This fall my husband and I are driving up the coast to spend about 4 or 5 days. We are driving from Phoenix and bringing bikes, hoping to stay in quaint and peaceful small towns with access to hiking and cycling (road bikes, not mountain bikes). I'm hoping I can get some recommendations for cute towns to stay in.
We want to stay one night somewhere north of LA to break up the drive and then two (or more) nights someplace that would make a good basecamp for hiking and relaxing. We're thinking Monterey area or maybe even as far as the Santa Cruz mountains or even just north of SF. We mostly want to explore forests/redwoods and relax with some outdoor adventures but don't want to overdo it with the driving. We do want to see Big Sur but staying in a beach town isn't as important to us – we like trees so more inland would be fine too. We are also considering stopping at Sequoia National Park or in that region on the way back home.
I would greatly appreciate some recommendations. I've been looking at the forums but they seem more geared toward beach towns than anything else. Thanks!!