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PCH from LA to San Francisco

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asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
PCH from LA to San Francisco

My husband and I will be driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a couple weeks. What are some great restaurants and hotels to visit along the way? We aren't so much concerned about cost as we are uniqueness and hole in the wall places. We're also looking to stop at some of the more unique sites to visit along with the best views. Can you help??

Thanks! Leslie

Muskegon, Michigan
posts: 6,853
reviews: 39
1. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

Hi. First off the PCH route won't cover the entire LA to SF distance. You'll have to take US-101 for most of the trip to visit some of the sites on the way. Here's a few places to visit, explore or stay in along the trek:

-Santa Barbara: great nice beach town.

-San Luis Obispo: another nice beach town. The Madonna Inn is worth a visit there.

-Solvang: a little town with Danish touches everywhere

-San Simeon: home to Hearst Castle.

-Carmel: Pebble Beach golf course and the 17 Mile drive roadway is here.

-Monterey: Cannery Row, the Aquarium, little motels. Relive your Steinbeckian dreams here.

- San Jose: nice big town and capital of Silicon Valley area. Also home to the NHL's Sharks.

-Palo Alto: home to Stanford University.

-Santa Clara: the Great America theme park is here as well as the practice home and HQ of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

-Oakland: Jack London Square is awesome to visit.

And one bridge crossing later, you'll be in San Fran.

Hope that helps a bit :)

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 13,940
reviews: 3
2. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

How many nights/days do you have for the LA to SF part of your trip? It's a long drive following the coast, as there is a lot to see/do along the way. There are many unique lodgings along the coast, from rustic to opulent.

As previously mentioned, the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is quite unique, but be prepared for being transported back in time. The rooms haven't changed much in 40 years, but the place continues to be a huge draw. The Madonna Inn also houses 2 restaurants (which are very good) and a bakery. SLO isn't on the coast, though. It is about 15 minutes inland from the closest beach. http://www.madonnainn.org/

Cambria is a quaint town by the sea nestled in a pine forest. There are lots of charming lodging options from the Olallieberry Inn B&B to the Blue Whale Inn on Moonstone Beach Drive. Cambria has a few really great dining spots: Robin's, Sow's Ear, Black Cat Bistro & Madeline's.







Along the Big Sur coast:


http://www.treebonesresort.com/ (stay in a yurt in a remote area along the coast)

http://www.postranchinn.com/ (if you have money to burn... this is THE place)

Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove:






Edited: 6:50 pm, February 06, 2011
Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 32,659
reviews: 344
3. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

The drive along the coast is a combination of Highway 101 and Highway 1. You are on 101 until San Luis Obispo and then cut to the coast.

Cambria is the more or less halfway point between L.A. & S.F., but there are other towns like Santa Barbara & Monterey worthy of an overnight stay.

Santa Barbara has a lot of top flight restaurants and the county has some of the best wineries in country.

One place I love on the coast as you near San Francisco is the Moss Beach Distillery.


But Carmel/Monterey, like Santa Barbara has many world class restaurants.

asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
4. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

Fantastic List! Thanks so much! I'm making our reservation at the Madonna Inn now!

asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
5. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

This is a wonderful list of information. Thank you SO MUCH for taking such time to respond to it. We can't wait for this trip! I just added a day to it, so we'll have 3 days to get from LA to San Francisco and then 2 days in San Fran.......I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to lay the trip out between scenery, attractions and hours driving! Thank you again, Leslie

asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
6. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

Thanks for the information....the ghost story of this place is very interesting and just what we're looking for. It could be a nice stop for lunch!

Teaneck, NJ
Destination Expert
for New Jersey
posts: 6,495
reviews: 14
7. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

For views, check out this link tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32655-c86961/Los-Ang… and be sure to pay attention to the stuff at the bottom, "Coast Canyon Roads" for your trip up PCH

Sounds like you're a foodie -- be sure to eat at the Farmer's Market in LA tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32655-d219483/Los-An… and also the Pantry in downtown LA http://www.pantrycafe.com/ reviews at yelp.com/biz/original-pantry-cafe-los-angeles

Also, if you like hole in the wall places, we found small "taquerias" everywhere and had great meals

Did anyone metion Hearst Castle? http://www.hearstcastle.org/

asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
8. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

PS...the hotels you recommended are wonderful. There are some terrific ones to choose from....can't wait to book!

asbury park, new...
posts: 72
reviews: 110
9. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

Thanks, yes, we're foodies! But, vegetarian/fish/dairy foodies! Yes, we're going to go to Hearst Castle as well as the Winchester House in San Jose....

Visalia, CA
posts: 1,289
reviews: 34
10. Re: PCH from LA to San Francisco

Don't know if you're into wine but there are some great wineries along the central coast.