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Coastal trip planning

Nazareth...
Level Contributor
82 posts
15 reviews
Coastal trip planning

We r just starting to plan a trip to the California coast for Sept./ Oct. of this year. Hoping to do the 17 mile drive, see Pebble Beach, Carmel, Hearst Castle, Solvang, and end in Long Beach possibly for the short cruise south before we fly back to PA. Is it feasible to do the land portion to get a little taste of that area in 4 -5 days without making it more like work than a leisurely time? Road closures still an issue? How /where would you recommend dividing our nights stays? Reasonable lodging for us is around $200/ night. Doable? If we had to skip the cruise to enjoy this area more, that would be an option. We have done LA area before...just looking to enjoy a bit more of the area. Thanks in advance for sharing your great ideas!

11 replies to this topic
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
58,839 posts
149 reviews
1. Re: Coastal trip planning

well Carmel is just one city along the coast. Your post is more for the Monterey County forums or the CA forum for you to cover say Monterey, Carmel and do the Big Sur -- we recommend at least 3-4 days to do it leisurely. Have a look at Monterey hotels as they may suit your budget better.

If you have done La perhaps you can forget about the cruise and spend more time between Santa Cruz and Cambria if you come after September 2018 which is when the road will be open

Solvang is just an hour or two visit -- not sure if it should be as a highlight

If you do want to do the cruise then perhaps 3- days in this area then drive to San Jose airport and fly to LGB

Level Contributor
39,086 posts
1,014 reviews
2. Re: Coastal trip planning

if you want to stay in Carmel, Colonial Terrace Inn and Normandy Inn would be in your budget for that time of year. If you want to stay right on the beach have a look at The Monterey Tides, just a few minutes away from Monterey. :)

Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
4,864 posts
120 reviews
3. Re: Coastal trip planning

We just stayed in the Normandy Inn in Carmel. Great location and even though it is an older hotel I really liked it. My wife likes Solvang, but I'm a little negative because it seems like such an obvious tourist trap. However it is a good base for exploring the Santa Ynez region wine country.

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
18,057 posts
120 reviews
4. Re: Coastal trip planning

With 5 days/4 nights, you could spend 2 nights in Monterey/Carmel to see that area and then 2 nights around Cambria or Pismo Beach before heading down to Long Beach for your cruise.

The road closure that may affect your trip is on Hwy 1 just south of Gorda, so if the road is still closed, you wouldn't be able to drive Hwy 1 between Monterey/Carmel and Cambria - you'd need to detour on Hwy 101. The road is scheduled to open in September, so there is a chance you'll be able to drive through on Hwy 1.

Nazareth...
Level Contributor
82 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Coastal trip planning

Thank you all for your great input. I guess I did not research enough before I posted. I didnt realize it was so far to Long Beach that a flight would be warranted. I was looking for a little relaxing after the drive, yet w something to entertain a bit. Any other suggestions of what to add on to the Drive to make it a nice week getaway?

Many thanks. Your suggestions are so appreciated!

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
7,264 posts
106 reviews
6. Re: Coastal trip planning

It would take at least 6 hours to drive from Carmel to Long Beach, on the fastest route, without stops. And it's a rough drive once you reach the LA area. I would personally just drive it, but I can definitely see the appeal in flying.

If you want to just get on a boat, you can take one of the whale watching tours out of Monterey. You could also take one of the scenic tours or wildlife cruises offered by Island Packers of the Channel Islands. They leave from Ventura, which is still far, but not as far as Long Beach (and you don't have to drive through LA to reach it). It's not worth it at all to go all the way to Long Beach just to take a short cruise.

Level Contributor
19 posts
7. Re: Coastal trip planning

Cal Trans just announced last night that the work on Hwy 1 at Gorda will be completed by the end of July so you will be able to drive all the way to Cambria along the coast.

If you stay in Santa Cruz for a night you can take a sail on the Chardonnay to get some whale/dolphin/sea lion watching in. It sails out of the Santa Cruz harbor daily. Moss Landing has great whale watching also and also a Elkhorn Slough cruise to check out the otters. It is very nice that time of year on the coast.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,258 posts
76 reviews
8. Re: Coastal trip planning

>>Any other suggestions of what to add on to the Drive to make it a nice week getaway?<<

I like november_moon's idea, and with Hwy. 1 open, you could tweak it a bit to do 2 nights in Monterey/Carmel, 1 night in Cambria/Pismo Beach and 1 night in Santa Barbara. To make it a nice, relaxing week getaway, simply add more time to those stops: 3 nights Monterey/Carmel, 1 night Cambria/Pismo Beach, 2 nights Santa Barbara before starting your cruise.

Or if you prefer more destinations, head to Yosemite first for 2-3 nights, then do the shorter version of the coastal trip above.

Nazareth...
Level Contributor
82 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Coastal trip planning

Thank you all! Gotta start working out the details...and then you may hear from me again! Truly appreciate your input. 😁😁

Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Coastal trip planning

avoid the week beginning 24th september for san francisco, some conference/convention on and hotel prices are through the roof.

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