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Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

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Walnut Creek...
posts: 12
reviews: 3
Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

We will drive down from San Francisco to LA through US101 and Hwy 1 for 4 days vacation in New Year Eve. The first night we plan on staying in Lompoc. I only have time to stop over in one place the first day. Which one is better: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach? They both seems interesting places. Second day we will go to Solvang and the Fall close to Solvang. I plan to arrive Ojai around 4:30pm to see the pink mountain at sunset and stay at LA the second night. Then I will go on to watch Rose parade at Pasadena. Any advise on this itineary?

5 replies to this topic
Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,775
reviews: 7
1. Re: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

Never been to Jalama, but Guadalupe- Nipomo is very pretty, highly recommend it. If you come in from the inland side you can do the walkway over Oso Flaco Lake and head over the dunes to the beach. The only thing that may stop that is the snowy plover.You may be asked to leave the beach when walking as it may upset the bird.Meanwhile the ranger drives up and down the beach.HUH? You can get a ticket for flying a kite too.

Whatever...go see it.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,621
reviews: 3
2. Re: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

Just an FYI:

The Rancho Guadalupe Dunes are located west of Santa Maria via Main Street/Highway 166 West off ramp from the 101. This is north of Lompoc, so you would want to stop there first BEFORE continuing on to Lompoc.

Why Lompoc?

Walnut Creek...
posts: 12
reviews: 3
3. Re: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

I need one night stop between San Francisco and LA. I never been to any places south of Pismo Beach before. I also want to avoid the crowd or too much tourists such as Solvang and Santa Barbara (and they are more expensive to stay). So I think Lompoc is pretty centrally located between SF and LA. Other than the driving in two days to LA, I want to get some sightseeing too. If I go to both Guadalupe Dunes and Jalama beach, I probably need to skip Solvang so I can get to LA the second night. If I skip Jalama beach, probably I can skip Lompoc too.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,621
reviews: 3
4. Re: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

Pismo Beach is actually more centrally located between SF and LA, but Santa Maria might be a better option over Lompoc. There are a few hotels right off Highway 101 at the Broadway Street off ramp just as you cross the Santa Maria River bridge. Then you could visit Rancho Guadalupe Dunes from there (possibly on the same day) and make your way to LA the following morning.

Santa Maria to LA is about a 3 hour drive, so you would have time to visit Solvang or Jalama Beach before continuing on to LA.

Los Angeles...
posts: 59
reviews: 8
5. Re: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve or Jalama Beach?

Kibbles Mom suggests the best option for you perhaps.

For just a one night stop and short on time (via hwy 101, it is a minimum five hour drive), Lompoc is pretty much out of the way for you as you leave the 101 to reach it.

Jalama Beach,

- although nice to go and enjoy their "famous" Jalama burgers while camping overnight

- is quite small but you can get out on the beach and walk a distance.

- can have tar and seaweed along the water

- the wind can gust through there in the afternoons and the water is fairly cold (if you want to play or surf, wear a wetsuit).

- NO cell reception

- the drive off hwy 101 to Jalama Rd is about 10 minutes. Then another half hour on a 14 mile curvy and windy road.

-Lompoc is about 45 minute drive from Jalama Beach.

Unless you plan to visit Lompoc's most extensively restored mission in California with docents to guide you on the weekends, see the wine ghetto for wine tasting, or enjoy arts and murals, then enjoying the dunes and staying in Santa Maria (thus saving an additional two hours on the road just to go to Jalama beach) might be the best option. Prices for hotels in Lompoc and Santa Maria are comprable and you could get even better prices through Priceline.

Hope this helps some. :)

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