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Must see sights?

Leicestershire, UK
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Must see sights?

We are travelling to California in late June, and already have all of our accomodation booked.

We are staying in San Francisco (4 nights), Santa Cruz (1 night), San Luis Obispo (2 nights), Santa Monica (2 nights) and San Diego (4 nights).

As we only have limited time in each destination, can you advise on the "must see" sights / towns, particularly on the trip down Highway 1.

Also, is it worth visiting Mexico for the day?

Thanks in anticipation.

Lee

Sunnyvale...
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for San Jose
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1. Re: Must see sights?

If you're in SF, Cliff House restaurant is a fun, pricey touristy location for a so-so meal. It's on a cliff...hence the name...

If you're in Santa Cruz, Shadowbrook restaurant makes a pricey, posh unforgettable meal. There's a surfers museum in Santa Cruz. It's not the most special thing in the world, but if you need an excuse to meander around a beach area, seeing some surfers in action, this is a fun one. Bonny Doon is one of my favorite wineries and has a tasting room also in Santa Cruz. Their Framboise is a dessert wine that's fun to try in an edible chocolate shot glass.

Between Santa Cruz & San Luis Obispo, I recommend seeing the 17 mile drive at the Monterey/Carmel area. Monterey has a big, nice aquarium, but so do many other places... Be sure to take a look into the water along here. Chances are that there are sea otters spying on you. You can even rent a sea-going kayak and visit them up close.

After going down the next stunning 26 miles of scenery along Big Sur, you might catch some drinks at the Whale Watchers Cafe. I've never watched any whales from here, but the drinks on the open deck are nice.

Now you're heading south out of my Northern California radar so...I commend you to the Southern California folks now...

los angeles, ca
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2. Re: Must see sights?

Hi Leehill1507,

Great advice from above!

Santa Monica is a popular beach for locals and tourists alike. Their 2 main attractions is pedestrian only Third Street Promenade, with the restaurants, shops, bars and street performers at night. Some of these street performers you'll see there can be quite talented. There's also the Santa Monica Pier with a roller coaster and ferris wheel and mini amusement park on the pier. Santa Monica has a great path where you can bike ride, rollerblade, and walk and it's right along the beach. IT can stretch for miles and miles of just beach and coastline. To the south of Santa Monica is Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey. I'd suggest you stop by Marina Del Rey. To the north of Santa Monica is a very nice beach community of Malibu, also very nice place. You can have dinner right next to the beach. Lobster is popular in Santa Monica overlooking the pier and the Pacific Ocean. If you still have time, visit the Getty Museum and go to West Hollywood/Hollywood, Beverly Hills, not too far from Santa Monica.

San Diego is very pretty. If you get a chance go to Coronado Island and visit Hotel Del Coronado. Also, visit the Pt. Loma Lighthouse/Cabrillo National monument for some great views of the SD coastline. As for places to see on the trip down, if you get a chance stop by in Santa Barbara, it's always worth a visit here.

Have fun in CA!

Santa Barbara...
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3. Re: Must see sights?

I enjoy Pt Lobos State Reserve, just south of Carmel. Get out of the car and take a few hikes. Parking can be tough during the weekends. A little patience will help.

In Big Sur a hike to the beach at Andrew Molera State Beach is relaxing. Bring your beach shoes as you might have to ford a creek.

If you want a classy lunch or sunset dinner try the Sierra Mar Restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn.

A few minutes south of Big Sur stop for a short hike to view McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Park.

At the southern end of hwy 1 look for Salmon Creek Falls.

Closer to San Simeon you might notice big hulking elephant seals at Piedras Blancas.

Then there's Hearst Castle.

http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/

http://www.waterfallswest.com/index.shtml

Leicestershire, UK
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4. Re: Must see sights?

Thanks Guys.

southcarolina
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5. Re: Must see sights?

to leehill1507: up until a year ago I lived in California and so far I would have to say you have gotten some very good advice. I would also 2nd the vote for the Shadowbrook Restaurant. If you are looking for something special this is the place (www.shawdowbrook-capitola.com). Once in San Diego you might also check out Balboa Park (www.balboapark.org) and a place we could never pass by once in San Diego is Old Town (Old Town State Historical Park-more info. on California's State Parks website). Inside the park there are a lot of shops, restaurants and more (look up www.bazaardelmundo.com)....oh how I miss the mexican food there :o( Regarding Mexico....we use to cross the border all of the time but in the last several years have felt it was no longer safe...such a shame since the Lobster and Shrimp is so good. Hope you have loads of fun on your trip!

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6. Re: Must see sights?

Yes, the 17 Mile Drive is gorgeous. Have a meal at Roy's and your gate fee will be re-imbursed. (Around $8) I also second the suggestion for Siearr Mar @ the Post Ranch Inn, we had an outstanding dinner there last September. Cheers! :)

southcarolina
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7. Re: Must see sights?

sorry Lee, but I just wanted to write back since I gave the incorrect website for Shadowbrook Restaurant (it should be: http://shadowbrook-capitola.com).