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Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Paris, France
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Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

I would love some advice on where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA in August. We are a family of 4 with kids 13 & 11, driving the coastal route between SF and LA. First night is booked in Monterey.

I wonder where we should stop for the second night? Santa Barbara? We want to have enough time to enjoy the sights along the way so I wonder if SB is too far? If SB is a good option, can you recommend specific hotel? The Harbor View seems lovely but very pricey - can we find another quality option under $300?

If SB isn't a good option, then can anyone suggest an alternative and hotel?

Many thanks!!

Thousand Oaks...
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for Israel
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1. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Pismo Beach or Cambria

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Santa Barbara is also fine to stay at.

It depends how much time you plan to stay in the Big Sur area ....

but you can get to Santa Barbara and stay at Harbor View.

have a good trip....

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Another vote for Cambria or Pismo Beach/Avila Beach. With kids I'd pick Pismo/Avila.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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4. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Pismo or Avila Beach are good family friendly options. Santa Barbara is geared more for couples. Doesn't mean that families don't go there. There just aren't many activities there geared for kids.

Monterey to Santa Barbara is about a 5 hour drive WITHOUT stops! Driving the Big Sur coast can be exhausting, due to the tight curves while being hundreds of feet above the ocean with sheer drop offs in some places. It requires a driver's full attention at all times. That's why it's tiring and one of the reasons why I generally don't recommend driving any further south than Pismo Beach, especially if you want time to enjoy the sights along the way.

Pismo Lighthouse Suites is good for families. The rooms are huge and have 2 bathrooms! Additional options include:Cottage Inn, Shelter Cove Lodge, Kon Tiki Inn, Sandcastle Inn (Right on the beach), Sea Crest Resort.

Avila Lighthouse Suites, Inn at Avila Beach are options in Avila.

Best get booking a room ASAP! August is high season and many places will already be booked up.

Edited: 15 July 2014, 14:11
Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

I definitely think you should have at least 1 night in Santa Barbara ... It's such a beautiful place that has A LOT of things to do with kids. Every time I go there the place is packed with families.

San Francisco
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6. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

IMO Santa Barbara is too far.

I drove from Monterey to Cambria in February this year (so no summer time traffic along Big Sur). We made some stops but not any long ones. Left Monterey at 10AM and arrived Cambria almost 3PM. Pismo will be about another hour from Cambria and I think that's tops for a one day's drive.

Now there is a regular on this forum who makes fun of those of us who say that Monterey to SB is too much in a day but he/she will only do so on another forum.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Thanks so much for your advice - much appreciated! We have décided to play it safe and stay in Pismo Beach , then visit Santa Barbara the next day.

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

Good decision. Enjoy your trip.

9. Re: Where to stop for 1 night between Monterey and LA?

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