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Driving from SF to LA


Steven_Draker
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I decided to see some of the scenery and drive from SF to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway. I'm looking for some recommendations for places to visit and accommodations as well. This will be my first time. Thanks for any help, guys.

 

Steven Draker ~

 

email StevenDraker@yahoo.com

[a href=http://www.hotsexystud.com/uk]website[/a] [a href=http://www.daddysreviews.com/review.php?who=steven_draker_brussels]reviews[/a]

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The drive from SF to LA via the PCH is spectacular! I would plan on at least several days to do it and take in as many sights as you can.

 

There are so many places where the scenery is breathtaking. This is one opportunity to enjoy the views and tourist attractions. Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, San Simeon, Santa Barbara would all be my recommendations for places to see on your journey down the coast.

 

I would suggest an overnight stay in Carmel, a beautiful seaside town with many cozy B&B's. Bring a boyfriend, it's very romantic and many places have rooms with fireplaces and hot tubs! Before heading into Carmel a visit to Monterey is nice. The Aquarium is a worthwhile stop.

 

No trip down the coast would be complete without a stop at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Unfortunately the only way to get up to see it is on one of the tours, so you have to park, get a ticket and board a bus up to the site. Plan on being there for at least several hours. The main tour is a quick overview of the main house and some of the grounds, including the pool. Other tours target the gardens, grounds, and guest houses. Words do not do it justice, a must see. Check out their website for more info:

 

http://www.hearstcastle.org/tours/ticket_info.asp

 

Also, I recommend Santa Barbara for a stopover. Lovely town, beautiful beaches.

 

I'd recommend hotel reservations, especially in Carmel and Santa Barbara. If you do this on a weekend, they fill up very fast and you'd hate to miss out on a stop in Santa Barbara and then have to spend the night in Oxnard!

 

On your trip down the coast you will pass through other towns where you might want to stop for lunch or just get out and stretch your legs to enjoy the view. We did that in one little town where we stopped at a beach frequented by surfers. One little adorable dude came up from the beach, got to his car, put down his board, and then proceeded to strip off his wet suit and towel off. One of the best views I saw in California!

 

California is a big and beautiful place, so you'll definitely want to go back. I have.

 

Enjoy your trip.

 

ED

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You should definitely plan a visit to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. I think you might get a kick out of it. Do, however, keep in mind that it is, in many ways, one of the greatest monuments to bad taste ever built. It is striking proof that no matter how much money one has one does not necessarily have good taste. Many of the individual objects that Hearst collected for display are beautiful but when they are all thrown together frequently are a mish mashed garish mess.

 

You might want to consider spending the night in Cambria which is a very pretty village/town about ten miles south of San Simeon. It has several very nice bed and breakfasts. If you choose to drive a little further San Luis Obispo has developed into a rather charming college town. There are also several wineries in the area that can be visited.

 

You also might want to consider taking the back road from Buellton to Santa Barbara. It passes through the very touristy Solvang but also goes through Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. If you are at all interested in visiting an outstanding example of a California Mission -- Mission Santa Ynez is right on the road. Los Olivos is right in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley wine producing region. The road continues by Lake Cachuma and through countryside that has changed little in the last two hundred years. The road reconnects with Highway 101 just on the northern outskirts of Santa Barbara.

 

Santa Barbara is quite nice but works terribly, terribly hard at being cute and trendy. I lived there ages ago and it can become very claustrophobic. If you have money to burn you might want to consider staying overnight at the Biltmore Hotel. It is terribly, terribly chic and costs “only” about $500+ a night. If the Biltmore isn’t your thing there are many really nice B & B’s down near the beach – they all have web sites so just Goggle “Santa Barbara B & B’s” and some great choices will appear. If you have the time you should try to have either lunch or dinner at Brophy’s. It is located at the commercial pier (NOT the main city pier). Brophy's is NOT is tourist trap type restaurant, like the ones on the city pier, but rather a great hangout for locals in the know. It has great seafood and I love the Bloody Mary’s. The prices are extremely reasonable. You can even sit outside and have a great view of the city pier and the hillside of the city called the Riviera.

