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Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

Mullica Hill, New...
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Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

Trip will be late June 2014 - two adults and 17 year old son. Flying from Philadelphia to San Francisco - 3 nights in San Francisco - itinerary pretty set for those days. Then want to travel down PCH seeing Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur - will stay at least one night, probably in Monterey or Pacific Grove. Then thinking of driving to Cambria and getting a vacation rental for 2-3 nights, visiting Moonstone Beach, Hearst Castle, Light Station and relaxing a bit before driving back to San Fran to fly home. My questions: is there enough to see in the Cambria area for that amount of time? I have read a bit that Cambria is very quiet and I am thinking it may be too quiet? Is there a better location to stay to see that surrounding area? We did not want to go much further south that San Simeon but would go to Morro Bay if the experts suggest that. Thanks.

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1. Re: Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

Cambria may be quiet in terms of nightlife but there are certainly things to see/do in the area if you like scenery/walks/ wine tasting etc.

My friends from NYC come each summer to spend a month there and they don't get bored!

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2. Re: Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

Perhaps Pismo Beach would be more fun than Cambria with things like dune buggies to ride in Frankly with a teen, Monterey Peninsula from Santa Cruz to Big Sur Village (one mile south) has great state parks, Point Lobos in particular, Elkhorn Slough, the Aquarium (yes even for a teen), bike rides along the coast, kayaking and much more. I would stay there for 2-3 days over Cambria.

If it was just a couple, who wants to relax, I would say Cambria would be fine

Edited: 24 August 2013, 15:21
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3. Re: Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

With a teen I would opt for Monterey. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row are all lots of fun. You could also rent kayaks and go out for a paddle on the water. We like to stay at The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa there or the Best Western Monterey Beach Resort. Have fun! :)

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4. Re: Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

Not much more in Morro Bay for a teen to do than in Cambria, but both towns are only about 30 minutes apart from each other, so it wouldn't really matter which one you chose. I would think Cambria would be best for some relaxing down time. I guess it just depends on your teen and what they're in to.

You can rent kayaks in Morro Bay, drive down to Montana de Oro State Park and walk the bluff trail and/or check out the tide pools below the bluff, hike Black Mountain from Morro Bay State Park. There's zip lining in Santa Margarita east of Morro Bay via Highway 41.

Morro Bay has more family friendly dining options, but you can still find pizza in Cambria.

As a local and once upon a time visitor to this area before I moved here, we would visit the whole area from our base near Pismo Beach: Avila, SLO, Morro Bay, Cambria. Even Solvang! Most of the drives are scenic and pleasant enough to venture out.

I would try to do at least 2 nights in each location. You'll probably want to stop in Santa Cruz for some proper beach time or check out the surfers. Monterey and Cambria have beaches, but they aren't sunning or good surfing beaches.

5. Re: Finalizing Itinerary for 8 day trip

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