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California Roadtrip!

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California Roadtrip!

Hey, myself, my husband and our two friends have booked to arrive in San Francisco the end of August this year! My question is if this is a good itinerary/amount of time to spend in each place. We are all in our late twenties, foodies, enjoy a drink, exploring the sights, the beach, animals.

A few things we want to see after SF are Santa Cruz boardwalk, Whale watching, Bixby bridge, McWay falls, lunch at nepenthe restaurant, beaches, Santa Monica pier, hollywood sights.

SF - 4 nights then travel to

Monterey - 2 nights -

Cayucos - 1 night -

Santa Barbara - 1 night

LA - 2 nights then drive to Vegas.

Would you say that these places are good to stop at and can anyone recommend anything else?

Thanks so much!

5 replies to this topic
San Francisco, Ca
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1. Re: California Roadtrip!

That seems fine (assuming you've seen LA before, since you've only one day there). It sounds like you're aware of the Hwy. 1 closure, so you'll use your 'open' day in Monterey to explore Big Sur. And I don't know much about Cayucos -- the usual stops before Santa Barbara are Cambria, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, or maybe San Luis Obispo.

Until you get to Santa Barbara, the beaches in Central/Northern California will be gorgeous, but more for sightseeing than sunning. Our weather is cooler than people imagine, so highs will be in the mid- to high-60s along the coast during the day, with a high likelihood of morning and late afternoon fog. That's part of what makes the coast so scenic and refreshing -- you can hike without collapsing of heat, photos may show scraps of fog weaving through the treetops.

Grover Beach...
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2. Re: California Roadtrip!

Cayucos is a small beach town just to the north of Morro Bay. It has a long/wide stretch of sandy beach, a pier and a few antique shops.

With the current road closure on the south end of Big Sur, it's a bit out of the way, but certainly doable. Especially if planning to backtrack south of Big Sur to tour Hearst Castle and/or visit the elephant seal rookery.

If Hearst or the rookery aren't on your radar, then you could continue on to Santa Barbara and add a night there.

No wrong answer, but you definitely need to pre-book your lodgings ASAP. August is the heaviest travel month and if any of those travel dates include Labor Day weekend, it will be insanely packed everywhere and there won't be enough lodging to meet the demand.

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3. Re: California Roadtrip!

I would skip Las Vegas in 112 degree late August and spend more time along the pleasant California coast. There is a Vegas-style casino halfway between Cayucos & Santa Barbara should you want to roll some dice.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: California Roadtrip!

Here is some info on Santa Cruz, which is on your way to Monterey. They are about 45 minutes apart. I would suggest a stop between the two at Moss Landing where you will find Elkhorn Slough, full of sea life, including adorable otters.


Edited: June 12, 2018, 11:47 pm
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5. Re: California Roadtrip!

Concur with above. This makes sense only if you have seen LA before and the visit is merely to catch up on what’s changed. If this is a first time visit, one normally needs four days for LA itself plus two for Orange County.

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