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Do we need to book in advance?

UK
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Do we need to book in advance?

Would appreciate your advice. We are coming to SF in August, spending 7 nights in a hotel - already booked, then have hired a motorbike so we can go where the feeling takes us for six days. We were planning on heading south on the coastal road and stopping at Monterey, Cambria and Santa Barbara, then turning around and heading back to SF. We want the flexibility to choose when and where we stay - will we be able to find accomodation en route easy enough? Any help/advice greatly appreciated.

San Diego
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1. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

You will be traveling during the HEIGHT of tourist season. I f you do'n't care at all where you end up staying and if you get off the road EARLY ,by 3PM, you MIGHT have a chance without a reservation.

San Francisco
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2. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Here is what I think you should think about: as was previously stated, August is a peak tourist month and so things will be crowded. If you are not picky about hotels then you may have some success in just waiting and choosing later. Personally, I would want to know that I had a nice room waiting for me. Having to "guess" would worry me. I think it depends on your preferences. If you're overly picky about the places you stay, I wouldn't recommend waiting.

Los Altos...
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3. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Depends on your own threshold of comfort for uncertainty. If you're willing to have the possibility that everything is booked up when you're ready to call it a day, then go for it.

Personally, I have awful memories as a child when my parents would decide to stay in a motel while we were on the road, but there being some big event of which we were unaware -- like a big boat show or a bass competition or Lord knows what -- that we discovered only when we found there was no vacancy. And then, of going from place to place, not being able to find lodging, and having to drive and drive and drive further along our route until we could find one late at night. Sometimes we drove for more than 100 miles. I hated it.

OK, enough about me.

If you're not picky but you like to have some security, the other thing you can do is project ahead that day -- even if it's only a few hours ahead -- of how much longer you will be driving and what city you will end up, then calling motels or hotels in that city to reserve a room. I can't guarantee it works every time during the peak tourist season, particularly in small towns, but sometimes it does. When I went to Death Valley during the wildflower season last year, we brought along a AAA travel guide that lists motels and their amenities and price ranges. I called from the road when it looked like we'd be stopping overnight in Buttonwillow. We didn't care what kind of place it was, so we chose a well-known chain, reserved a room at 8:30 p.m. and it was waiting for us by the time we got there at 11:00 p.m. The four guys who drove up at the same time didn't get a room, and I felt sorry for them having to drive around looking, because I had seen all the "no vacancy" signs outside.

UK
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4. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Thank you so much for your advice. I am a bit picky about where I stay so I think we will look into booing in advance. Have you any tips for picking out decent hotels - what should we be expecting to pay per night for a mid range room? Also, does the intinerary I've already mentioned sound feasible? Thanks once again - you're help makes all the difference, this holiday is very important for us as it's our present to one another for our 30th wedding anniversary!

UK
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5. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

That was 'booking' obviously!

San Diego
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6. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

In Cambria there are many lovely motels and B&B inns on Moonstone Drive ,along Moonstone Beach. We enjoy staying there. It is a lovely town. I think you should expect to pay about $150(give or take).You can use the search function on this site to read about local places to stay in Cambria(or your other destinations) and then make your choice.I can only imagine doing the trip on a motorbike. What alovely idea on such a scenic road!!

Vacaville...
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7. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Choosing hotels and booking is the best advice, but are you going to drive the motorbike the whole way down to Santa Barbara? That's the scarey part. You may want to rent a car for the long trip and use the motorbike around San Fran.

UK
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8. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Why do you consider it 'scarey' to ride the bike down to SB?

San Diego
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9. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

Good question . I have seen lots of folks doing the road by bicycle. It seems like the perfect scenic motorcycle ride. I think some people find the road a little frightening because it goes along a cliff overlooking the ocean,buuut that is the scenic part. In SanFrancisco I would walk or take public transportation.

Vacaville...
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10. Re: Do we need to book in advance?

rehcaet-

I have a fear of heights and no guard rails. Trip advisor contains alot of opinions, this was just my opinion, nothing more. Hwy 101 is okay but hwy 1 is very scarey to me, period. Have a safe trip, that's the most important part. Do let us know, where you stayed and how the drive down to SB was...okay?

thanks,

thechick