologize if I sounded harsh as well...
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Aug 31st, 2004, 01:21 PM
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No, you don't sound harsh at all-- it sounds like you're eager for this to be a great trip, which I understand very well. Given your time constraints, I think you have a good itinerary. Hopefully you will get enough of a taste of the state to pick the part you like best (north/south) and make a longer visit later. And then there's the wine areas (Napa, Sonoma, Temecula, Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles, etc.)! The desert! Ski resorts! Etc., etc., etc.

Late February/early March can be iffy vis-à-vis weather up and down the coast, and I don't recall if it was a nice time this year in southern CA (I do know we had some freakishly hot spring days here and there). If you drive down PCH around Huntington Beach, you should see surfers out on the waves no matter what. And I'm sure it will be perfectly pleasant (as our springs tend to be).
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Aug 31st, 2004, 01:39 PM
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In Carmel, we love the Highland's Inn! The prices are outrageous now, but in Feb. you may get a better rate.

We're staying at the Tickle Pink Inn, right next door to the Highland's in a few days, so I'll post back on how that experience goes.

There are many nice inns right in downtown Carmel that are walking distance to the beach and shops. I just love the views in the Carmel Highlands area and don't mind the short drive into town.

Where are you staying in Cambria? ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Kim,
I have the Cypress Cove Inn, the Fogcatcher's Inn, and the Fireside Inn all bookmarked. We need a room with two beds and would prefer A/C, if possible. Other than that I am looking forward to casual comfort and a nice ocean view.
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Aug 31st, 2004, 02:49 PM
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All of those properties are very nice. The oceanview at Cypress Cove is really pretty. The property is very close to the ocean and the room we were in had a very comfy window seat where you can sit and read or just look at the ocean.

Fogcatcher has the pool, but if you stay at the Cypress Cove, you may use their pool free of charge. Enjoy Cambria! Where will you dine? ***kim***
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Aug 31st, 2004, 02:54 PM
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Why, the Sow's Ear, of course! You can see I've been watching your posts...
Will the weather be warm enough for swimming, I wonder?
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Sep 1st, 2004, 03:37 PM
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You should try Napa as well if you can fit it in your itinerary! It's about an 1.5 drive from SF.
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