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Elizabeth Bloom Sep 12th, 1999 12:32 PM

Organizing California Trip
My husband and I will be arriving LAX in mid October for a seven day visit. Our plan is to drive north as far as Monterey and hopefully have time for San Deigo. With the first and last days devoted to travel what will we reallistically have time for? After a very early departure from Boston we will arrive in L.A. at midday. Do we stay in that area overnight or head north to some point close by? Do we take a quick route north and the scenic route south or the reverse. I'm assuming the scenic route both ways would waste precious time. Two "musts" for us are the Getty Museum and the Hearst Castle. Any and all suggestions are welcome. I have to begin to plan so I can make reservations at the Getty and Hearst. Have already seen their websites along with many others. What did we do before the internet!!! Thanks, Liz

lisa Sep 13th, 1999 11:23 AM

Liz: If you do a search on this forum using the words "California coast" you should bring up my post, "Trip Report: Just back from California coast" which I posted back in July (and you will bring up lots of info from others, as well). I hope it helps. Agree that Hearst Castle is a "don't miss," and you'll see lots of other stuff on my trip report about Santa Barbara, Cambria, Big Sur, etc. Feel free to post a response to that thread if you have any questions about anything, and have a great time -- we did!

SDSam Sep 18th, 1999 12:04 PM

I would definitely allocate some time to visit San Diego. It is the nicest area of Southern California and much different than Los Angeles. Santa Barabra is OK but I wouldn't waste too much time there. If you must see Hearst Castle ( not a favorite of mine ) than drive north to San Luis Obispo and stay there for the night. it is an easy drive and will allow you a little time to see Santa Barbara and Solvang. If you are going to continue north to Monterrey via the Big Sur than allow a day to get there from San Luis Obispo. Stop at Hearst Castle and then proceed north. Take sopme time to visit Carmel and take the 17 mile scenic drive at Pebble Beach which is just north of Carmel. You are travelling at the best time of the year weatherwise for the California coast. Return back to Los Angeles via 101 from Monterrey.

Diane Sep 18th, 1999 07:19 PM

I live in So.Calif., and I think you're planning a lot of travel for seven days (and I assume 6 nights) You'll find yourselves spending a great deal of time in the car, although we have some lovely scenery. If you must include San Diego (and I would leave that for a future trip), be sure to avoid rush hours. There are some wonderful places to stay in the Monterey/Carmel area. Weekends there are tough -- many places require two night minimum. If midweek, I recommend the Hotel Pacifc in Monterey. If you can afford it, look into the Carmel Valley Ranch Resort. Carmel-by-the-Sea is charming, and there are lots of cute B&Bs. Personally, I would concentrate on the towns between LAX and Monterey -- even then, it will be hard to justice to all the sights you want to see. <BR>To answer one of your questions, rent a car at LAX and drive out of the area. There's no reason to stay there -- it's tacky at best.

John Sep 20th, 1999 02:30 PM

Excuse me Diane, I live near LAX and I leave tacky to tourist areas like Orlando. The area around LAX has some of the nicer suburbs of LA. <BR>Elizabeth- <BR>Given you are arriving at midday, take the opportunity to head north before traffic gets bad. I would drive all the way to Cambria and stay there. Its a very pretty little town and close to Hearst Castle. Monterey is great and worth a couple of days. If you plan on spending much time in LA, you probably don't have time to really enjoy San Diego. The Getty Center is at least a half day visit. San Diego is a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive each way without traffic, so you may want to save that for your next trip.

Diane Sep 20th, 1999 07:33 PM

Sorry, John. I didn't mean to insult you. I still find the IMMEDIATE vicinity to LAX lacking in what people might want from a Calif. experience.

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