We're planning a road trip through parts of California and we're trying to not make it to structured, so we're free to stop at different places along the way. Just to give you a brief idea of our trip, we're flying into LA, renting a car and driving to Santa Barbara/Hearst Castle/Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel/San Francisco/Napa Valley and ending in Lake Tahoe. After spending a lot of time reading these boards, I'm finding that the only areas where I should reserve a hotel in advance is Monterey/Carmel/San Francisco. So, my question is, can I get one hotel in a central location, to visit Monterey/Carmel/San Francisco, or should I get two hotels. One when visiting Monterey/Carmel and then another hotel when visiting San Francisco? I've never been to these areas, but they look like their very close together. We're planning to be in these areas around the end of June, beginning of July. We're planning to spend 3 days in San Francisco.