My husband, 15-year old son and I will be vacationing in CA this summer (mid-July) and will be driving down the coastline from Monterey to San Diego, stopping enroute along the way at a fairly leisurely pace. We'll be spending the first three nights in Monterey, the 4th night in Cambria, and the 5th and 6th nights in Santa Barbara, before heading to Santa Monica (for one night) and San Diego (for seven nights). I have already made reservations in Monterey (at the Monterey Plaza) and Cambria (Best Western Fireside). And now I am trying to decide on our Santa Barbara lodging. Originally, I was thinking about staying in Pismo Beach (but through the TA forum, it was suggested to me that Santa Barbara would be a better choice for our family). Our budget is between $250 to $300/night max. Where would you recommend? We would like a hotel with a swimming pool and hot tub and that is in close proximity (i.e. walking distance) to the beach and to the city (restaurants, shops, etc.). This vacation is about relaxing, family bonding, and exploring new things. Any ideas or sugggestions?