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hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

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Los Angeles, CA
posts: 131
reviews: 40
hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

I am re tweaking my road trip based on some of your very helpful posts. I was going to travel from Pismo Beach to Monterey in one day including several stops but I think it would be better to stop somewhere 1/2 way.

Any suggestions for a place to rest our heads? There will be four of us, ages between 5 and 75...

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 16,114
reviews: 9
1. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

There really is no need to stop halfway between Pismo & Monterey, unless you want to sleep under the redwood trees in Big Sur. It's less than a 4 hour drive WITHOUT stops. And, considering that there are FEW choices at a true halfway point, just pushing through is your best bet.

Los Angeles, CA
posts: 131
reviews: 40
2. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Thanks Kibblesmom.

We plan to visit the butterfly sanctuary in the am, then look for sea otters in Cambria, and stop at the Elephant Seal Rookery and finally wind up in Monterey before dark. In December.

Still advisable?

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 16,114
reviews: 9
3. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Sure!

IF you left Pismo Beach by 10 am, that gives you just over 6 hours for the drive before it gets dark. I think it's quite doable.

BTW- The best place to look for otters in Cambria is at Leffingwell Landing off Moonstone Beach Drive. Turn left onto Windsor Blvd and a sudden right onto Moonstone Beach Drive and continue down past all the hotels, cross the bridge and make an immediate left turn into Leffingwell Landing.

The only hotel roughly halfway between Pismo and Monterey is Lucia Lodge, which is VERY remote and limits you to dining at their restaurant. The lodge gets mixed reviews. The views, though, are spectacular!

Los Angeles, CA
posts: 131
reviews: 40
4. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Thanks for the tip, now I know just where to go! I sure do hope it doesn't rain that day!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 38,665
reviews: 369
5. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Kibblesmom is the experts expert here. I agree there is no need to stop between Pismo & Monterey.

Petaluma, California
Destination Expert
for Petaluma
posts: 1,157
reviews: 97
6. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

I would like to add one thing. Add a stop after Pismo Monarchs in Morro Bay to see otters. You are almost guaranteed to see many on the left side of the road at Morro Rock in the calm bay. State Parks even has docents there on weekends to tell you more about the otters. It's all a great trip you have planned. And I agree. You can do in one day easily even with several nature stops. Dine for lunch in Cambria.

Edinburgh, Scotland
posts: 162
reviews: 53
7. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Hi, can I please piggy back on this forum to ask a wee question? Friend and I are driving from San Fran to Morro Bay in a day (in mid December) I would rather take it easy and book take 2 days to enjoy the scenery etc but she's keen to get to LA the following day!

Given that we'll only have 6 hours of daylight time (plan to pick up the hired car at 10am to ensure we don't get snarled up in rush hour traffic) what do you think is the "absolutely must see" stops. My thoughts were to choose one/two stops at either Carmel, Monterey or Hearst Castle.

Thanks.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 16,114
reviews: 9
8. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Maggiesoup

You won't have time for stops with that plan or you'll end up driving the south end of the Big Sur coast in the dark where the majority of tight hairpin turns are. Sorry, but that's the reality of it. You certainly won't make it to Hearst Castle before the last tour. SF to Hearst Castle IS a 6 hour drive WITHOUT stops via Highway 1.

Edited: 12:25 pm, November 22, 2012
San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 10,811
reviews: 82
9. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Can you get an early start? On the road by 7 and the plan will be better.

Edinburgh, Scotland
posts: 162
reviews: 53
10. Re: hotels half way between Pismo Beach and Monterey

Just spoken to my friend and she's happy to leave SF at night and book into a place en route to enable us to get max daylight for the trip.

So...... what's the ideal stop down the coast to book in. Looking at the map I'm thinking maybe Santa Cruz ?

If we get away sharp, ie 8am next morning, could we see Monterey, Carmel and Hearst Castle before 4.30pm?

~Thanks