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Please critique my itinerary

Tel Aviv, Israel
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Please critique my itinerary

Please, let me know if there's anything to improve or add to the plan - and especially if there's something wrong with it. The CA forum participants have been a huge help in planning. Thank you all. We (Thelma & Louise) like easy hikes, seaside scenery, wildlife, wine-tasting, taking photos. We like to go at an easy pace and enjoy. We'll probably grab lunch on the go, would like nice dinners (prefer good, not expensive food, may splurge once or twice)

Saturday: 9.15 Elkhorn Slough tour (2 hrs), Cannery Row for lunch and wine-tasting, Point Lobos State Park, overnight at the Sand Castle in Seaside. SUGGESTIONS please: where to watch the sunset (6.30-ish), where to have dinner

Sunday: 9.00 WhaleWatching tour (4 hrs), Pacific Grove (coastal scenery), Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, overnight at Ripplewood in Big Sur. SUGGESTIONS - sunset? dinner?

Monday: Drive to Cambria, hike to McWay Falls. Overnight at Little Sur Inn (QUESTION - this looked really good on their website, so it's a splurge for us, do you think it's worth it?) SUGGESTIONS - stopping points along the way?

Tuesday: Hearst Castle (Grand and upstairs rooms tours), lunch at Sebastian General Store, wine-tasting in and around Paso Robles. Overnight at the Adelaide Inn. SUGGESIONS - diiner? anything to do in the evening?

Wednesday: Drive to Las Vegas. SUGGESTIONS - what to do in Paso Robles for a couple of hours in the morning.

Sydney/Melbourne
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1. Re: Please critique my itinerary

We did a wonderful road trip up Highway 1 recently and saw some magnificent scenery and wildlife. Hearst Castle was the only disappointment of the whole trip. A monument to bad taste, overindulgence and self promotion. The tour guides patter off memorized prattle and the crowds make the whole experience even more unpleasant. You get hearded onto a bus, rushed through a few rooms and then back on the bus to the restaurants an souvenir outlets. Just my opinion of course and not one shared by many judging by the crowds.

Edited: 26 September 2011, 15:29
Sydney/Melbourne
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2. Re: Please critique my itinerary

We did a wonderful road trip up Hoghway 1 recently and saw some magnificent scenery and wildlife. Hearst Castle was the only disappointment of the whole trip. A monument to bad taste, overindulgence and self promotion. The tour guides patter off memorized prattle and the crowds make the whole experience even more unpleasant. You get hearded onto a bus, rushed through a few rooms and then back on the bus to the restaurants an souvenir outlets. Just my opinion of course and not one shared by many judging by the crowds.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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3. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Thanks, we know what we're gettng at Hearst Castle. It's been on both our ists for a long time. Like Las Vegas, over-the-top kitsch. Ya gotta luv it!

Shell Beach...
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4. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Your itinerary looks OK, but some suggestions:

Without knowing what time of year you're going, it's hard to offer suggestions for places to see the sunset, as you may want to limit your driving distances after dark. Many places are pitch dark at night on cliffs hundreds of feet over the ocean; not fun for extended drives. The sun sets around 8:30PM in this part of the world in midsummer, and around 5PM at the winter solstice.

For Big Sur, a good sunset watching place would be Nepenthe restaurant. It's a short drive from Ripplewood with amazing ocean views. I also recommend Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn (one of the best restaurants in California in a stunning setting) but it may be a major splurge, and reservations are required.

Just so you know, McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer State Park is hours north of Cambria, and it's not much of a "hike." It's one of the most beautiful places in the world, and easily reached by a level path less than 10 minutes' walk from the parking lot.

These links may help. One has suggestions of things to do and see in Big Sur, and the other has average driving times along the coast.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14592-Big_Sur_…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g240329-i513-k3068…

Edited: 26 September 2011, 16:25
Tel Aviv, Israel
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5. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Thanks, scooter. Going in 2-1/2 weeks - sunset around 6.30.

Monday - planning to take the entire day to enjoy the coastal drive from Big Sur to Cambria, with many stops for walking, enjoying the views and taking photos. Probably picni lunch.

Avila Beach...
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6. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Ripplewood is my favorite place in Big Sur. Used to stay there 2-3 times of year but sadly they have raised their prices to the point I can't afford to do that anymore. DEFINITELY Nepenthe for sunset and dinner. Also recommend the Headlands Trail at Andrew Molera State Park. Short pretty easy trail with some of the most spectacular views in Big Sur. Enjoy - truly a majestic place.

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: Please critique my itinerary

My favorite place to watch the sunset near Monterey is anywhere along Pacific Grove's shoreline. Carmel Beach would be another. But if you happen to still be at Point Lobos around that time, that would be an amazing place to watch the sun go down.

Dinner? Depends on what kind of food you like. There's a moderately priced seafood restaurant near PG's beautiful coastline that prepares their seafood Caribbean style. It's called Fishwife. We like Pepper's Mexicali Cafe in Pacific Grove on Forest Ave.

In Monterey: Hula's Island Grill & Montrio Bistro.

Little Sur Inn in Cambria would be at the top of my list of places to stay in Cambria if I didn't live so darn close. It has one the best locations along Moonstone Beach drive in relation to water's edge. Robin's, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill or Main Street Grill for dining.

Additional things to see/do on the drive between Monterey & Cambria: Bixby Bridge, Nepenthe/Phoenix Shop, McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Ragged Point, elephant seal rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.

As a side note: Please don't "Thelma & Louise" your drive down the Big Sur coast. You might be tempted with the high road elevation, but it wouldn't end well. ;-)

las vegas
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8. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Pitzikat, your itinerary looks great. I love the Elkhorn Slough Safari, and I think Hearst Castle is a lot of fun. There may be an element of overblown narcissism there, but no more so than Vaux-le-Vicomte or Versailles. Here is a trip report from the last time we did this route, including various activities and restaurants that may answer your requests for suggestions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28926-i29-k295070…

santa cruz
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9. Re: Please critique my itinerary

Others have given you some great advice, and yes McWay Falls is more of a stroll than a hike. It's probably one of the most beautiful places to see with the littlest effort.

Just so you know Seaside is north of most the things to do and see on the Monterey Peninsula. Seaside is fine but a little "industrial" is how I'd explain it. If your budget can swing it I'd try to stay in Carmel, Pacific Grove or Monterey. Give Travelzoo a try, as a few Monterey area properties have specials with them quite often.

I've stayed at the Moonstone Landing in Cambria which is very similar and close to the Little Sur Inn. It was very nice so you should be very happy with that choice.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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10. Re: Please critique my itinerary

After taking in all your suggestiongs and getting a bit sidetracked with our New Year holidays, the plan looks really good.

Kibbles - I have noted all your suggestions for dining.

On Sunday evening, we'd be driving from Pacific Grove to the Ripplewood in Big Sur well after dark if we stay in PG for sunset. Should we forgo sunset and dinner in PG and drive down to Big Sur in late afternoon, watch sunset (where?) and have dinner at a local place (not pricey)? I read some reviews of Nepenthe and they were quite far from glowing. Anyway, sunset's around 6.30 and we would probably not want to eat dinner before 7.30. In principle, I don't mind driving at night, but I'm not familiar with that bit of road and not keen to go over the edge - especially since we'll be southbound!