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Itinerary help.

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Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
356 posts
39 reviews
Itinerary help.

Planning on a holiday next Sept 2014 for approx 16 days total. Want to spend about 4 days in San Fran and then drive the pacific highway ending with an overnighter in LA before flying home. What are people's recommendations for places to stay/ see on the way. Don't want to be staying in a different hotel every night. Thank you

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
16,520 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: Itinerary help.

16 days is a generous amount of time. You won't have to worry about picking up and moving along every night.

My recommendation would look like this:

SF: 4 nights

Yosemite: 3 nights

Monterey/Carmel: 2 nights

Cambria or Pismo Beach: 2 nights

Santa Barbara: 2 nights

That leaves a few nights to play with. You could spend a few days/nights in LA or add a night to one of the coastal towns. You might want to do some research on the California coast and see what places interest you the most. The Top Questions section to the right of this forum is a handy tool with all kinds of info on what to see/do, where to stay en route, etc.

BTW- Once you have your itinerary in place, be sure to book Yosemite come September even if you haven't booked your other stops yet. Yosemite is the one destination that books up a year in advance, so getting rezzies early is a must.

For SF.... Start booking 8 months out. September in SF is busy convention season and room rates skyrocket.

Have fun with your planning

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
356 posts
39 reviews
2. Re: Itinerary help.

Thanks... Hadn't thought about Yosemite? My 1st plan was 4 nights San Fran then onto see Big Basin redwood park then onto Santa Cruz for a couple days by the sea. . No Ideas after that.

As we are flexible I am hoping to try and avoid the convention dates and book hotel in San Fran but wondered if it Is it possible to book hotels on route after that so we can decide how long we want to stay? Thank you

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,164 posts
58 reviews
3. Re: Itinerary help.

Basically I would do at least two nights in Monterey or Carmel to start. The a couple nights at Pismo Beach or Morro Bay, and a couple of nights in Santa Barbara before LA.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
16,520 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Itinerary help.

September is still a busy travel time of year, so pre-booking is still recommended. San Francisco isn't the only place where special events occur and some of your stops may have something going on over the weekend, so your weekend days really do need to be pre-booked. Also, may hotels along the coast have 2 night minimum requirements for weekends. It just makes sense to make a plan and stick to it. Otherwise, some of the other great locations in your itinerary could end up short changed.

Edited: 9:00 pm, July 02, 2013
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,720 posts
128 reviews
5. Re: Itinerary help.

Any general interests? Museums? Mountains? I assume by your mentioning Big Basin that you like nature. What about deserts? Or zoos? If so, San Diego would be a good stop with world famous Zoo and Anza Borrega for a little difference.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
356 posts
39 reviews
6. Re: Itinerary help.

I am interested in scenic beauty... And quirky villages. Chilled out eating and drinking places.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
16,520 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: Itinerary help.

If you take Yosemite out of the equation, you could add those nights to Big Sur after your few days in Santa Cruz.

Big Sur is kinda "quirky" and full of scenic beauty. You can rent a cabin under the redwoods, sit in one of the Adirondack chairs in the Big Sur River behind the Big Sur River Inn, do some hiking at Andrew Molera State Park or Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and contemplate the meaning of life on the purple sands of Pfeiffer Beach.

Edited: 11:11 am, July 04, 2013
Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
356 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Itinerary help.

That sounds great! I will try and find info on on the big sur! Thanks

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
22,762 posts
26 reviews
9. Re: Itinerary help.

You'll need to book in advance. Especially places like Big Sur (no "the", it's a town's name), with limited low-rate lodging. For quirky, definitely overnight in Carmel and Big Sur. Consider Solvang, too.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
356 posts
39 reviews
10. Re: Itinerary help.

Never heard of Solvang.. Thanks