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Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Australia
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Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Hi

we have originally booked 2 nights in each SB, Cambria and Monterey in October.

Our hotel in Cambria has just cancelled due to them renovating (aaaargh!!) and now we have two nights not booked.

We wanted to stay in Cambria to tour Hearst Castle, but I am open to suggestions at this late stage.

I thought of booking another Cambria hotel for one night and adding another night to either Santa Barbara/ Monterey (making it 3 nights).

What do you think?

Thanks

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

I think you should definitely book at least one night in Cambria. The days will be shorter come October and you don't want to risk driving through Big Sur after dark with all the hairpin turns, sheer cliffs, etc.

As for adding a night to either Santa Barbara or Monterey, I would vote for Monterey, but that's because it fits my style. I prefer a more woodsy setting and the Monterey Peninsula has a lot of pine and cypress trees that accentuate its stunning rocky coastline.

Santa Barbara is more Mediterranean like with lots of palm trees, wide sandy beaches and Spanish architecture. SB is what I consider a small city by the sea. I guess the same could be said for Monterey, but neighboring Pacific Grove and Carmel by the Sea offer more of a small town feel with more natural areas compared to SB's urban beach areas.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

I would agree with the expert Kibblesmom. Both SB and Monterey are great places but very different and there is a lot to do in the Monterey/Carmel area if you like the outdoors and you could add a trip to Santa Cruz and Capitola as well about 40 mins North

Edited: 06 September 2012, 05:35
San Francisco, CA
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3. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Personally, I would add a night to SB over Monterey. If you enjoy lunging on the beach, there's a higher likelihood that it will be warm. Also, if you are interested in wineries there are some lovely little town in the area, such as Ls Olivos, that you could drive out to. The city of SB is a bit bigger than Monterey so there is a greater diversity of restaurants and shopping as well.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Well, if you want to talk wineries, the OP could just opt for 2 nights in Cambria and visit the Paso Robles wine country, which is closer to Cambria than Los Olivos is to Santa Barbara. Hard to say if Santa Barbara will be warmer, as October tends to be a warmer, sunnier month along the whole California coast.

Australia
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5. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Thanks everyone, it's tricky!

We have two small children aged 3 and 5 so wineries wont be featuring too much on the agenda...

We are also Australian and I have wanted to do this drive for ages so I am very excited to see this part of your beautiful country.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

That info helps. Sorry but I don't know where you are coming from. If from SF, then you may want to hit the Roaring camp railroad in Felton enroute to Santa Cruz which has the Beach Boardwalk (please check timings and days when they are open) and add that to your time in that area. Besides the Monterey Aquarium and Dennis the Menace park, you may want to see if you want to do Elkhorn Slough if you think your kids will have fun there. You can google all those places to get an idea of what to do

Australia
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7. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Sorry! I keep forgetting to add info.

We will be driving from LA-SantaBarbara-Cambria-Monterey-SF.

Our children don't need children-esque entertainment as they are well travelled and we will all just love being immersed in a different culture.

And we will have just had 5 nights at Disneyland, so as parents we will well and truly be in need of some natural, less fabricated fun.

Manhattan Beach...
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8. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

Normally I'd say add the day in SB, but since you'll be coming from LA heading north, I'd say spend the time in Monterey.

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

I agree ... Carmel or Monterey ...

The children would enjoy a ride on the trolley around Carmel... and there's an aquarium in Monterey they would enjoy.

carmelcalifornia.com/index.cfm/maps_directio…

http://www.seemonterey.com/

You'll love the drive ... it's really beautiful.... if you have time, detour inland from Santa Barbara even if its just for a morning cuppa, and check out Solvang. It's not far off the highway .. have a look at Google Maps.

http://www.solvangusa.com/

10. Re: Would you add a night in Monterey or Santa Barbara?

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