We are a family (2 adults, 2 kids ages 4 and 6 + 2 grandparents) heading to California for a wedding this summer (July). We will be staying in LA for 3-4 days before heading to San Francisco. On the way north we are planning to stop for a couple of days in either Santa Barbara or Monterey to enjoy some coastal scenery, a nice town and hotel with a pool environment that's nice for kids.
Could anyone advise us as to whether Santa Barbara or Monterey would be the best stop? Santa Barbara's climate is obviously significantly warmer (more pleasant for hanging out by the pool), but Monterey and the area around it may have more to offer for the whole family. Also, it would seem wiser to drive most of the way to SF when leaving LA, rather than just heading to Santa Barbara and then having a long drive north when we head to SF.
Any reflections on this would be much appreciated?
Thanks in advance and best regards,