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Pacific coast road trip

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Pacific coast road trip

Hi

Just wondering if anyone could help me I'm booked to fly to San Fran on 16th September and have just two nights there so check out of hotel on 18th - we are then driving down coast to Santa Monica and have two nights to stop on route - we want to spend as much time as possible in San Fran on the 18th then leave later afternoon and start our drive where would be the best place to stop? On the 19th we plan to get up early and start drive down coast and take In big sur and then have another night to stop before ending up in Santa Monica on the 20th. Does this sound do able and where would be best places to stop and any ideas on motels/hotels (we're on a budget but want to stay somewhere nice) is this plan good or would anyone suggest staying an extra night in San Fran and then just having one night stop down pacific coast? Any help would be so grateful.

Thanks :)

Napa, CA
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1. Re: Pacific coast road trip

Two nights enroute is a good idea. I would stay in Monterey and Pismo Beach. Both towns have budget options but also properties with water views.

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Pacific coast road trip

I would stay in Monterey and Cambria.....in a property on Moonstone Beach.

Toronto
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3. Re: Pacific coast road trip

I agree with stopping in Monterey. If you have time visit the aquarium, it may be the best in the world (akin to visiting San Diego and not visiting the zoo).

For the second night you may also want to consider San Luis Obispo, which is a nice town and has more dining options.

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4. Re: Pacific coast road trip

Thanks so if we left San Fran late afternoon so we get a few more hours there how long would it take to drive to Monterey?

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Pacific coast road trip

About three hours. Sometimes a little less. From the city, take Hwy 280 to Hwy 85, which runs into Hwy 101 south of San Jose, thereby avoiding the San Jose traffic. 280 is a beautiful freeway which runs in the foothills of the coast range and is 8 lanes wide. 85 is also freeway and goes through residential areas.

Edited: 19 February 2013, 21:01
San Francisco...
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6. Re: Pacific coast road trip

maps.google.com -- great tool to map it all out and get an idea of location and distances. Which route are you taking from SF (if you want to abbreviate it) ? The coastal route will take over 2 hours on Hwy 1.

I don't know how many days you have for your vacation and I agree with the 2 days to reach LA but you are getting one and a half to perhaps 2 days in SF which is rather rushed. But that is your call.

Have a look at the top questions on the California forum - a few on Hwy 1 and those are what i would read as well. The Big Sur Forum has a photo blog link on its top questions. As you can imagine hundreds of thousands do this route so there is so much information for you to read.

It helps to know where you are coming from via your profile. You will find one way rentals to be quite expensive for most unless you find a good deal or coupon. This is for US and Canadian residents. Folks from outside North America get better deals and no one way fees

Edited: 19 February 2013, 21:04
San Francisco...
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7. Re: Pacific coast road trip

I meant over 3 hours via the coastal route to Monterey plus sstps Depends on what you mean by late afternoon. Most locals take the route Puter providedand you may hit traffic by 5pm even with carpools but the scenic route will be nice and relatively traffic free in most areas You may hit a few pockets around SC.

Los Angeles
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8. Re: Pacific coast road trip

I love all of these options, but if San Francisco and Santa Monica are you're kind of towns have you considered staying in Carmel? It was originally founded by hippies as a sort of commune. Now it's an extremely affluent area. Absolutely beautiful, peaceful, there's a mission you can visit, and tons of charming shops and cafes to enjoy.

I went a few years ago and would love to go back soon. The options for hotels are easy to find at a budget price that'll include breakfast and a 5 p.m. wine and cheese setting.

Here's a great article for when you get to Santa Monica to explore the surrounding areas:

www.squidoo.com/fun-things-to-do-in-la

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9. Re: Pacific coast road trip

Thanks for everyone's help, we have already booked our car hire and 2 nights in San Francisco and arrive there at 4pm on the 16th, and then have booked accommodation in Santa Monica from 20th. We would like to stay as long as possible in San Francisco before the drive down and even would consider possibly trying to get an extra night there but then that would only give us a night to stop over down the coast , in your opinion would that be possible?

Santa Cruz...
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10. Re: Pacific coast road trip

(Carmel) >> It was originally founded by hippies as a sort of commune. >>

Well, if you can call authors George Stanley, Jack London and poet Robinson Jeffers "hippies", they were among early residents where they set up tents and cooked on the beach. The city was incorporated in 1916 and became a haven for intellectuals and artists. I don't know about the "commune" thing.