one stop between San Fran And Laguna where?

Dec 29th, 2006, 08:04 PM
  #1  
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one stop between San Fran And Laguna where?

Hello
We are two adults travelling with our three kids 11,10 and 9.

We will be travelling to California in April to primarily visit family in Laguna (Lake Mission Viejo). Been to Southern CA several times but this time we would like to fly into San Francisco for a quick 2 night stay and then we will drive South to Laguna where we will stay for 4 nights.

We need advice on where to stop for only one night between the two stays; as close to midway as possible while incorporating something nice to visit or somewhere beautiful. If we had time we would do Monterey and Santa Barbara etc...but due to timing is there somewhere more central but nice for just the one night that will split the drive up fairly evenly.

Your expertise is appreciated.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Sorry, but IMHO, if you only have one night to drive the coast from San Francisco to Orange County, I wouldn't bother. You would basically just be in the car and not have time to see anything. So spend that extra time in SF and the fly to SoCal.
janisj is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:44 PM
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Which route do you plan on taking from SF to Laguana lemidi?
LoveItaly is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 02:47 AM
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If you're traveling I-5, we really enjoyed our stay at the Harris Ranch, at Coalinga (www.harrisranch.com). Lovely hotel and grounds, including pool, and a very nice restaurant featuring their beef.
EnricoIV is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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re EnricoIV's comment, If you go 1-5 - there is no reason to stop anywhere. It is a very doable 1-day drive. However, it is a dreadfully boring trek w/ absolutely nothing to see along the way.

I was assuming you wanted to drive along the coast. And you could do it w/ 1 night/2 days. But the most scenic bits (mainly Monterey through Big Sur to San Luis Obispo) is a loooooong slog especially for the 3 kids in the backseat.
janisj is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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I assume you're taking the 101 / 1 for the scenic route. Hearst Castle is along that route and would split the drive nicely, IMO.

Beware, it is a long, long, long drive. I did the 1 along the coast all by myself when I was 21 from San Fran to LA. It took 13 hours and the first few were the longest of my life! So twisty and turny, but gorgeous of course.
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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We stopped in Cambria for one night. We left SF in the morning and arrived late afternoon after a few scenic stops (and lunch) en route. We also saw the elephant seals and hiked to the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer State Park.
The next day we set off for Laguna.
highflyer is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Hello and thanks for all the thoughtful replies.
janisj what you are saying is what I probably thought: that if I only have one night it is not worth driving between San Fran and Laguna. And I guess without wording it properly that is what I was wondering. What you said helps with our decision. If we do decide, very quickly, we may just fly from San Fran to Orange County as there is a $49.00 one way fare right now. Thus allowing us the extra night in San Fran.
Much appreciated.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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I don't know if I agree with the other posters. A drive down Highway 1 is an adventure worth the time. I'd stay in Morro Bay. Be sure to stop and see the Elephant Seals just north of San Simeon. You can let the kids stretch their legs with a short hike at Julia Pfeiffer Burns.
Catbert is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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Thanks Catbert, I'll look into Morro Bay. That sounds great.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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Yes - Morro Bay is great. However - you will have missed everything of interest in Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove and basically dashed (well as fast as one can dash) through Big Sur to get there. And then you'll have another loooong drive the next day.

There is a TON to see and do along the coast - but you won't have the time to see/do any of it. If you want to drive the coast (and it IS gorgeous) then cut a day off of San Francisco and take 3 days/2 nights to drive south.

You sort of need to bite the bullet here - do you want more time in SF, or do you want to see some of the coast?? You simply don't have time to do both.

OR better yet IMHO - cut back on your time in Orange county. Then you actually CAN do both
janisj is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:20 PM
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My decision would be based on one thing - will I be coming back or is this my one chance to see the Big Sur coast? Obviously, if this was my one chance, I would go for it. But, if I were coming back to California, I would fly from SF to LA this time around and then plan a future trip to see the coast. As others have said, it can be done with 1 overnight - Morro Bay or Cambria would be my choice for the stop - but you will rush past a lot of great things.

I do like janis' suggestion of cutting back on the time with family to add a night to the trip down the coast
J_Correa is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:35 PM
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The obvious stop would be Santa Barbara. Beautiful, historic and everyting you could ask for in a stop along the way.
TTess is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 10:41 PM
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TTess: Are you actually recommending the OP drive from SF straight through to Santa Barbara w/ 3 pre teens trapped in the back seat of a car on that winding road?? They would hate their parents by the time they got out in SB . . . . .

janisj is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Again thanks for all the great ideas. Due to everyone's advice we are changing our plans a bit because we really want to drive the coast. We don't want to cut back on the family portion of the trip and we should be able to come back to CA again so this won't be our only trip. Having said that we decided we will visit San Fran another time when we have at least four days or more to spend there.

Here is our new idea:
-Fly into SFO Monday evening and stay at an airport hotel or somewhere nearby
-Tuesday night somewhere along coast
-Wednesday night somewhere along coast
-Thursday to Monday with family Laguna

With all day Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday to spend along the coast what would you all suggest? Can you give me a sense of timing between your ideas as I am unsure of the driving time along the coast? We love charming towns, beautiful views, good restaurants, history etc...Is Hearst Castle worth a visit?

Thank you so much.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 08:16 AM
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Based on your current plan, I'd recommend Pacific Grove for your first night, Morro Bay for your second night. Hearst Castle is interesting but it eats up a big block of time. If you do want to see it, be sure to make reservations in advance.

My favorite must see spot is Point Lobos. It's just a few miles south of Carmel and has an abundance of great trails with fabulous views.
Catbert is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Great decision. Catbert's advice for stops is good. Other places would be good too, but Pacific Grove and Morro Bay (or maybe nearby San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach) would break the drive up nicely.
janisj is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Janisj - don't get your panties in a wad. I didn't mention a windy road. What's rong with 101 to SB from SF? No biggie in my book and I have kids so that argument won't fly, either.

Lemidi - stop here in Carmel for a night or two and then head to Laguna. It's really a no-brainer and not stressful at all.

By the way, you said Laguna but then mentioned Lake Mission Viejo - two nearby but different areas, completely. We have family who live on the lake and also own homes and businesses in Laguna. Have you been there before? They're both very nice areas but one is on the ocean and the other is not.

I'd spend my first two nights in Carmel, then one night in Santa Barbara and then drive to Mission Viejo the next day.
TTess is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 08:36 PM
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too bad we can't edit...rong=wrong
TTess is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 08:53 PM
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if someone wants to see Big Sur/carmel etc they will be on hwy 1 as you very well know. And that IS a looooong winding road.

But there is no issue since they are now taking more time and stopping twice enroute

(my panties are quite fine and un-twisted BTW, thanks for caring)
janisj is offline  

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