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Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

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Wayne, Pennsylvania
posts: 234
reviews: 106
Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

I just read the time allotments Kibblesmom gave to another poster re the trip from Carmel to Santa Barbara... helped me so much! We are staying in Carmel for two nights and I had all those sites on my "Things to See" list incl. lunch at Nepenthe!! I just booked one night in Cambria. My questions are: 1) Do we really need to allow 2 hrs. for Point Lobos? 2) Is there time for Hearst Castle on this travelling day or should we head back north the next morning, see the castle, and then head back south to Santa Barbara? 3) All info says you MUST book the castle in advance and be there 1/2 hr. early for the bus up the hill. I am looking at either Sept. 16 or 17...How can I figure a booking time? Thanks!

6 replies to this topic
Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 25,016
reviews: 5
1. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

My opinions.

1) If you do not allow 2 hours for Point Lobos you will be missing a lot.

Here is a trail map.

http://www.pointlobos.org/general-info/maps

2) I would make a reservation for Hearst Castle the first tour the next morning, after a night in Cambria, before going on. It is not far from Cambria to San Simeon, so while you are not really "heading back north" very much. The reason I say to visit San Simeon the next morning is that you will not want, through your Big Sur drive, to be rushing to meet a reservation at Hearst Castle.

3) Yes you should book Hearst Castle. You can do it online. They have the tour times.

Kibblesmom has listed the major stops on the drive down the Big Sur Coast. Take advantage of her knowledge and please don't rush.

Have a wonderful trip.

Avila Beach...
posts: 913
reviews: 2
2. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

In my opinion two hours would be the minimum for Point Lobos. Don't really know what your plans are for your day from Carmel to Cambria (aside from Pt Lobos), but Hearst Castle is only a few minutes from Cambria, so it is not much out of your way to do your Hearst Castle tour from Cambria in the morning.

Wayne, Pennsylvania
posts: 234
reviews: 106
3. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

Thanks for confirming what I thought might be best...we will visit Hearst in the morning.

Wayne, Pennsylvania
posts: 234
reviews: 106
4. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

Checked out the trail map...which hike provides a fabulous view? I did not see levels of difficulty and mileage. I guess we will get the info at the check-in but thinking ahead.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,630
reviews: 41
5. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

There's not a lot of elevation change in Point Lobos. I would say that all of the trails have low to medium levels of difficulty.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,017
reviews: 3
6. Re: Carmel to Hearst Castle to Cambria to Santa Barbara

LOVE the Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos. The parking lot for it is right in front of Whaler's Cove... a popular spot for local divers. Enjoy your trip!

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