Winter California trip

Reply

Oct 10th, 2003, 05:01 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1
Winter California trip

Hi Everyone. My Boyfriend and I are planning a seven day trip to California around the first week of January. We will fly into San Francisco and spend a couple of days there and then drive to L.A. to fly home (we don't want to stay the night there). We can't decide on where to go in between. These are the cities we had in mind: San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Cambria, and Santa Barbara. We don't have a lot to spend and don't have to cram everything in. We just want to have a good time and see the beautiful coast. Any suggestions on where to go and what to do would be great.
ebassett1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 10th, 2003, 06:00 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 259
Out of curiosity, may I ask why you are considering San Jose? You said you wish to see a beautiful coast and have a good time. This pit of a city doesn't figure into that plan. In other words - skip it, you don't even need to drive through it if you take Highway 1 (coast highway) from San Francisco.
KS452 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 10th, 2003, 08:28 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
If you only have a week I agree you probably should not spend a day/night in San Jose. It is not a terrible place - but just not a scenic wonder or very "tourist worthy".

A reasonable itinerary would be 2 full days/nights in SF (3 days if you cut Santa Cruz), one night in Santa Cruz, 2 nights in Monterrey, Pacific Grove or Carmel, one in Cambria, and the last day in Santa Barbara before driving to LAX.

This is a reasonable itinerary w/o any terriblly long drives.
janis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 10th, 2003, 08:32 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Meant to add - the weather in Jan. can be stormy (or wonderful). During bad winter storms Hwy 1 can be treacherous, or even closed in spots. But don't worry - in the unlikely event you can't drive all the way down the coast you can still take Hwy 101 and other rds to many of the places along your route.
janis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 06:03 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
I'm so sorry Caree has hijacked your thread. I knew it would happen the minute you mentioned San Jose. If you click on Caree's name you will see that this was his very FIRST post on Fodors. He follows the same pattern - registers late at night, posts a lot of silly things, attacks other Fodorites and then as soon as Fodors editors discover it, he gets nuked and the whole cycle starts again. This is his 14th (at least-I've lost count) different screen name.

Unfortunately he would be a much better ambassador for his beloved SJ if he didn't use these guerilla tactics. As I said, SJ is NOT a terrible place - but to give up REALLY lovely places to spend almost 1/3 of your limited time there is ABSOLUTELY crazy.
janis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 07:26 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 915
ebassett1,

Skip San Jose. There is absolutely nothing "touristy" about it.

As another poster mentioned, you might consider flying into San Jose. Check airfares. It would be a good point of departure, not a point of interest.

Curious
Curious is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 08:10 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8
Ebassett1,
Your trip sounds like a nice idea.
Cambria - Lots of cute shops (no cheesy touristy stuff) both in the old and new section of Cambria. Eat at Moonstone if you get a chance. If you like pottery, check out the town of Harmony (5 minutes from Cambria) - only one of two stores in the town.
Carmel - we got married in Carmel, that's how much we loved the place. A few changes have taken place over the years. Many of the hotels have 2 night minimums (this may be only during the summer months) but I'd check into it. Parking is mostly street parking on a first come basis, even for the hotels, but with you going in January, this may not be an issue. Restaurants have come and gone but there are a couple that we still enjoy, Fandango's (spanish style) and La Boeheme (sp?). La Boeheme is a price fixed dinner, they only make one dish per night and they post their weekly menu on the door. Excellent food! and THE BEST deal in town.
We took Highway 1 from Carmel down to Cambria; you can't pass this up, the views are incredible. Have fun!
Judy_M is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 10:30 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 915
Thought this posted, but I guess not. Anyway, Caree has reappeared as Yemmie, with the exact same destinations and exact same websites. Fodors put Caree out of his/her misery. Hopefully they will do the same for Yemmie.

Again, San Jose is a fine arrival spot. It is a lousy destination. Just skip it unless you are flying in/out. There is absolutely nothing of interest for a tourist in San Jose, especially with the other places you want to see.

Curious
Curious is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 03:21 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 747
I would suggest adapting your trip to the weather when you get here. January is the middle of rainy season, and while you could easily get a week of beautiful weather, you could also get a series of mild to severe storms.

If conditions are right, watching the surfers at Mavericks, by Half-Moon Bay is fun... I think of Santa Cruz and kinda dead in winter, but lodging should be cheaper... Monterey has the acquarium (a good fill-in for a rainy day). Carmel is cute, full of expensive tourist shops. Adjust your schedule if necessary to get a good weather day for driving south through Big Sur. Hearst Castle is worth the visit, Cambria is ok, but depending on weather, you might choose to head farther down to Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo to stay. There are some good wineries in the Paso Robles and San Luis areas. Montana de Oro is a nice area for hiking along the coast south of Morro Bay. You can drive on the beach and/or rent a dune buggy or ATV for the sand dunes at Pismo Beach (for quieter dunes, take the water taxi in Morro Bay).

If it were me, I'd probably spend a couple of days in SF area, a couple in Monterey, and one or two each in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
curmudgeon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 03:23 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 431
I too would skip San Jose, it's a fine city but to me it really isn't a vacation destination. Santa Cruz is very nice but you might not enjoy it as much in the winter (it's beautiful right now). I'd spend 2 nights in SF, a night in either Carmel or Cambria, 2 nights in Santa Barbara and 2 in LA. Hopefully it won't be rainy, our weather is very unperdictable. It could be pouring rain or we could be in the middle of a winter mini heatwave. If it's stormy though you can always drive down 101. Have a great time and enjoy our Golden State!
viamar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 04:16 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,857
Yemmie, You should read the url's you cite. I took the time to look at the noncommercial reviews you pointed to at tripadvisor.com and there were mostly folks in SJ on business who were either complaining about or praising their hotels. The few comments from tourists were either wishing their hotels were closer to SF or reporting the concierge was helpful in directing them to SF.
obxgirl is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 09:09 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,857
Yemmie

I don't intend to or need to refute you here. Anyone can go to the trip advisor site and read what I did.
obxgirl is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2003, 09:52 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
This is so totally nuts! Now our problem child is posting under two names at the same time (Yemmie and Federal). Looks like Fodors editors must have taken the weekend off.

Oh well, another California thread ruined.
janis is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:55 AM.