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There is one additional point you need to consider Steven. The really scenic portion of Highway 1 extends from Big Sur, about seventy-five miles, south to San Simeon. The road is extremely narrow, is built into to the coastal mountain range and in many places drops off several hundred feet directly into the Pacific Ocean – scenic in the extreme.

Now the problem is that at this time of year many elderly retirees leave the flat lands, pack up their humongous R.V. and head for roads like Highway 1. If you are unfortunate enough to end up behind one of these dear souls you could be in for a very slow drive. They drive this highway with fear in their hearts, terror in their eyes and white knuckled hands at between fifteen and twenty miles an hour. As long as you are patient there is not a problem BUT don’t be on a tight schedule

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I second the suggestion to have lunch at Nepenthe, a legendary place in an incredible setting....very casual and hippie-ish - a must-see....

 

many years ago, as a kid, my family stopped for lunch....as we sat on the patio, a fight evidently broke out between two kitchen employees, it spilled out onto the patio, and one pulled a knife on the other before cooler heads prevailed....we thought, "oh well, just another day at Nepenthe".....

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A lot of great advice given on places to see. One additional recomendation, rent a convertible. The night air may be a little cool in the SF area, just turn up the heat and drop the top!

 

And if you want to work on that all over tan along the way, you may find some places you wish to visit at:

http://www.beachcalifornia.com/nude-beaches-california.html

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Steven

A wonderful drive; I second most of the recommendations here. Just want to re-emphasize that you need to err on the side of leaving too much time rather than too little. This is probably the best time of the year to do this, but California coast is subject to AM fog at any time of the year. I did this with the family once when we were on a fairly tight schedule and we ended up driving the most scenic part - that just south of Carmel - in early morning fog and not seeing anything. I've done it many times since with no time constraints and enjoyed it ten times more. You can make reservations for Hearst Castle tours on the website weeks in advance so you didn't have to hang around too long.

Carmel and Monterey are close enough together that you can stay in Carmel and see the Monterey sights. There are lots of small upscale m(h)otels in Carmel. As mentioned before chose, one with a fireplace, hot tub, and view and I suspect you will have no trouble locating someone to share it with you. Some really great dining in the area too. And if you are a golfer, Pebble Beach is awesome. I found the 17 mile drive forgetable if you are driving down 1. Some wonderful, very secluded beaches, very scenic, but the water is usually very cold.

Haven't stayed there in quite a few years so it may have gone downhill, but the Ventana Resort was great, although very pricey too.

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Guest verymarried

These guys covered every favorite of mine along that gorgeous coast. They have given great advice. Two free things I like along the way are:

 

1. The elephant seals flopped on the beach not far north of San Simeon at Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on hwy 1, look for call box #165, mile markers 64 and 62. A great sight to see these wonderful big animals.

 

2. Farmers' Market every Thursday night in downtown San Luis Obispo. Block after block of open air food, drink, and shopping booths with good music and lots of cute blonde Califoria guys

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I have always been amazed by all the incredible places you have traveled to over the years Steven, mostly places I have never been. So, I was surprised that I have been on this spectacular drive and highly recommend it! It's one of the most beautiful and memorable trips I have ever been on.

 

I second everything "edjames" wrote about. Carmel is gorgeous. great restaurants,and fun to just walk around and take in. Don't miss the "scenic drive" in the Carmel-by -the -sea park with the "lone tree". Have a cocktail in the lobby of the Lodge at Pebble Beach, then go down to the beach closer to town and walk by the ocean at sunset and take in the beauty. If I went back I would love to stay at the "tradewinds" a plush,asian,zen like hotel ( I have not stayed there or seen it in person, just looked good online).

 

The drive along Highway 1 to Big Sur is a bit scary and winding, but the views are unforgetable and gorgeous with the cliffs, rock formations and crashing waves. pull over and walk down along the beach and get a sense of it close to the crashing big waves.

 

Hearst Castle/San Simeon near San Luis Obisbo is a must see too.

