San Fran to LA...what to do?

Nov 20th, 2001, 04:54 AM
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San Fran to LA...what to do?

I am arriving in SF on Dec 7. Plan to leave from LA on Dec 15. Driving the coastal highway. Questions:
1-How much time should I spend in SF, places in between and LA?
2-What are the must see things in each place?
3-Any recomedatons on places to stay( moderately priced) through out
4- Any other suggestions for a semi-seasoned traveller...
Nov 20th, 2001, 08:19 AM
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I recommend 3 night each in SF & LA and 2 night on the road between. It's a very scenic drive. Traveling south you have carmel and monterey which are great towns to visit. Monterey has a nice aquarium. COntinuing on you have the Big Sur area. You can spend the fist night in Big Sur or Carmel. The Big Sur area has some lovely parks along the way to stop and take in the scenery. You should also check our Hearst CAstle (take the tour). You can spend another night somewhere around there. Other places to stop from there are Solvang, Santa Barbara. There's a nice travel book called "Coastal California" with lots of info on good places to check out along the way.
Nov 20th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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I did the same trip in August. A nice place to stay is the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. ( We left the Hearst Castle early evening and stayed the night here. It's about an hour from the castle. Each room has a theme (ours was Desert Sands). The web site shows each room. You might want to book early. We didn't and had to take what was left. Have fun!
Nov 20th, 2001, 10:16 AM
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drive from san fran to montery. it's less expensive then carmel. i'd personally stay for 2 nights so that you have 1 full day to explore the area. 17 mile drive around pebble beach golf course is nice.
then leave the next morning and take your time driving the coast. never been to hearst castle but people say it's nice - think expensive too. then stay in san louis or santa barbara for the next night.
Nov 21st, 2001, 04:10 AM
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We just did the exact same trip in reverse in July and LOVED it. I envy you...Here is what we did: Left LA and SF for another time, you really need a week for each city. Flew to LA and drove same day to Santa Barbara. We stayed just south of Santa Barbara at the Cliff House Inn in Mussel Shoals. Fabulous hotel, inexpensive, and right ON THE OCEAN! Good restaurant there also. Spent a few days there exploring around the area of Santa Barbara. I recommend Andersen's Danish Bakery for breakfast in Santa Barbara -full menu & great food. Then went to Hearst Castle, which we loved. I would definitely go back and take a tour again. Photos do NOT do it justice, wow! We stayed in San Simeon one night at a cheap hotel ($89?) which was nothing much, but clean-it was the San Simeon Lodge. Since all we did was sleep there, it was fine. Then we drove to Monterey and stayed there a few days at the Monterey Bay Inn - not cheap but nice, right on the water. Stopped in Cambria along the way, cute little shopping town, ate at the Sows Ear-a nice restaurant but not cheap. Another place we ate in Cambria was a little place called Linn's Main Bin-excellent food very reasonably priced. The aquarium in Monterey is great, but get there when it first opens cuz it gets VERY crowded. Cannery row has some great nightlife. Many good hotels to to choose from there. Lastly we drove to Santa Cruz and stayed there a few nights (West Coast Santa Cruz Hotel-nice, on the beach, not cheap) before we left. Go to the surfer museum there and then there is the big outdoor amusement park, but it is kind of dirty. Then we drove into San Fransisco and flew out from there. Probably the best part of the whole trip was the drive up the coast. We drove Coastal Route 1 all the way, and it was gorgeous. Drove through Big Sur, stopped in Carmel. Too much to see in a week. So, I recommend saving LA & SF for another trip and enjoy the journey between the two cities. You need at least a week for that alone! I have photos from the trip on, if you are interested in seeing them, post another reply with your request, and I will give you instructions on how to view them as a guest.
Nov 21st, 2001, 04:34 AM
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John- Sorry, I guess to view the photos of California, I would need to email you an "invitation", so if you want to see them, you will need to post your email address for me to sent it to you.
Nov 21st, 2001, 08:33 AM
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Linn's in Cambria is over-rated and touristy in my opinion. So-so food at expensive prices. A stuffed baked potato for $9 - not worth it for the small potato I received. I'd second the recommendation for the Sow's Ear. Robin's is good as well. And Lombardi's is a good choice for a casual Italian restaurant. Huge portions at very reasonable prices.

In San Luis Obispo, the Madonna Inn is one of the more fun places to stay for a night. The coffee shop is expensive, but is quite popular due to the decorations and the desserts. Be sure to check out the restrooms - especially the men's restroom with the fountain!

Morro Bay is another good place to stay along the way. Cute little beach town.


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