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SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

London, United...
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SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

My husband, I & 15 yr old son have the following itinerary planned so far for this August;

SF - apartment rental for 4 nights

Yosemite - 2 nights hotel booked

Monterey - 1 night hotel booked

Pismo Beach - 1 night hotel booked...

The next part is where I'd appreciate advice please... as we probably won't arrive at Pismo until early evening, I'm contemplating a second night there. We plan to go to Sycamore Springs the first evening to relax in a hot tub, maybe do the Hummer ride on the dunes the next morning & would like time to look around.

Is there enough there to warrant a second night, should we continue straight to LA (possibly Magic Castle for 3 nights) or stop further along the coast, maybe Santa Barbara?

After LA we plan to go to a beach resort hotel for our final 4/5 nights to relax & enjoy the beach!

Any advice is welcome, thank you.

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

for your final nights...totally depends on your tastes. there are some nice hotels in laguna beach which is a artsy type place. you could also look at coronado...the most "resort" type hotel there would be the hotel del but it is very pricey. another area you could look at is pacific beach in san diego and those hotel options are discussed often so if you search, you'll get information but i wouldn't call them resorts...have a look at capri by the sea, catamaran, pacific terrace to get an idea. that area is great for teenagers. there is lots of restaurants, bike rentals, boardwalk, nice beach so your kid can walk to many places alone if you all need a break from each other without driving everywhere.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 14:32
Avila Beach...
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2. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

If you are interested in spending another night in Pismo Beach there is plenty to see/do in the area, depending on your interests. Beautiful beach in Avila, you can do kayaking, paddle boarding or whale watching there as well. Premier vineyards in the area with many winetasting opportunities. Bob Jones wine trail. There's a lovely path along the cliffs in Shell Beach or a boardwalk along Pismo. Many events in the summer as well - Friday nights there's a popular Farmer's Market with music and food next to the beach in Avila. Let us know your dates, interests and where you are staying and we can give more specific suggestions.

London, United...
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3. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

Thank you, sounds like it may be worth staying another night at PB. We are booked at The Cliffs Resort on Thursday 14th Aug so staying the Friday sounds a good option. I'd love to see whales but didn't realise it would be possible that time of year. I love wildlife so will be stopping at Morro Bay. We all enjoy seeing different places & anything quirky off the beaten track too. Live music would be a bonus & we love enjoying good food of all sorts & experiencing local life.

I've just read on here that there is a classic car rally in Monterey that week which will make it even busier than usual. I have a hotel booked on Weds 13th but am now wondering if I should look at somewhere else? We leave Yosemite and will be driving across to pick up Highway 1 so I'd thought Monterey would be ideal - if you have any other suggestions I'd be grateful. We won't be leaving Yosemite until after lunch,

Thanks again.

Santa Monica...
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4. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

Santa Barbara would be on my itinerary ... Beautiful place with lots to do ... And it gets a lot of overseas visitors ... I heard more foreign accents in Santa Barbara than I ever hear in Santa Monica.

Avila Beach...
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5. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

Regarding Monterey, I'm sure the locals will be along soon, but you can also consider Carmel or Pacific Grove. Perfect timing for Pismo - if you stay on Friday night you will love the Farmer's Market in Avila. It starts at 4 and runs until 8 pm. There is a trolley that can probably get you there from close to the Cliffs - not sure of the schedule or stops but you can look it up or ask at the hotel. The walk along the cliffs I referred to runs from your hotel up to the Spyglass. We often have whales close to shore in August, you never know. Enjoy your stay!

London, United...
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6. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

lttt thank you, we like the look of Laguna and Coronado but that seems above our price range unfortunately! Appreciate your suggestions.

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

Not leaving Yosemite until after lunch? YIKES!! It's a good 4-5 hour drive over to the coast from Yosemite no matter what part of the coast you start from. That means you wouldn't reach Monterey until evening and you would have little to no time for seeing the sights there. In other words, one night doesn't suffice to see Monterey/Carmel. Monterey is where you need 2 nights!!

As far as the car show, just avoid the 17 Mile Drive, since that's where the majority of the car show is held.

IF you're thinking about just continuing the drive down Highway 1 and skipping Monterey altogether, be prepared for a REALLY long day of driving. 4-5 hours to Monterey. Another likely 4-6 hours down to Pismo Beach. Not sure you would make it off the Big Sur coast before it gets dark on you and you definitely don't want to be driving that section of highway after dark! Lots of tight hairpin turns on the edge of cliffs isn't a picnic once daylight is gone.

London, United...
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8. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

Thank you, lots still to think about. So many fantastic places to see, so little time!

9. Re: SF to LA...have gained lots of info but need advice pls

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