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.

Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Which San Luis Obispo hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Rishon Lezion...
Level Contributor
12 posts
41 reviews
Save Topic
Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Hello everyone,

We are a family of four (kids age 18 and 16) from Israel, going on a trip in the US in April, and we plan two days on Route no. 1.

Day 1 - From LA to San Luis Obispo (Thu, 4/10)

The general plan includes Santa Barbara, Solvang, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo (we heard there's a nice farmer's market on thursday evnings) and short stops on the way.

Day 2 - From San Luis Obispo to Monterey (Fri, 4/11)

Plan includes Hearst Castle, Big Sur, 17-mile drive, the aquarium in monterey.

Although I travelled in the US in the past, I've never been to this area before so I don't realy know what's interesting and what to add or to skip, nice spots for vista, short hikes etc.

Any advise will be welcomed.

Also would love some advice on nice motels (budget 100-150$ per night) in or near SLO, as well as recommended places to eat along the way.

How much time should we reserve for the way from SLO to Hearst Castle (so I can reserve a tour)? I believe it takes around 1 hour driving straight, but don't know if there are intersting spots on the way.

Thanks for your assistance

Ophir

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
22,486 posts
5,249 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

On Day 2, you will not be able to do all the activities you have planned. Do book the first tour of the day at Hearst Castle - there is both a tour and movie to watch. So plan on 3 plus hours. Do take a look also on your drive at the elephant seals close to Hearst Castle.

hearstcastle.org/plan-your-trip/…

I would give yourself the hour as you have indicated - for the drive, parking, getting to the center, checking in, etc. That will be enough time. For lodging, perhaps the Embassy Suites in SLO.

While the drive through Big Sur is 90 miles or so - it will take 3 plus hours since the road is slow and the views are outstanding - you will be stopping here and there to enjoy.

As such 17 mile drive you can take off your list as time spent at Big Sur is much better. Aquarium - not sure if you have another day once you get to Monterey. See it the following morning.

The farmers market is fun to do on Thursday night.

Rishon Lezion...
Level Contributor
12 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Dear Mini,

Thanks for the insights.

We don't have the extra morning in Monterey (after sunset we plan to head east towards yosemite), so we need to sqeeze it.

We plan about 2 hours at hearst castle, and reading your post I decided to look for a motel in Cayucos or Cambria and cancel current reservation in Arroyo Grande to save some time in the morning.

I reserved a 10:20 tour in Hearst castle, so We'll head north around noon and get to Monterey around 15:30 which dosen't leave a lot of time for the aquarium.

I'll try to get a place in Cambria and move the tour to 09:00 to earn an hour+ in Monterey

Thanks again for your help

Ophir

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Don't take chances. Don't drive in the dark on unknown highways like between Monterey and Yosemite.

Rishon Lezion...
Level Contributor
12 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Thanks for the warning, but already done that twice in the past (pre gps, just AAA maps).

It's a 3 hour ride to get near yosemite and we set alternatives for motels every 45 min so we'll go as much as we can.

Idaho Falls, Idaho...
Level Contributor
1 post
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

We stayed in Avilla Beach this last weekend. It's close to SLO and Pismo and shell beach. We stayed at Avilla Village Inn. It was very nice. You get fresh cookies all day, coffee and tea 24/7. Also the rooms are area are very nice and around $80-$100 a night. You can even reserve a room that has a private hot tub on your own balcony. There is a health club that the hotel offers guests to enter for free. Swimming, tennis, massages. All very nice! If you like coffee try The Steaming Bean in Shell Beach the drive 5 miles to Pismo Beach and go to old west cinnamon rolls. Really good!!

I would suggest 17 mile drive them going to the beach to watch the sunset in Carmel.We ate at Demetra Cafe. AMAZING Greek food in Carmel.

Your kids will like the aquarium. It's good for all ages! My husband and I are 26 and 29 and loved it.

The drive can take longer than anticipated because of traffic. Just a heads up.

Rishon Lezion...
Level Contributor
12 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Thanks a lot for all the advice abd great tips.

The inn sounds great, but as we are booked for the 09:00 (first) tour at Hearst Castle, we are looking for a closer accomodation, somewhere around cambria.

How much time did you spend at the monterey aquarium?

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
19,868 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

There's a decent Motel 6 in San Simeon that would put you within minutes of Hearst Castle. It used to be a Holiday Inn, so a bit nicer than your typical Motel 6.

Additional budget friendly options in nearby Cambria include Creekside Inn, Cambria Palms and the Bluebird Inn.

My greatest concern with your plan is trying to cram too much in on Day 2. If I'm reading you correctly... you plan to do a tour of Hearst Castle, drive up Highway 1 through Big Sur, the 17 Mile Drive, the aquarium AND drive toward Yosemite? I think you might be underestimating the time it takes to get all those things in.

The drive through Big Sur is approx. 2 1/2 hours WITHOUT stops (Plan a more realistic 5+ hours with the essential stops). The 17 Mile Drive will take at least an hour. The aquarium needs at least 2 hours.

Hearst tour at 9 am. 45 minutes. Do you plan on walking the grounds after your tour ends or get on the road?

Rishon Lezion...
Level Contributor
12 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

Dear Kibbles,

First of all, may I say you're such a beatiful cat.

As we are traveling half way cross the globe, we want to sqeeze as much as possible, so day 2 is indeed packed.

Our plan is to take the first tour to Hearst Castle at 09:00, so with the bus ride we finish it at 10:00. A short walk in the garden and the bus ride back will get us on the road at around 10:30-11:00.

We plan about 3.5-4 hours for big sur, so we expect to reach the aquarium by 14:30 or so, which leaves us 3.5 hours til closing time, and about 2 more hours til sunset

As we were advised, after traveling through big sur we can skip 17-mile drive.

Regarding Yosemite - we plan to go east after sunset and drive as much as we can to shorten the drive next morning, and whenever we feel tired - stop at a motel for the night.

Thanks for the tips on motel 6 and cambria hotels.

9. Re: Two-day trip from LA to Monetrey

-:- 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: 01 April 2015, 05:16
Get answers to your questions about San Luis Obispo