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Cambria VS. Pacific grove

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Savannah, Georgia
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Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Hello,

Our family will be in CA for most of July- the last leg of this trip is on the Central Coast. Currently we have 3 nights booked in a vacation rental in Carmel. I have 7 more nights to work with and Carmel is more expensive then I have for the budget. I am finding both Pacific Grove and Cambria would be more affordable. They both sound like neat small towns. Is it worth it to go down the coast to visit Cambria? or even Pismo beach? or just stay near Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur? We are very athletic and active, mostly interested in outdoor activities such as hiking trails and walking on the beaches ect - being in nature. Nightlife is not important, but some good restaurants are important. Thanks in advance for any advice!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Carmel and Pacific Grove are next to each other so it really does to make sense to move into neighboring towns. Big sur is the part between Carmel and Cambria so it does make sense to stay in the Monterey Peninsula and cover the part from Big Sur Village (which is where the McWay falls are just south of the village) and North to Santa Cruz or to Big Basin or Henry Cowell redwoods. In other words both places are about an hour North or south of PG

Cambria or Pismo can be used to cover those towns and also visit Morro Bay and SLO and Paso Robles for their wineries

With kids it may make more sense to spend more time in PG than in the Pismo beach area.

Savannah, Georgia
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2. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Thanks for the advice! My kids are ages 16 and 14 and they love the adventurous hiking and the great outdoors as much as I do. So you think that Monterey/PG/Carmel/Big Sur area would offer more than SLO area? Is it more attractive in terms of scenery as well? I liked some of the info I saw about SLO, Montana de Oro and Morro Bay parks but your point is good about being situated in the center of a great variety of adventures. I appreciate your response!

Socal
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3. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

The drive down PCH to Cambria offers awesome views. I don't think you'd want to go all the way to Pismo, though. Cambria is a small town, with good places to eat, some nice trails above the beach and interesting shops. There are places to rent kayaks for some ocean time. You can tour a lighthouse.

Farther down past Morro Bay, Montana del Oro is very scenic.

Do be aware that it's not uncommon for the Calif coast to have fog in the summer, while it's hot and sunny a mile inland.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Pacific Grove!

It's a good base for enjoying the sights of Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur. Far more hiking, outdoorsey things to do compared to Cambria or Pismo Beach. Plus, you'll find far superior dining options on the Monterey Peninsula than you will in Cambria or Pismo Beach.

There's hiking in Point Lobos State Reserve, Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Garland Ranch, Jack's Peak.

Walking beaches: Carmel Beach. Asilomar Beach, Pacific Grove rocky shoreline, Lover's Point Beach

Parts of Pacific Grove are nestled in a pine forest, so you get a feel of both mountains and sea just within feet of each other.

Edited: 27 May 2013, 19:58
Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

>>>So you think that Monterey/PG/Carmel/Big Sur area would offer more than SLO area? Is it more attractive in terms of scenery as well? <<<

I would say yes on both counts.

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6. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Agree with Puter! Carmel/Monterey has gorgeous scenery, amazing restaurants and lots to do! :)

Savannah, Georgia
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7. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Thanks everyone! Tripadvisor has a good track record with me, so I have taken your advice and booked a cottage in PG. I plan a day trip down the coast so will be able to check out Cambria in a day. I will let you know how it turns out.

Berkeley
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8. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

We live in Berkeley and will stay in PG at least two or three times a year. We're actually about to leave for Pismo Beach tomorrow for a week.

I'm going to cast a big vote for PG. Our favorite thing is actually walking the beach walk from Pebble Beach to the Aquarium. The food is outstanding with lots of reasonably priced places to eat.

I would take the kids up to Santa Cruz for a day and ride the steam train in Felton or do the Boardwalk, And/or stop up the Bay about half way and do some kyacking at Moss Landing.

The drive down and back from Carmel to Cambria and back is a lot. Beautiful yes but I find it hard.

Good luck

Santa Barbara...
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9. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

As you have 7 days after Carmel to visit the Big Sur coast, I would encourage you to spend a night in Cambria. There are very fun and interesting sites in the southern section of Big Sur, too - elephants seals at Piedras Blancas, Hearst Castle, Lime Kilns, San Simeon Point, Salmon Creek Falls, and Cambria. It is a 3 hour drive from Carmel to Cambria without stops.

Savannah, Georgia
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10. Re: Cambria VS. Pacific grove

Timely information about the length of drive from Carmel to Cambria, as mp plans have just changed a bit. I had looked on MapQuest, the drive time appeared to be 1.45 hours?. The cottage I thought I had in Pacific Grove fell through so this changes things. At this point, I may extend my stay in carmel for an additional 3 nights and then possibly go for a couple of nights in Cambria. In the end we fly out of San Francisco so I'll have to make my way back up.

Thanks for all the input!