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Where on the coast?

Yorkshire Dales...
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Where on the coast?

Can anyone help me with this please?

I'm in the UK, and haven't been to the California area before, and am having trouble finding out where the best place would be to stay.

We are planning the holiday for this March, so it's only a week or two before we want to set off.

We are looking at going for two weeks or so. We're flexible on exact dates, but i need to work next week, and need to be back at work again beginning of April

What we really want to do is fly to San Francisco, stay there a couple of nights, then hire a car and get to somewhere nice and quiet and pretty secluded, ideally right on a beach, but hopefully with redwoods, forests, rivers and rugged countryside close by, and relax, walk, take photographs,etc. We want to stay in one place for the whols twelve days after leaving San Francisco.

The flights are easy enough to sort out, as is San Francisco, but it’s the twelve days on the coast that I’m having real problems deciding on!

I’ve been looking at the Big Sur area, picked up on Deetjens on google, but think that would be fun for a couple of nights, but probably too much for ten plus nights! We're fairly light sleepers and I can’t imagine it’s that quiet at Deetjens. In any case I'm not sure whether it's walking distance to the coast.

I’ve been to a travel agent, and they mentioned the Post Ranch Inn, which looks like it’s way out of my pocket, and isn’t what we want anyway (too much pampering!).

The ideal would be a house to rent, or if we can't do that then a nice hotel, but not really one that’s the last word in modern luxury living. TV, DVD, WIFI etc are not what we are looking for! probably not a small bed and breakfast - I wake up pretty early and would like to go out for a walk without disturbing everyone!

It's just the two of us going (kids are grown up).

Can you suggest anywhere, or where to look?

Am I looking at the right location with Big Sur, or is there somewhere else that fits the description far better (maybe north into Oregon, I don't know)?

Thanks for any advice.

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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
448 Reviews
Big Sur, CA
Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn
1,187 Reviews
Big Sur, CA
Oregon
Oregon
United States
Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: Where on the coast?

You're not going to find anything in Big Sur that will meets your criteria. Most of Big Sur's accommodations are inland away from the beach. Post Ranch over looks the ocean, but it sits high above the ocean and there is no beach access.

Deetjens is secluded, but hasn't changed much since the 1960's and, again, no beach access.

My recommendation would be the town of Pacific Grove. There are a few B&B's across from the bay with a wonderful recreational trail across the street for walking. These include the Green Gables Inn and the Seven Gables Inn. The Green Gables Inn has 5 rooms behind the main house that have their own entrances, so you wouldn't have to worry about disturbing other guests for those early morning walks. The rec trail across the street heads toward Monterey in one direction and along the rugged coast to Asilomar in the other. It's not exactly secluded, but you'll find plenty to keep you

From Pacific Grove, you can visit lovely Carmel, Point Lobos State Reserve with lots of terrific trails along some of the most stunning scenery you'll find along the coast, even drive down to Big Sur, which is less than an hour away and one of the prettiest drives you'll ever make.

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Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn
1,187 Reviews
Big Sur, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
The Gables Inn Sausalito
The Gables Inn Sausalito
330 Reviews
Sausalito, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Hotel Pacific
Hotel Pacific
914 Reviews
Monterey, CA
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Point Lobos
Point Lobos
4,071 Reviews
Carmel, CA
San Mateo...
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2. Re: Where on the coast?

How about heading north to Mendocino/Ft. Bragg area?

It's where many folks go to get away from it all and it has most of the qualities you are looking for.

You might want to mention your budget if you are looking for more specific recommendations.

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Mendocino
Mendocino
Mendocino County, CA
Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
Mendocino County, CA
Ojai, California
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3. Re: Where on the coast?

I agree with north into Mendoino. Wonderfully artsy, beautiful, good restaurants and plenty of quiet right on the coast. There are some great rentals in the mendo area that would fit what you are describing. Also some of the B & B's have cabin type structures that are very private.

Oh, writing this is making me want to go to Mendocino. Wherever you choose, have a wonderful time.

Also Mendocino is both a town and a county (the town is located in the county). Not all of Mendocino is on the coast. You probably want to limit yourself in your lodging choices to the town of Mendocino or the towns 10 miles in either direction of Mendocino.

This is a great link for lodging/restaurants/etc

http://www.mendocino.org/html/hotelcity.html

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Mendocino
Mendocino
Mendocino County, CA
Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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4. Re: Where on the coast?

OK

I am going to suggest renting a house on the north coast, south of Mendocino, at a place called Sea Ranch. This is a 'development' by Castle and Cooke, started in the 1960's. It takes up 12 miles of the northern Sonoma coast. The houses are on the bluffs next to the ocean with views, or on the meadows, some with views, or on the hillside, some with views, and some in the secluded forest.

