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Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Newcastle upon...
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Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Hi

Myself and my wife are looking to drive between LA and San Francisco. We arrive on 7th June 2012 and are planning on staying at Santa Monica for 3 nights before we hit the road. We've been thinking of staying 2 nights at Santa Barbara and possibly a couple of nights at Monterey but are unsure where to stay in between. We're a mid to late thirties couple who like nice restaurants and bars but who like to chill too! Has anybody got some good suggestions??

Thanks for your help.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Cambria is a quaint coastal town you might enjoy. It's perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway and has some excellent restaurants to choose from.

Lodging: Moonstone Landing, Little Sur Inn, Fog Catcher Inn, Best Western Fireside Inn, Sand Pebbles Inn, Pelican Cove Inn

Dining: Robin's, Black Cat Bistro, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, Madeleine's, Old Stone Station

Bars: Mozzi's Saloon, West End Bar & Grill, Las Cambritas, Cambria Pines Lodge, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill

www.cambriachamber.org/

Cambria is just minutes from Hearst Castle and where the drive up through Big Sur begins.

Edited: 14 August 2011, 16:41
Newcastle upon...
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2. Re: Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Thanks Kibblesmom - It all sounds like good fun! We thought about Cambria and also Pismo Beach, which would you recommend?

How long is the drive through Big Sur too??

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Pismo is a little over an hour's drive from Santa Barbara, which is why I recommended Cambria, since it's closer to 2 hours from SB and pretty much half way (time wise) between Santa Barbara & Monterey.

There are some nice hotels in Pismo Beach, but the downtown area near the pier is kind of run down, dirty and parking can be a real hassle. Not to mention they charge for parking in downtown Pismo now.

I just think think Cambria has a much better feel, especially for couples. Pismo has become a teen hangout and a second home for the good 'ol boys from Fresno/Bakersfield.

Not much in the way of nightlife in Pismo, either. There's Harry's Bar downtown, but that place has a history of being rough. Not sure that's what you would have in mind for a night on the town. There are a few restaurants that have nice bars inside with nice beach/pier views: SeaVenture Resort, Ventana Grill & perhaps Steamers of Pismo.

The drive through Big Sur (starting from Cambria to Carmel) can take as little as 2 1/2 hours without stops to all day if you stop at every turnout or sight along the way.

Some of the recommended stops between Hearst Castle & Carmel:

Elephant seal rookery 4 miles north of Hearst Castle, Ragged Point, Salmon Creek Trail, McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Nepenthe/Phoenix Shop, Pfeiffer Beach, Bixby Bridge, Point Lobos State Reserve.

Newcastle upon...
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4. Re: Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

Thanks again Kibblesmom. Sounds like Cambria it is then!

5. Re: Santa Monica to San Francisco driving itinerary

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