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Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

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Washington DC...
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Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

Cross posted from the California forum.

I could use some itinerary help. We arrive in San Francisco the evening of September 9th. We have reservations at the Comfort Inn by the Bay for the 9th and the 10th. We are using Choice Points.

We pick up our rental car on September 11th at 4:00pm at SFO airport. We have seven nights to get to LAX for our return flight on the 18th.

We would like to see the following:

Redwoods -- maybe Muir Woods or Henry Crowell

Monterrey Bay Aquarium

17 mile drive

Big Sur coast -- plenty of time to look and explore.

Julia Pfieffer Burns Park -- McWay Falls

Pfieffer beach

Point Lobos


Hearst Castle

We enjoy wine -- maybe Paso Robles region

some missions -- which are most beautiful/interesting

Santa Barbara

Santa Monica

a beach where we could swim or at least wade.

We also enjoy walks along the beach and easy/scenic bike rides. I wouldn't mind a kayak tour, but my husband is leery. This is probably our last trip before kids.

This is my proposed itinerary. Dates and cities are where we would stay the night.

Sept 9th and 10th -- San Francisco

September 11th Santa Cruz

September 12th and 13th Monterrey or Pacific grove

September 14th -- Cambria

September 15th -- Cambria

September 16th -- Santa Barbara

September 17th -- Santa Monica

September 18th depart from LAX at 1:00pm

I think this might be too much for one trip, but I'm afraid I'll never get another chance. Seeing the Pacific has been a long term dream of mine. We live on the East Coast. Plane tickets are purchased and car reservations are made. Our budget is moderate with maybe one or two splurges. Are reservations necessary? We know friends who winged a similar trip without reservations in July a couple of years ago.

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

You've already been given some great advise on your other thread, so I'll try to put things in order for you by day.

Sept 9-10: Spend the whole time in the city exploring the many sights, neighborhoods, walk the Golden Gate, etc.

Sept 11: Santa Cruz: Good day for exploring Henry Cowell Redwoods, watch the surfers off West Cliff Ave., hang out at the beach

Sept 12-13: Monterey or Pacific Grove (Pacific Grove is my fave. LOVE the Green Gables Inn, but rezzies are a must due to limited availability). Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, 17 Mile Drive, Carmel by the Sea, Carmel Beach, Carmel Mission, Point Lobos.

Sept 14-15: Drive through Big Sur to Cambria. Sights in order south of Carmel: Bixby Bridge, Point Sur Lighthouse (limited accessibility by tour only, but a great view just driving by), Pfeiffer Beach (Right turn on Sycamore Canyon Road just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park), Nepenthe/Phoenix Shop, Partington Cove, McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Ragged Point, elephant seal rookery.

This will pretty much take up the 14th.

Sept 15: Morning tour of Hearst Castle, afternoon wine tasting in Paso Robles.

Sept 16: Drive to Santa Barbara (2 hours without stops). Potential stopping points: Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo (Has a mission downtown), Pismo Beach (Need to limit your stops if you want any time for exploring Santa Barbara).

If have already decided on the towns you want to stay in, then my recommendation is have lodgings booked ahead of time so you know where you're going to sleep each night. You really don't want to spend your precious vacation hours searching for suitable lodging if any of those towns end up being fully booked. We can help you with lodging choices if you let us know what type of lodging you like and how much you want to spend in dollars each night. We know them all, from lux to budget (and safe) friendly.

Edited: 16 August 2011, 00:33
Washington DC...
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2. Re: Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

Kibblesmom -- thank you very much for your help. We would love some Lodging Recommendations. We are looking to stay around $200, possibly $250 if we could keep some nights a bit lower. We tend to stay in B&B's or moderately priced hotel chains or well recommended independents. We require a private bath. Water view for a few nights would be great but I realize may not be doable in our price range.

Lodging Recommendations needed for;

September 11th -- Santa Cruz

September 12th and 13th -- Monterrey/Pacific grove -- I've seen some specials at Gosby House or we wondered about Lighthouse Lodge and Suites.

September 14th & 15th -- Cambria

September 16th -- Santa Barbara

September 17th --Santa Monica

We could do nearby towns, if nothing is available in our price range.

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

Puter can help you with lodging recs for Santa Cruz

I have stayed at Gosby House several times. I like room #23, which is in the carriage house, but may be a tad out of your price range. Some of the rooms attached to the main house, but with separate entrance are nice, too. These include the La Porte Room, Farley or Lover's Point. All these rooms have TV's, if that's important to you. Every room, save for one, has a private bath at Gosby. Another affordable option is the Centrella Inn. It's been several years since I've stayed there, but it's a nice inn in a great location. If you want a water view in the area and don't care about staying somewhere super nice, then check out Borg's Oceanfront Motel. It has seen better days, but gets good reviews on TA and has jaw dropping views.



Cambria: Castle Inn by the Sea is the most affordable ocean view hotel on Moonstone Beach Drive. Upper level rooms will afford you the best views. A nice B&B in town is the Olallieberry Inn. San Simeon orMorro Bay would be a good alternative if Cambria is booked up. There is a Motel 6 in San Simeon with great rates you might consider. My sister stayed there with a family friend a few years ago and liked it. She said the room was huge and found out it used to be a Holiday Inn.



Santa Barbara: I never go there, but I have friends who stayed at the Cheshire Cat Inn and couldn't wait to tell me all about their stay, knowing that I'm a huge B&B fan. They loved it, BTW.


Santa Monica: Again, I never go there, but some of the DE's for LA can help you there. yogachik knows her stuff. Look for her response to an LA Forum question and send her a private message or post this question in the LA Forum.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

Thank you very much Kibblesmom.

5. Re: Intinerary Help -San Francisco to LA via Hwy 1 --via Big Sur

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