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Where to go?

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Boston...
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Where to go?

We are staying in San Francisco area for 3 or 4 days and then would like a beach type vacation in July. Me my husanband and two boys 17 and 19. Where do you recommend staying? Carmel, Monterey or Santa Cruz. I would like a place on the water with some things to do around the area at night, not the Sanat Cruz rides.

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Where to go?

If you want wide sandy beaches to lay out, do some boogie boarding and playing in the water, perhaps a surf lesson, then Santa Cruz and/or Capitola would be the best choice. Santa Cruz also has some decent, lowkey nighlife.

Camel has a beautiful beach, but it is also an upscale town aimed at romantic couples. Probably not much to keep the boys' interest.

Monterey doesn't have much in the way of beaches - it has nice coastline and some smallish beaches. The neighboring town of Pacific Grove has some gorgeous coastline. It doesn't have the "beach culture" though with a lot of people out hanging out, surfing, etc. If you are interested in sea kayaking, sailing, and boat trips though, Monterey is a great choice. Monterey does have some decent nightlife - a reasonable amount going on after dark to keep people entertained.

Boston...
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2. Re: Where to go?

Any suggestions on Hotels in the area?

Fremont, California
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3. Re: Where to go?

If you want a beach vacation, you might want to stay a bit north of Monterey in Marina. One suggestion for lodging is:

Sanctuary Beach Resort

http://www.thesanctuarybeachresort.com/

In Monterey, the one on the beach itself is a Best Western.

http://www.montereybeachresort.com/

If you want a higher end place with views of the water (but no beach) then check out

Monterey Plaza hotel

http://www.montereyplazahotel.com/

There are limited places to stay on a beach in these areas - but did want to mention a couple; there may a few more...

of course there is the pricey resorts also in Pebble Beach

http://www.pebblebeach.com/

Monterey Peninsula...
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4. Re: Where to go?

The only problem with Marina is it's just a bedroom/strip mall community with nothing to offer tourists.

Santa Cruz is a fun town, sort of a cross between Santa Monica's beach culture and Berkeley's college town atmosphere. There are lots of recreational opportunities there and in surrounding areas.

The Monterey Peninsula has a more refined culture, but is also more diverse in its offerings. The Peninsula's natural beauty is stunning. I think its a bit misleading to say that Carmel is only for romantic getaways. That is just one of its many attributes. The town has a pretty lively beach culture, and you'll find young people surfing and playing right along with everyone else.

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Where to go?

It's hard to give you hotel suggestions without knowing where you have decided to go. Great recommendations for Carmel would be meaningless if you have chosen Santa Cruz.

And I agree about the downside of Marina, which is why I didn't mention it at first. I am sure the 17 and 19 year old will be interested in a town where there is something to go do. A stay in Marina would require driving someplace outside of Marina to do anything except the beach.

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6. Re: Where to go?

The Best Western Beach Resort would be a nice place for a family to stay. It is right on the beach and about a 5 minute drive to downtown Monterey. Have a fun trip! :)

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: Where to go?

And for Santa Cruz, look at the Dream Inn.

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8. Re: Where to go?

The Dream Inn is nice, right on the beach and walking distance to the pier and Boardwalk. We had a very nice meal at Aquarius, the restaurant there.

In nearby Capitola we recently stayed at The Venetian. It is a unique place right on the beach. Our room was more like a small apartment with a kitchen, nice living room and separate bedroom. We had pretty oceanviews from our unit. This option would be nice to give you more room than a basic hotel room. :)

9. Re: Where to go?

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