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Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

toronto
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Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

Hi,

I am coming to California in a few weeks and going on a road trip that starts in LA and ends in San Fransisco.

There is 3 girls, 30 years old and we wanted to originally book Cambria for one of our stops but figured there might be more to do in Pismo Beach. I was looking at Sea Crest Pismo Beach and the property looks lovely.

My question is , is Pismo beach a wise choise for stop over or Cambria? Our plan is to leave LA in the morning, stop in Santa Barbara for 1-2 hours and head to Pismo. We also wanted to visit some wineries in Paso Robles but if we choose Pismo, I'm not sure if Paso would still be doable.

We are leaving Pismo next day, stopping for lunch at Big Sur and staying in Monterey the following night.

Please let me know if I should choose Pismo or stay with Cambria. I'm from Toronto and we don't really have nice beaches, so the thought of staying in a beach property in California for one night really made us excited. I've heard the water is cold end of June and you can't really swim in the ocean.

If you recommend any other ocean properties in Pismo that is close to shops/restuarnats let us know.

I would appreciate your feedback on staying in Pismo vs Cambria (just feel like there is more to do for 3 girls in Pismo for one night stay, my only concern was making the trip distance longer).

Thanks

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

Cambria has more motels ... especially along Moonshone Drive, which is the north end of town.

Moonshone Drive is on the ocean side of the highway ...

There's a few restaurants along that same street, but if you don't see something that doesn't suit, head back to Main Street (on the opposite side of the highway) and you'll find somewhere nice to eat there.

toronto
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2. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

I was leaning more towards Pismo, in terms of distnace to visitng Wineris of Paso Robles and heading to Monterey next day, would staying at Pismo make a big difference vs cambria?

The beaches seem nicer in Pismo vs Cambria

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3. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

The Seacrest Oceanfront Resort is nice in Pismo. We have stayed there twice and really enjoyed this property. www.centralcoast.com :)

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

If you are breaking up your drive the way you have said and you are also leaning towards Pismo then I say stay in Pismo, and here's why.

The drive from LA to Pismo is approx 190 miles (I have family in Arroyo Grande just steps away from Pismo and travel there all the time, Without stopping it usually takes at least 2 1/2 hrs sometimes 3 with heavy traffic). If you plan on stopping in Santa Barbara for a couple of hours; then making it all the way to Cambria on the same day will leave you little time to explore. Stay in Pismo instead and on that same day you can hit a couple of wineries in that area (Edna Valley has many fine wineries). For starters, you can stop at Laeteitia which is right off the 101 N just before Arroyo Grande, they bottle under two lables and offer sparkling, white, and red . Lots to sample. Afterwards, check in to your hotel in Pismo then take Price Canyon road east and into Edna Valley where you will find many wineries.

www.californiawinecountry.com/edna/edna.html

the next morning when you leave Pismo you can take the 101 north all the way up to Paso Robles and then hit the 46 west which takes you over to highway 1 and Cambria, no shortage of wineries on 46 West but if you have the time turn right onto Vineyard Drive and take it north a bit (you'll need to turn back around at some point or otherwise you'll end up having to make a giant loop). You can continue your drive through Cambria and into Big Sur and eventually arrive in Monterrey.

Just so you know (and this is my solely my opinion) I'm not sure either Pismo or Cambria have a "better" beach. I relocated to California 20 years ago from Florida and still have never warmed up to our beaches here. The water is icy cold and the weather never really gets that hot. for me, just pretty to look at it, not at all inviting to swim, even in summer.

I hope this helps. and one more note: the drive through Big Sur is beautiful but arduous and takes quite a bit longer than one initially imagines. Whoever is driving gets the short end of the stick (read: must keep their eyes on the road and not oggle at the view), and likewise, should be at their best performance level--no wineries for her that day :) Happy trails!

Napa, CA
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5. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

We always stay in Pismo. There's a series of hotels on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The places in Cambria are across a road from the beach and most rooms do not have direct ocean views. Plus the beach motels are a ways from the charming village.

The Seacrest is nice. So is the Kon Tiki and Sea Venture. Lately though, we have stayed at the Cliffs Resort and find its location to be our favorite.

By the way, these hotels have great sea views but the beach here is not the best for swimming. So, don't compare Pismo Beach to Waikiki or Miami Beach. The beach is nice for a stroll however although you might need a sweater.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

I think that if spending time on the beach is one of your priorities, then Pismo Beach is the clear choice. Pismo has a nice, wide, sandy beach, a pier, and generally a beachy atmosphere.

toronto
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7. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

Wow, you guys are so amazing.

I think i'm going Pismo too, i've heard Cambria tends to be foggy end of June and Pismo is sunny.

As for wineries if we visit Edna Valley, is Paso Robles also a must? I'm not sure if we have time the next day to visit Paso, cause we want to enjoy the breakfast in our hotel and check out around 11 am or so and head to Big Sur for lunch then monetery.

How far is Edna to Pismo beach? Should we visit Edna before checking in our hotel in Pismo at 3 pm?

Thanks again.

We'er also going to Nappa as I've never been on the first day we arrive in San Fransisco before returning the car so I might skip Paso Robles.

Thanks

toronto
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8. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

Kitchenspanish, thanks for your amazing feedback. I'm going with Pismo and will definitely visit wineries at Edna.

I might skip Paso as we wanna make it for lunch at big sur the next day. We are also planning to go to Nappa so that should be good for winery visits.

Napa, CA
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9. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

You are going to check out of your hotel at 11, visit wineries in Edna Valley, and then be in Big Sur for lunch? You need to look at a map. Also, Hwy 1 is one of the most scenic roads in America and you will be just rushing through.

If I were you, I'd leave Pismo early. Have breakfast in Cambria and then enjoy the drive up to Big Sur. You don't want to drive this after doing a bunch of wine tasting. It's a very twisty road with a lot of drop-offs. You will want to stop often to enjoy the views.

I'm not sure you have allotted enough time for this part of your joruney.

Cambria, California
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10. Re: Pismo or Cambria, can't decide.

Supercilious is right...visit the Edna Valley wineries the day you arrive in Pismo. Just leave L.A. earlier, or limit your time in Santa Barbara to allow some afternoon time to enjoy wine-tasting and an evening on the beach.

Since you're going to visit Napa, skip Paso Robles and instead get the early start north. Guaranteed it will take you close to a full day, with stops in Big Sur. to get to Monterey, especially if you aren't leaving Pismo until 11am. If you do leave that late, reserve Big Sur for your dinner (an early one) and continue up from there while it's still light to Monterey. As mentioned, you do NOT want to be on Highway 1 after wine tasting, unless your driver abstains. Not only is it a winding, high elevation road on the edge of the mountain, but this time of year there are drivers who take unnecessary chances with speed and passing on the relatively straight road from San Luis Obispo to Hearst Castle and Big Sur. The driver needs to be sharp.

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