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California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Morrisville, North...
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California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

We are planning to drive the california coast for two weeks starting end of March. We have two boys ages 9 and 10. I am planning 3 days in San Fran then plan to head down the coast. I have no idea how long to stay in what areas. Is it too much to plan to get all the way to San Diego? We don't want to be on the go the whole time...i'd like 2-3 days in key locations...with sight seeing along the way. The boys would love surf lessons, whale watching and a day at Universal studios. Can someone help? i'm feeling very overwhelmed with the details. One final note...we are flying out of San fran...so we have to make this a loop!

Help!

Please!

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Here's one plan to get you started:

SF: 3 nights (2 full days)

Monterey: 2 nights. (Surf lesson in Santa Cruz en route). Early morning whale watch tour out of Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, late afternoon visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Pismo Beach: 2 nights (Big Sur en route: Point Lobos State Reserve, Bixby Bridge, Nepenthe for lunch, McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Ragged Point, elephant seal rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, Morro Bay/Roc. Rent off highway vehicles and ride the dunes south of Pismo Beach, hang at the beach.

LA: 2 nights: Universal, etc.

San Diego: 3 nights

SF: 1 night (Return via I-5, but be prepared for an 8 hour drive through the hot, dry San Joaquin Valley. Get hotel near the airport for flight home)

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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2. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Santa Cruz ia about an hour and a half from San Francisco.....Monterey another 45 minutes.

Here is a link to a popular surf school. You can get more by googling. I think this one is appropriate for the ages of your boys. And Santa Cruz would be the best place for the lessons because of the waves.

http://www.santacruzsurfschool.com/

Make reservations for the lessons ahead of time.

Edited: 23 February 2014, 22:26
Morrisville, North...
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3. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Thank you so much...this is exactly what i needed...a reality check. We will certainly prep for the long drive back and plan accordingly. I may even call Southwest airlines and see if they'll let us fly back from LA...wouldn't that be nice :)!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Check into the cost for the rental car. The one way drop fee for US residents can be pretty high!

You could do this in the reverse direction and get the long drive over with first thing. Or maybe use I-5 to get to Six Flags Magic Mountain and then go on to San Diego (adding a day.)

San Diego
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5. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

You could also take surf lessons in San Diego where the cold Pacific may be a bit warmer than in Santa Cruz. In either case be prepared for the boys to need wet suits while surfing here in California in March.

Southwest will"let" you change your tix so you may even be able to fly out of San Diego and make your connections to get home. There won't be a non stop flight.

Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Monterey for sure is key stop location. Aquarium-Cannery Row-Coast Guard pier-Fisherman's Wharf-marina all close by. Seals and sea lions. East from Wharf no. 2, miles of beaches to walk and wade, eventually dunes. Dennis the Menace Park near beach. Little cove near Fisherman's Wharf for sea otters. Bike trail (lots of rentals in Cannery Row). Tide pools and dunes near Asilomar. You could miss Carmel by the Sea (but I love its small beach) but Point Lobos is definitely worth a stop. From there spectacular coastal drive on Hwy 1. Big Sur for lunch/redwoods. You might also want to consider San Simeon/Hearst Castle.

So Cal
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7. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

Southwest is one of the easiest airlines on which to change flights. The only extra cost will be the difference in tickets price (there's no separate change fee).

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

As for cold water for surfing.....I think that the difference between Santa Cruz and San Diego would not be that much....just don't expect tropical water temperatures on the West Coast. If necessary, surf schools provide wet suits. Anyway, I would suggest Santa Cruz for surf lessons, because that it what we "do" here.

9. Re: California Coast-San Francisco to Southern Ca

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