The concept here was not to make a big footprint on the land, so the houses are clustered with open space in between, and the architecture is strictly monitored so it blends in with the landscape. If you are a guest of a resident you have free access to all of the facilites....this includes all trails, both on th bluffs and on the hillside.

We have stayed here often. We usually prefer a house with a view of the water, but there are charming tucked away places in the forest, and at less rates.

This is just across the Gualala River from the town of Gualala, which has a lively arts scene.

Here are some websites for you to look at, and then you could branch out with the rental companies or vrbo to find the perfect place. I know you would love it here.

http://www.vrbo.com/117705

www.oceanviewprop.com/_property_detail.php…

www.searanchrentals.com/hfpgs/NoelForest.html

www.searanchrentals.com/hfpgs/Moonraker.html

http://www.vrbo.com/54304

http://www.searanchrentals.com/

http://www.donberard.com/

http://www.ramshead-realty.com/

http://www.donberard.com/forrent.htm

Let me know if this works for you.

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Mendocino
Mendocino
Mendocino County, CA
The Sea Ranch
The Sea Ranch
Sonoma County, CA
Sonoma
Sonoma
Sonoma County, CA
Gualala
Gualala
Mendocino County, CA
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5. Re: Where on the coast?

I love the Big Sur/Carmel/Monterey area, there is so much to do and see in this area, including Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. The Monterey Beach Resort is right on the beach, this is a perfect beach for long walks, it is about a 5 minute drive to downtown Monterey from the property. You could base here and venture out on day trips to the surrounding areas.

Enjoy your trip! :)

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Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach
Monterey County, CA
Ojai, California
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240 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Where on the coast?

I know that you said you wanted to spend the whole 12 nights in one place. However, maybe consider 6 nights in the Mendocino area and six nights in the Monterey/Pacific Grove/Carmel area.

Just a suggestion as I would be hard pressed to choose.

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Mendocino
Mendocino
Mendocino County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
San Francisco
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7. Re: Where on the coast?

Since you have never been to California, I think it would be nice to divide the time more. Twelve days is a long time to spend in one place on your first trip, no matter how nice it is, when you realize California is full of all kinds of things to see and do.

How about 2-3 days in San Francisco, and a few days on the Monterey or Big Sur Coast, and I know you said you wanted beaches, but what about Yosemite? Or Tahoe, for both forest and beach? Or maybe go to Yosemite or Tahoe first and then the Monterey or Pacific Grove, so you're closer to S.F. to get back to the airport when reality sets in and you have to leave.

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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Yorkshire Dales...
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2 posts
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8. Re: Where on the coast?

Thanks for all the replies, and all have been really helpful.

I've taken on board what everyone has recommended, and having bought the Rough Guide to California, had a good look at the vacation letting websites, I've have taken the advice on here and changed from Big Sur to the North California coast area. We've found somewhere that looks just right, and hopefully we'll be able to confirm the booking tomorrow.

The North California coastline looks really interesting. Not sure what the weather will be like in March, and how windy it will be, but we're really looking forward to it.

We've decided to stay with one location for ten days, then finish off with three or so nights in San Francisco. We stuck with our plan to stay in one main location (pre San Francisco), rather than travelling around, for three reasons. Firstly we're into photography and art, and we find it helps to get to know one area properly rather than travel around a lot. Secondly I've had a really tiring time with work, and need a good rest and to relax! Finally we've done split locations before, and it's fine if both are really good, and not a problem if the second location is better than the first, but I've ended up virtually in tears when the first location is great and the second is a disappointment!

So thanks everyone, your advice has been invaluable.

Final question ...temperatures look like they average out at between 40 and 50 fahrenheit, but does it feel a lot colder because of windchill?

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Ojai, California
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9. Re: Where on the coast?

Have a wonderful time!

Plan on clothing for weather in the 40's and 50's, sure. But it could easily be in the 70's if the sun is shining.

I know what you mean about that being disappointed thing.

Santa Cruz...
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10. Re: Where on the coast?

Temperatures.

March is iffy because it is still rainy season, but while it may be in trhe 40's at night, it can get up to the 70's during the day. Count on 60's. Don't worry too much about wind.

When you finalize your accommodations, would you let us know where you are staying? I know you will love the North Coast.

If you are staying in the area I recommended you will be driving up some incredible portions of the coast, rivaling Big Sur. Also, if you will be in that area I have some tips on what to see and where to go.

We will be there, again, in March, for my husband's birthday. His brother and wife own a house at Sea Ranch.

Mentioned in this post
Big Sur
Big Sur
California
The Sea Ranch
The Sea Ranch
Sonoma County, CA