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long weekend itinerary?

Philadelphia...
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long weekend itinerary?

Looking for recommendations for a three-day weekend trip up to Monterey, probably along the 1 after we get out of the LA traffic and up the 101. Two adults, one toddler (he travels well), love hiking and great food, and would love to take the kid to see the Aquarium and do some coastal hiking. NB: we have no camping gear with us as we are visiting our non-outdoorsy family here in LA. We carry the toddler in a backpack carrier, so he's relatively portable.

So, tentatively--

Friday: leave early AM, stop in Big Sur, maybe do a little hiking, continue up the coast to stay...where? Monterey?

Saturday: Monterey Aq. in the AM, in the afternoon would love to get some more hiking time in, but where? Carmel? Lobos? Stay over, possibly in San Jose with more family.

Sunday: AM, get breakfast with family in SJ, drive home. stop in SLO for lunch?

Any help much appreciated! I grew up here but my memory of the area is stuck in an 8-year old's geographic understanding of space and time...

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Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
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Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
San Jose
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Monterey Peninsula...
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1. Re: long weekend itinerary?

Well, it's about time you returned to the Monterey Peninsula. Welcome back!

Regarding Friday, Big Sur is a 90 mile stretch of coastline, so you don't really "stop" in Big Sur. There are various parks and other attractions along the way, so you can stop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, or Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, or Nepenthe restaurant, etc.

Saturday morning FYI, the aquarium is liable to be very busy. As for hiking, Point Lobos is a great idea. Other ideas can be found on these pages of my "unofficial" visitors guide.

www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/walking.htm

www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/beaches.htm

As for your question about where to stay, this should help: www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/lodging.html

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

Edited: 30 July 2013, 00:12
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Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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2. Re: long weekend itinerary?

Friday: LA to Monterey via Highway 1 is a 7 hour drive WITHOUT stops and WITHOUT LA traffic. It's a long, tiring haul for one day, especially with a little one. Even more so IF you plan to include hiking along the Big Sur coast. Lunch Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach, Taco Temple in Morro Bay or Sebastian's General Store in San Simeon (Across the highway from Hearst Castle. Take your food with you and continue up to Ragged Point and eat at one of their outdoor tables).

Some brief suggested stops:

The elephant seal rookery 4 miles north of Hearst Castle

McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Famous waterfall that drops on to an inaccessible beach)

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park waterfall trail through the redwoods.

Saturday: Point Lobos early in the morning or it may be too crowded later in the day. Then retrace back to Monterey for the aquarium. It's less crowded later in the afternoon, but it looks like you have plans to move on to San Jose on that day? Perhaps stop at Dennis the Menace Park to allow your little one the opportunity to run around a bit.

Sunday: Take 101 back to So Cal. Approx. a 6 hour drive WITHOUT stops. Lunch: Apple Farm, Margie's Diner, Laguna Grill. Novo is more upscale and located in downtown SLO overlooking San Luis Creek.

Edited: 30 July 2013, 00:30
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Pacific Grove...
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3. Re: long weekend itinerary?

I can't add a lot to Mr Toy'sand Kibblesmom's good advice. I will reiterate that Point Lobos is amazing and a must-do! Also, one disagreement: I think that Dennis the Menace Park is not appropriate for a toddler: The equipment is big and a little scary for such young kids, and there are usually tons of bigger kids running around. Your toddler would be safer and happier at either Caledonia Park in Pacific Grove http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/index.aspx?page=146 or Via Paraiso Park in Monterey great-kids-parks.com/via-paraiso-park-monter… Have fun!

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Monterey County, CA
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Philadelphia...
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4. Re: long weekend itinerary?

thanks all! really helpful and much appreciated advice.

We have found a friend to lend us some camping gear, so I'm looking at stopping Friday night in Big Sur..although yes, yes, at this late date the campgrounds are mostly filled up. There do seem to be quite a few "first come first served" sites, though--any idea how early these fill up?

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Big Sur
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5. Re: long weekend itinerary?

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