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Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

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PA
posts: 51
reviews: 29
Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Hi Everyone,

I thought I had hammered out my plans but then I saw Big Sur and am thinking I need to add this into our road trip plans.

I have planned the following road trip; starting in Las Vegas(2 nights), then to yosemite (3 nights) which I then planned on going to Santa Cruz for 2 nights then finishing in San Francisco for 3 nights.

Well... I am now thinking instead of going from yosemite to santa cruz, I should go from yosemite to cambria and start to drive up the coast from there, however how many nights and where should I stay?... should I shorten the san fran stay to 2 nights to spend more time along the coast?

I will be traveling with my 13 year old daughter, I love nature and she loves shopping, not at outlets but little unique shops that she may find something interesting in. We both like to eat so good food is always a good thing. I was thinking of adding Hearst Castle but still not sure about it. Capitola seemed like it may be something we like, is there anything similiar near Cambria or is Cambria a good place to spend the night?

I was also looking at Deetjens Bir Sur inn for one night stay as well. Do you think staying in Big Sur for a night would be good?

Thank you for any advice in advance.

Karen

santa rosa, ca
posts: 649
1. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Cambria and Capitola are 2 of my favorite seaside towns....very pretty, lovely beaches and lots of cute shops and restaurants.....and they not as touristy as some of the others so navigating the streets and parking issues are a bit easier. Check out the motels on Moonstone Beach in Cambria.

Skip the 2 nights in Santa Cruz and spend a night in Cambria and a night in Capitola (which is located a few minutes south of Santa Cruz )

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,199
reviews: 3
2. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Cambria is a good place to overnight BEFORE making the drive up through Big Sur. It's more of a couples destination, but I loved Cambria as a teen and hopefully your daughter will, too. Lots of cute shops, art works, great places to dine: Robin's, Sow's Ear, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, Wild Ginger.

Deetjens is pretty rustic. If you're into that, you might enjoy a stay there, but you could also just see Big Sur's sights as you continue up to Capitola if that's what interests you. Most of the recommendations for a second night on the coast are for the Monterey/Carmel area, since there is so much to see/do there , especially for nature lovers: Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel Beach, Asilomar Beach. Carmel has lots of great shopping and the houses are like something you see in story books. Very cute town.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 25,204
reviews: 5
3. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Cambria to Capitola is fairly long drive, considering most people take as much time as possible for the drive between Cambria and Carmel and spend the night there. I am sure your daughter would love the shops in Carmel.

PA
posts: 51
reviews: 29
4. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Thanks for all the responses, I am sold on Cambria and I do think going straight from Cambria to Capitola would be a bit much, so a stop in Carmel/Monterey sounds good.

I am debating if I should take a night away from San Francisco and make it two nights in Carmel/Monterey, I could make Capitola a day trip.

Any suggestions for specific areas in Carmel or Monterey to stay that are not on the high end but still be close enough to food and attractions?

In Monterey, I see alot of options on Munras Ave & Fremont Street and a bit

more north there are some places on reservations rd.

In carmel, they all seem to be around Ocean ave so I guess that is the area to be in Carmel?

Edited: 10:14 pm, March 10, 2013
Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,199
reviews: 3
5. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Casa Munras gets a lot of thumbs up on the forums, so you might want to look into that.

For something a bit more rustic, try the Asilomar Conference Grounds. The property is in a woodsy area with Asilomar Beach right across the street. No phones or TV's in the room, but lots of peace and quiet. You might even be able to hear the ocean at night. The downside is that you have to drive to find food, but you don't have to go far.

I wouldn't take a day away from SF unless the purpose of your trip is to take in more natural scenery.

Westchester, NY
posts: 219
reviews: 82
6. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Any chance of traveling south up the coast instead of north? The ride will be a bit more dramatic, but its not a deal breaker. In the Cambria area closer to San Simeon, I once stayed at the Best Western and thought it was outstanding.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 25,204
reviews: 5
7. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Oh, don't take anything away from San Francisco. I think you would regret it.

I live 5 miles from Capitola. Yes, it is a cute little town with a few cutsie shops and a row of restaurants on the nice beach. It essentially covers two parallel streets of a block or two long, and two in between of a block. With your schedule I would say it's not worth the time. I would definitely not make a day trip of it. At the most, stop by on your way to the city for an hour.

And parking on weekends or during tourist season is next to impossible.

Santa Cruz has a lovely tree-lined downtown with boutiques galore, including a Forever 21 and an Urban Outfitter, plus local stuff. I urge you not to take time from San Francisco for this.

SF locals can steer your daughter to places there she might like to shop.

San Francisco...
posts: 655
8. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

Asilomar has a deal right now on Travelzoo, in the SF section.

9. Re: Thinking of adding Big Sur to my trip plans???

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