PCH March 3 Days SF to LA

Mar 9th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 13
PCH March 3 Days SF to LA

Hi all,

I've kind of left my planning for a short trip to the last minute and was hoping to get some recommendations from experienced travelers around how to best fill the 3 days I have to get from SF to LA.

I'll be leaving SF after breakfast on a Sunday in late March and need to be in LA by lunchtime on Wednesday (earlier is fine also....Tuesday night would work).

We are driving, and the "must-sees" include key hikes (Big Sur? Point Lobos State Reserve?) and Hearst Castle.

Any recommendations you can make about how to break the drive (where to sleep....must eat locations) and other "can't miss" places are appreciated.

We are open to skip Santa Barbara as we'll be in Napa about a week before this.

Thanks in advance!
tipsnowflake is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,020
Hi Ally!

Point Lobos State Reserve is more of a stroll than a hike, which is one of the reasons I like it, since I've never been a fan of a strenuous hike. You'll find more of the hike in Big Sur at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Link below will show you a few key trails:

I love Big Sur (what's not to like?!?). Several places to stay the night, from the cheap cabin to the Ventana spa.

Now, if you're going to go to Hearst Castle, you might want to stay the night either in Morro Bay or in Pismo Beach, both really pretty coastal towns, right on the beach in SLO County, Pismo Beach being on the SLO bay.
Surfergirl is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 06:21 PM
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Posts: 13
Thanks, Surfergirl. Do you think we should play to stay one night in Monterrey and maybe the other in Morro Bay/Pismo Beach rather than a night in Big Sur? Just wondering if that gives us two "base camps" from which to see Point Lobos, maybe time for a hike in Big Sur?

I am kind of concerned about timing--it reads as though 1 can be scary times after dark--and also the views are so amazing you'd want to see them anyway

Thanks for your help....
tipsnowflake is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 906
There are so many fun places to explore on the California coast.

One that is pretty dramatic is Ano Nuevo Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523 with the elephant seals.

Going south from San Francisco, there are lots of interesting small towns and pretty views. I like going to Fitzgerald Marine Preserve http://www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/, walking (and shopping) in downtown Half Moon Bay, and having a drink or snack at the Miramar Beach Inn http://www.miramarbeachrestaurant.com/ or Moss Beach Distillery (it's haunted) (http://www.mossbeachdistillery.com/ .

In Pescadero, Duarte's is possibly essential http://www.duartestavern.com/ . I like to visit the graveyard there, too.

After that, Santa Cruz has a lot of fun stuff to do, but you can also just breeze by on your way to Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur, which are spectacular.
Kailani is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,830
Reccomend you opt for Morro Bay or Cambia rather than Pismo, it's a much longer drive down to Pismo and the other two are, IMO, equally nice. If you stay in or near Cambria, try The Sow's Ear for dinner/
boom_boom is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,710
I'd probably spend the 1st night in or around Monterey, then spend the 2nd day going through Big Sur, staying in Cambria or Morro Bay. The 3rd day, take a morning Hearst Castle tour and then head down to LA. You'll have a bit of a back track to Hearst Castle, but not much. Then plan on lunch in Santa Barbara.
november_moon is online now  
Mar 9th, 2010, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,949
Gee - I can't think of a more enjoyable place to stay on the coast than Big Sur. For three places to stay:

Carmel/Pacific Grove/Monterey
Big Sur
San Simeon/Cambria (we were underwhelmed with Cambria)

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Mar 14th, 2010, 08:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 13
Thanks, All!!

We've worked it out and I am booking hotels today We'll be staying in Carmel at the Seven Gables Inn (had a hard time between choosing that and the Spindrift Inn in Monterey, then at the Blue Dolphin Inn in Cambria.

Hope this works

tipsnowflake is offline  
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