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SF down coast & back up - help needed!


Mar 20th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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SF down coast & back up - help needed!

Hubby and I are planning a getaway for 5 short nights down the coast. It has always been my dream to drive down the California coast and we are finally doing it, however short it is. I've got the SF portion figured out, but the rest has me going back and forth. This trip will be at the end of April.

On the Sunday afternoon of our trip (after 2 nights in SF) we plan to leave SF and drive down the coast. I see that the Big Sur Marathon is on and will be blocking the highway for 6 hours that day, so this is why we are leaving later in the day. I would also assume Monterey will be busy and as I've found out, the hotel prices are higher. So, I decided to head further south. My only question is to where? We do love wine, so I'd like to do a wine tour and I see most of them leave first thing in the morning. This means 2 nights at one hotel in either San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Cambria or somewhere else in that vicinity. The Sycamore Springs hotel sounds amazing with having a hot springs tub on your balcony, but poor reviews are having me second guess this. The Madonna Inn looks amazing too. But, I am also really partial to being close or overlooking the ocean.

After this I'd like to hike in Big Sur for the day and then head to Carmel for a hotel stay hopefully on the water.

I'd also love to do a kayak tour, but not sure if Monterrey is the best answer or somewhere more south on our middle nights.

Basically, I'm asking the best place for kayaking on the coast and the best place to stay to enjoy a wine tour, the beach and a fabulous hotel all in one.

evilflea is offline  
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Mar 20th, 2014, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Hi evilflea,

Are you planning to fly in/out of SF? If so, based on what you want to do, I would set up your base in Carmel/Monterey.

There you'll have easy access to kayaking. It's a treat to kayaking just around the wharf because there's tons of incredible wildlife nearby. I would recommend a guided tour so you have someone knowledgable that can provide details about the habit and species you would see.

I haven't been on any of the wine tours in the area but there's a couple that are highly rated like this one: http://ow.ly/uO7mt

Point Lobos State Reserve is a beautiful place to visit and close by. Worth checking into this.

Getting down into the thick of Big Sur is just an hours drive away.

My wife and I recently spent three days in the area. We documented our activities here: http://ow.ly/uO9fc

NickB is offline  
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Mar 20th, 2014, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I think your best option for kayaking would be Elkhorn Slough. Just north of Monterey.
spirobulldog is offline  
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Mar 20th, 2014, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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You will want to drive Highway 1 between Carmel and Cambria either north to south or south to north.

You can stay here (at the south end): http://www.avilalafonda.com/
They offer wine tasting tours of the Edna Valley wineries. There is also Hearst Castle.
You can kayak here: http://www.avilabeachpaddlesports.com/

We have been staying here(at the north end) on our Carmel getaways for 50 years:
17 mile drive, Big Sur
As others have mentioned, kayak up here also.

Enjoy your vacation.
dugi_otok is online now  
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