We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

Perth
Level Contributor
5 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

My husband and I are from Australia and will be travelling to Carmel, 25th and 26th October and then driving to Santa Barbara. We would like some advice on where to stay in Carmel and what there is to see. Also what is there to see on journey down to Santa Barbara and a good place to stay for 3 nights there. My husband will be doing some business in Oxnard on Monday the 28th October and I would like some suggestions as to where there would be some good shopping.

Many thanks.

The Cheese Shop
Gift & Speciality Shops
The Barnyard
Gardens, Shopping Malls, Gift & Speciality Shops
Trio Carmel
Gift & Speciality Shops
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,979 posts
156 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

This has some information about attractions and things to see in the Central Coast tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182762/Califo…

Do you have a budget in mind? Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey are all close by so depending on the budget and type of lodging you want, there are lots of choices in the area.

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
20,487 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

Hi Denise

I would take a night away from Santa Barbara and add it to Cambria. Why? Because the 90 miles of coastline between Carmel and San Simeon is a slow and tiring drive. There's a LOT to see/do along that stretch of coast and you'll want to pull over often to soak in the views and take photos. That section of highway sits hundreds of feet above the ocean with some sheer drop offs and several sharp hairpin turns. By the time you descend to flatter territory you'll still have about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive ahead of you. That's IF you don't make any further stops!

Some of the sights along the coast south of Monterey include:

Point Lobos State Reserve (Called The Greatest Meeting of Land & Sea. Worth at least 2 hours)

Bixby Bridge (Iconic arch bridge spanning a deep gorge. 15 minutes for photos)

Pfeiffer Beach (Hard road to find, but the reward is the unique purple sand and arches standing out of the sea. 1+ hour)

Nepenthe/Phoenix Shop (Lunch with a view of the Big Sur coast/souvenir shopping)

McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ( Beautiful waterfall that drops on to an inaccessible beach. The contrast between the water in the cove by the falls and the open sea are breathtaking. 1/2 hour stop)

Ragged Point (Last elevated section of the Big Sur coast before descending to flatter ground)

Elephant seal rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (Large seals laying out on the beach. Good 15-20 minute photo shoot)

Hearst Castle (2 hours)

Cambria/Moonstone Beach Drive. (Quaint seaside town nestled in a pine forest and a pretty coastline. Cute shops/cozy eateries)

Morro Bay/Rock

San Luis Obispo

Avila/Pismo Beach

Solvang

What kind of budget do you have for lodging and what type of lodging do you prefer? Luxe? Traditional? Basic? B&B?

Perth
Level Contributor
5 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

Thank you so much for your helpful info. We are looking at Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel, it seemed to get lots of good reviews. We will take the advice on dropping a night in Santa Barbara and adding a night in Cambria, that sounds like a good idea. Not sure what to expect in Santa Barbara. My husband will be in Oxnard for a days work. Any suggestions of how I can spend my time for a day in Santa Barbara. I will be without a vehicle. We are looking at staying at Harbor View Inn.

Many thanks

Denise

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
20,487 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

Hi, again, Denise

You might want to post a question in the Santa Barbara Forums about things to see/do there. While I only live a little more than an hour from SB, I've only gone there to see a few concerts. The places I know that are popular are Stearns Wharf, the historical California mission, State Street shops and the courthouse. Yes, the courthouse!

The locals there will have more suggestions for you.

As for the Tickle Pink Inn.... It's located 4 miles south of Carmel By The Sea with gorgeous views in the Carmel Highlands area. You'll have to drive to get to the local sights, but you get to come back to an awesome view. And the time of year you're visiting should mean little to no chance of fog to obscure the view. Enjoy your trip

Level Contributor
35,724 posts
903 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

We have stayed at both Tickle Pink and Harbor View Inn. Both are very nice. :).

Perth
Level Contributor
5 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

Thank you all very much. This will be my first trip to America ........ Can't wait!

7. Re: Driving from Carmel to Santa Barbara

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 August 2014, 07:19