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travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

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richond
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travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

We are thinking of going from Carmel to Ventura (one leg of our trip) but wondered if we are trying to do too much in one day. Plan was to leave early, have breakfast at Nepenthe, stop for sights in Big Sur, lunch/tour Hearst castle around 1 - 4, Dinner in Santa Barbara (suggestions please???) and then Ventura 9ish. We have three days in Ventura so we could change plan and stay in Cambria or somewhere one night instead of trying to drive route in one day. Problem is we have free hotel in Ventura. So... are we trying to pack too much into one day based on my intinerary above? Other suggestions? Thanks!

Menlo Park...
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1. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

Make that a late breakfast in Nepenthe. There's a good bit to see north of Point Sur, maybe a walk around Point Lobos, just south of carmel. If you're not into hiking but just driving and taking pictures at the vista points, you can make it to hearst castle by early afternoon. I think that the scenery gets better and better as you get further south, the best around Gorda. Then you are soon out of the scenic part north of Hearst castle. So it sounds like a workable plan, especially since you are stopping in Santa Barbara. Hope you are planning this on a day with longer daylight.

richond
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2. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I forgot to mention it would be a Sunday at the end of June. I wondered how slow the traffic would be on a Sunday that time of year, particularly from Hearst to Ventura through Santa Barbara. Sunlight should be at it's peak since we will be travelling the longest days of the year. Thanks again!

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

Hi herseyrichmond

Just wanted to give you a heads up about driving to Ventura on a Sunday. Hubby & I went to LA last September for a Saturday night concert. On Sunday, we spent time in LA and left around 3:30 pm. The traffic heading south in the Ventura/ Santa Barbara areas was bumper to bumper from all the weekenders heading home to So Cal.

After the slow and tiring drive through Big Sr, I think trying to get to Ventura that day is going to be exhausting and feel like it's taking forever. Believe me, the drive from my home halfway between SF & LA feels like forever and that's without traffic!!

With so much to see/do between Carmel & Santa Barbara, I think you're trying to do too much on that one day, even with the later daylight hours.

But, if you must.... I suggest stopping in Santa Barbara until after 7 pm before heading for Ventura and hope the worst of the weekender traffic has passed.

Here's a time frame of travel distances for the legs of the drive between Carmel & Ventura WITHOUT stops or traffic:

Carmel to Big Sur: 45 minutes (factor in: Bixby Bridge: 15 mins, Nepenthe/Phoeniz Shop: 1- 1/2 hours)

Big Sur to Santa Barbara: 3 1/2-4 hours ( Factor in: McWay Falls: 20-30 mins, Ragged Point: 15-20 mins, elephant seal rookery: 15-20 mins, Cambria: 1 1/2 hours, Morro Bay: 1/2 hour)

Santa Barbara to Ventura: 1 hour

Edited: 22 January 2011, 23:20
richond
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4. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

Thanks so much for the great advice. If we decide to do it in one leg, any suggestions for dinner in Santa Barbara? Also, sounds like trying to get a tour of Hearst Castle might be way too much if we do the journey one day? We are more outdoorsy people than museum-types, but everyone says Hearst is a "must see". Can we see enough in a short tour?

Grover Beach...
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5. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

"....everyone says Hearst is a "must see". Can we see enough in a short tour?"

There are no "short" tours at Hearst. Each tour lasts approx. 2 hours. Each tour group rides a bus up to the hill where Hearst Castle sits and everyone has to stay together. You can't just go and wander on your own (Except for the gardens tour) and then leave at will. With the short amount of time you have, I suggest focusing on the scenery along Highway 1. Of course, you could just pay a visit to the Visitor's Center at Hearst and check out some of the history associated with the castle in lieu of an actual tour. And it's free (unless you want to watch the movie about building the thing...they charge for that).

As for dining in Santa Barbara, I suggest posting that question in the Santa Barbara forums so the helpful folks who live there can give you some recs. Be sure to let them know what kind of food you might be interested in and the type of setting you want.

6. Re: travelling from Carmel to Ventura in one day advisable??

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