SF to LA where to stay along central coast

Jan 26th, 2007, 05:01 AM
  #1  
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SF to LA where to stay along central coast

My family and I (2 adults, 3 teenagers) are planning a 10 day California trip starting June 1st. The idea is to fly into San Francisco, spend 2-3 days there before driving down to LA. We plan on spending 2-3 days in LA so I figure I have 4 days in between. I would like suggestions on what town to use as my base to explore the central coast. I have read a lot about Carmel, Monterey, Cambria and San Luis Obispo. The idea is to travel up/down Hwy 1 and explore these communities. How many days is optimal? We like beaches, mountains and scenic drives. Small towns to shop, wine & dine. We are not looking for deluxe accommodations or resort ammenities, just a clean place to sleep at night.
gables79 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #2  
 
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Monterrey Carmel(17 mile drive)-Big Sur-Santa Barbara,two days in each.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:48 AM
  #3  
ltt
 
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i'd spend 2-3 night in carmel or monterey. then 1 night in santa barbara.
ltt is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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One night in Carmel or Pacific Grove, 1 in Cambria or Morro Bay and 1 in Santa Barbara or Carpenteria (pretty beach there).
trippinkpj is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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If you have 4 nights, add one to the Carmel area. Or you could add one night in Pismo Beach.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Don't miss Carmel and Cambria for small town charm. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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If it fits your schedule, try to make time for the thursday night farmers market in San Luis Obispo downtown.

As you might expect, the most charming of the towns tend to have the most expensive lodging; Carmel, Monterey, and Santa Barbara tend to be higher, though midweek might help.
curmudgeon is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 10:05 PM
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I would absolutely explore from Carmel or Monterey and then stay in Big Sur for 2 nights. It's just a special place. Normally, I would tell you to stay at Deetjen's, but probably not with teens. (Rooms too small etc.) With teens, I would suggest staying at Ripplewood and getting a room right on the river. Lots of room to move about and explore there. (But do go to breakfast at Deetjen's.)
kawh is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Driving south on Hwy 1, just inside the San Luis Obispo County line is Ragged Point. If you can arrange a sunset dinner there, you won't be disappointed. There is a small hotel, but it's expensive. The restaurant is wonderful. Check out their web site: www.raggedpointinn.com

San Simeon: the Best Western Cavalier is affordable for staying north of San Luis Obispo. It's close to Cambria.

Cambria: is fun to explore and has great restaurants; however motels are expensive.

Arroyo Grande: The Best Western is ideal for staying south of San Luis Obispo. Arroyo Grande is a charming 'village' close to Pismo Beach. This is a great place to stop; the Best Western there is affordable and you're close to San Luis Obispo and Pismo.

Solvang: is between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara...the Best Western King Frederick is modest and affordable. This is a good walking town with lots of small shops. For breakfast, there are great pastries!

The Santa Ynez Valley is beautiful.
Drive east from Solvang to Santa Ynez and make a right on Hwy 154. This is a back road thru Los Olivos (another charming town)to Santa Barbara and a beautiful drive.

FormerTravelAgent is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 08:20 AM
  #10  
 
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We did this trip in June 2005 with our two daughters who were 18 and 15 at the time. Stayed in San Francisco 3 days/two nights explored the city by foot and cable car. Drove to Monterey area, where we stayed in a condo on the beach for 4 nights. Did Monterey - GREAT aquarium - (one day) - drove down the coast Highway 1 to Big Sur - highlight of the trip! - (one day) - spent a day in Carmel, 17 mile drive, Pebble Beach. Then drove down the coast to Hearst Castle - great tour (even my daughters still talk about it). The last 4 days we stayed in Santa Monica and did all we could around LA.
Great trip!
mykidsdad is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 09:25 PM
  #11  
 
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Hi Gables 79!
I drove the other way in 2003 and hade 5 days to do the trip. We stayed in small inexpensive town and had a really good time. One place I specially loved was Cayucos. We stayed at Sea Side motel. A really good place, I must add. If you go there, say hello to Rebecca and Rick from Mona in Finland. Have a nice trip.
Monilonilei is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 01:29 AM
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mark
jannieween is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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My wife & I did this trip on our honeymoon. After L.A., we stayed at:

Solvang for 1 night. Our travel agent originally booked us at a Best Western. We drove up and could see it was a dive. We booked a room at Peterson (Petersen?) Inn. It was great and relatively inexpensive.

San Simeon for 1 night. Someone mention Best Western Cavalier. I think that is where we stayed. The rooms weren't great, but the hotel (motel) is right on the ocean. We got an oceanfront room. We walked out onto some grass, then down about a 10-foot drop off to the ocean. We got some wine, cheese, and crackers and enjoyed the sunset from a piece of driftwood.

Carmel/Monterey for 2 nights. 17-mile drive, Big Sur, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row. Lots to do.

4 nights in San Francisco.

2 nights in Napa.
uconn1990 is offline  
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