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April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

New York
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April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

My H and I will be visiting young-adult kids in SF in April, and want to take them away for a 3-day weekend of interesting walks and views. Since we (the parents) have just survived a cold east coast winter, we long for warmth and sun and a beach to walk on. We'd like to drive as little as possible, both from SF to get to the weekend destination, and during the weekend itself. And we don't want to spend a fortune (max $300 per night). Where should we go? And where should we stay? We will need 3 sleeping rooms, and a fridge, as we're bringing our own food. Rustic cabins, hostels, bare-bones motels are fine as long as they're in a great setting or walking distance to one.

San Jose, California
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1. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

Compared to what you have been experiencing this winter, our weather will be a welcome relief. We can't guarantee "warm" weather in April though. Chances are that temps will be pretty nice, but you won't be baking in the sun anywhere except the desert that time of year. The average high along the central coast in April is in the low 60s, but if there is a heat wave, you could see temps up into the 80s, but that would be rare. And April can still be rainy.

Monterey makes a nice weekend visit from SF. It is a couple hours from SF. You tagged this as Big Sur and mentioned rustic places and bringing your own food, so Monterey may be a little busy for what you are looking for. In Big Sur itself, there are some options - you'll have a 3 hour (or longer, depending where in Big Sur you stay) drive from SF. I don't know of any lodging in Big Sur that is really close to any walkable beaches though. The coastline is gorgeous, but for much of Big Sur, the road is on a cliff overlooking a rocky coastline.

So let us know some more about what you are looking for and we can perhaps match up your needs with what the area has to offer.

Shell Beach...
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2. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

Big Sur is one of the most scenic places in the world, but as november moon mentioned, it's not really a beach destination because most of the area is cliffs that plunge directly into the ocean. Your 3 sleeping room requirement for under $300 will be hard to fulfill - in fact, I'm not aware of any places that fit. There are fewer than 300 total hotel rooms on the 90 miles of coast between Carmel and Cambria.

I also agree that Monterey would be a better choice, It's a town of about 30,000 people just 2 hours south of San Francisco, right on a beach, and surrounded by gorgeous valleys and mountains where you can enjoy the outdoors. After a long Northeastern winter it would be a wonderful getaway.

Edited: 30 March 2014, 16:41
Forestville, CA
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3. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

hi: as mentioned, April isn't exactly beach weather in northern California but there are beautiful places to roam, warmly dressed. I suggest the magnificent POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE and the rural little town of Point Reyes Station (restaurants, farmer's market, bookstore, bakery, all around community goodness) on Tomales Bay -- or closer in, the sleepy town of Stinson with Stinson Beach at your fingertips and Mount Tamalpais behind you. Do have a look-see online at Point Reyes. It's only about an 1.5-2 hr drive from San Francisco and you will love it. Promise.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

Also look at Santa Cruz and Capitola. I hate to say this, but your budget is too low for April, especially for a weekend. It's Spring Break season and people will be flocking to the coastal areas in droves. Many places will likely be fully booked up by now.

San Francisco
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5. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

I think that budget is too low for just about anywhere on the coast from Pismo to SF -- regardless of time of year. You'll need to up it by at least $50/room.

There is a hostel at Pigeon Point Lighthouse but I don't think that's going to be your style.

You might consider renting a house or cabin. It might work out more economical than 3 hotel rooms. Try www.vrbo.com

Forestville, CA
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6. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

hi again: perhaps you will find something in your budget range here in this great setting:

http://www.norcalhostels.org//reyes/

http://www.lingonberryfarm.com/farm_home.html

http://berrypatchcottage.com/

pointreyes.org/pt-reyes-lodging-marin-coast-…

New York
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7. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

thanks for these great suggestions!

We did a day hike in Point Reyes last summer but haven't stayed overnight - I will look into those links.

Also a while back we drove Big Sur to Santa Barbara but gave short shrift to the Monterey area, so I will check that out.

What does the Forum think about places around Pismo - too far for a relaxed 3-day weekend?

I know the budget is low for hotels or resorts. We usually do well with vbro or airbnb once we fix on a locale but every once in a while can score with priceline, discounts, coupons, points, etc. so it is helpful to have hotel suggestions.

Thanks again!

Grover Beach...
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8. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

".....What does the Forum think about places around Pismo - too far for a relaxed 3-day weekend? "...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah, Pismo is a 4 hour drive from SF and you'll run into the same problem here.... things being fully booked. including most vacation rentals. The folks from the San Joaquin Valley LOVE it here, lol!!

You might want to look into Pacific Grove, which neighbors Monterey and Carmel. It's a lovely scenic town with a beautiful rocky coastline and some woodsy areas like around Asilomar. There are several vrbo options that are near the Shoreline Recreational Trail and that rocky shoreline. If you luck out, PG's shoreline may be decked out in pink from the ice plant that blooms in the spring.

From PG, you can easily visit scenic spots like Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel Beach and day trip into Big Sur.

It likely won't be warm, but it is gorgeous. You could probably find some warmth with a visit to Carmel Valley, which is about a 20 minute drive inland.

I'll try to find a photo of that pink ice plant to pique your interest.

Here you go:

…photoshelter.com/image/I00003l_9Frmmigo

Edited: 31 March 2014, 02:29
Santa Clara...
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9. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

You might be ok with weather. I was along the coast near Half Moon Bay today and it was gorgeous. Warm enough for a little beach and sand time but still too cool to swim. Quite a contrast to the wet rain yesterday.

I think you should look at all of the different areas and look at where there's lodging within your budget. Pismo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Point Reyes Station/Inverness, Guerneville.

Edited: 31 March 2014, 04:57
10. Re: April weekend S of SF - suggest destination & lodging?

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