 

The other favorite place in California, if you have time to go a bit further south from LA is Laguna Beach! Stunning views, hotels,restaurants,shops. I have never been to Santa Barbara, but want to go there some day too.

 

*sigh* I wish I was in carmel right now! And visiting it with Mr Draker along for the ride would be a sensory overload! that would truly be a dream vacation!

 

enjoy!!!!!!!

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Santa Cruz is fun too - old wooden roller coaster on the Boardwalk, unusual downtown shops, great martini bar, a guy in a pink dress and parasol helping to "keep Santa Cruz weird", surfing, camping, great skate park, and lots of hardbodies. You’ll fit right in, I’m sure! :-)

 

 

http://z.about.com/d/gocalifornia/1/0/r/6/3/200709120020-a.jpg

 

http://z.about.com/d/gocalifornia/1/0/l/6/3/200709120001-a.jpg

 

http://www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/pr/parksrec/photogallery/CityThumbs128/skatepark12.jpg

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The drive from SF to LA along the coast is one of my favorite rides of all time. I hope you have rented a convertible because it's a great way to experience the drive.

 

In addition to all the places mentioned above I would suggest that you take a few hours and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is considered to be one of the top 10 aquariums in the world and well worth the vist. If the jellyfish exhibit is still on it's not to be missed.

 

Enjoy the drive. :-)

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>In Big Sur, don't miss Nepenthe!

>

>http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/

 

 

As I scrolled and read, I definitely thought about one of my most favorite places in Big Sur: Nepenthe. On a warm and sunny day, the views are magnificent.

 

I've been going to this venue made famous by Elizabeth Taylor and the late Ricard Burton when they filmed THE SANDPIPER some years back for some 25+ years.

 

Whenever I have visitors to the area-- I always drive to Big Sur which is some 20+ miles from where I reside, and take it all in again and again. :-) :9

 

Do some walking on the trails of P... Park which is in Big Sur proper; try to go to the one that takes you to the small falls and beyond in order to see the magnificent beauty that lies below.

 

Ventana Inn or Post Ranch? I like both; they are across the road from each other but are beautifully hidden from eye's view until you reach where they are situated.

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I second every suggestion made in this thread, PARTICULARLY the part about renting a convertible. It takes what is already a spectacular drive way over the top. (I bought a convertible largely for that drive! ;-))

 

I envy you. It's a good time of year to be making the trip. Don't leave SF too early in the day or you'll miss some of the best scenery. Wait for the fog to burn off.

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Do 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach! You will see why this area was not sprayed last week in conjunction with some pest which has hit certain trees here on the Monterey Peninsula.

 

On a sunny day, this is one hell of a picturesque place along with everything else.

 

I hope it doesn't rain or is cloudy/foggy! If it's sunny, you'll get something that will be long-lived, man!

 

Last weekend it rained on Saturday, but this much needed moisture at this time did not dampen (no pun) the spirits of those who attended the 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival, a world renowned event.

 

I was there on Fri., Sat., and Sun. and felt good for those who came from afar because the sun did appear on Sunday and lifted the spirits of those in attendance!

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Thanks, guys, I'm overwhelmed. I knew I could count on you! :-)

I have enough material for several days, but unfortunately I have only two full days with one overnight for that drive, hence my question:

if I want to split the drive into two would it better to stay overnight in Carmel or further south - if so, where?

 

Steven Draker ~

[a href=http://www.hotsexystud.com/uk]website[/a] [a href=http://www.daddysreviews.com/review.php?who=steven_draker_brussels]reviews[/a]

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Guest msclonly

STOP at Nepenthe for the view and History, which you can learn about there. There was a restaurant and bar there. I believe Jane Russell or someone danced for Orson Wells or someone on the table back in the early days of the hippie grass days, who used the hot mineral pools along the cliffs. Esalon was the mind expanding center back then!

Just a bit of ancient Calif history!

 

 

:+

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Guest zipperzone

>if I want to split the drive into two would it better to stay

>overnight in Carmel or further south - if so, where?

 

I'd choose Carmel - it's my favorite town in California and damn close to the top of my list worldwide.

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