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Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

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Waterloo, Ontario
posts: 1,116
reviews: 2
Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

We're driving down the coast in May. Our itinerary has us staying in Paso Robles Tuesday night on our way to San Diego. We're hoping to continue using the coastal route through LA, stopping in Huntington Beach for a while and be in San Diego by around 4:00 pm on Thursday. Where would be the best place to stop for the Wednesday night? We're thinking logistically Santa Barbara makes sense although we won't really have much time for sight-seeing so it just needs to be a convenient stop with a handy restaurant. We hoped a nice water front location/sunset view room might be nice for a one night stop. Any suggestions?

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,869
reviews: 3
1. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

The drive from Paso to Santa Barbara is only a 2 hour drive. You might want to get a little further south that night. You can still spend some time in SB, leave around 6:30 pm to avoid some of the commute traffic and overnight perhaps in Ventura. IF you overnight in Santa Barbara or Ventura, you shouldn't hit the road until after 9:30 am to avoid the morning traffic, which will slow you down considerably... even along the coast.

Avila Beach...
posts: 935
reviews: 7
2. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

Since you're not looking for sight seeing, you might want to check out the Cliff House Inn in Mussel Shoals, between SB and Ventura. Beautiful location with the waves crashing beneath you all night and they have a good restaurant on site.

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 19
3. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

If it were me I'd push on to somewhere along the coast in L.A., perhaps Santa Monica or even further south. Driving from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara, Ventura area is nothing like driving along the coastline once you hit Santa Monica. L.A., Orange and San Diego counties are VERY populated, therefore it's congested and much more time consuming to get to San Diego along the coast. DO leave Paso early enough so you can stop by Santa Barbara and plan to drive during daylight along PCH through Malibu.

Enjoy!

Cuenca, Ecuador
Destination Expert
for California Desert
posts: 1,217
reviews: 47
4. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

Hello, SharonAnne, and welcome to the Santa Barbara forum.

Santa Barbara and Ventura do all what you want nicely. . . the convenient stop, handy restaurant, and ocean view/sunset.

Don't overlook, however, some other locations along the coastal route you are taking that will do the job easily as well, and perhaps with less cost on lodging. Carpenteria, south of Santa Barbara, and Oxnard, south of Ventura have what you want too. Carpenteria has some great sunsets at the wide sandy beach, while Oxnard has a small craft harbor and restaurants, shops and lodging nearby.

Huntington Beach is on the San Diego Freeway/Interstate 405 in Orange County. If you leave Thursday morning at 9:00 AM or somewhat later, you should miss the commuter traffic while stopping a couple hours at Huntington Beach. Make sure you get out of Huntington Beach by about 2 PM, as the commuter traffic will build as time progresses as you head south to San Diego.

Enjoy your travels with us.

Waterloo, Ontario
posts: 1,116
reviews: 2
5. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

Thanks for all your advice. I agree with trying to push on a little closer to LA so it looks like we will have multiple options of somewhere to stay when we decide to stop driving for the day. If we end up in Huntington Beach/area later in the afternoon and can't get out of there before rush hour, when would you think would be the best time to head out to San Diego - will 7:00 pm be okay on a Thursday?

Edited: 8:11 pm, April 02, 2013
Cuenca, Ecuador
Destination Expert
for California Desert
posts: 1,217
reviews: 47
6. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

SharonAnn, 7:00 PM would be doable on a weekday evening. . . arrive around 9:00 PM, then tumble into bed for the night. Not a bad way to handle it if that's what you like.

posts: 27,632
reviews: 740
7. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

Laguna Beach would also be a nice stop. They have a good Travelodge there, right across the street from The Montage and a beautiful beach. :)

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 19
8. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

Hi Sharonann~

I'm under the impression you'd like to drive to along PCH to San Diego? Is that correct or are you just taking the freeway to Huntington Beach and then San Diego? At some point you'll need to get on the freeway regardless.

IF you're driving PCH through Orange County from Huntington Beach you can leave whenever you wish. You'll recognize rush hour but it's not like the freeway since more folks live and work inland than along the coast. Still, you'll need to get on the 5 freeway in Dana Point and then get off in Oceanside to continue down PCH. One of the reasons it takes so much time to drive along PCH is traffic signals and the speed limits. If it were me I'd definitely drive down PCH through OC; it's more scenic and less stressful.

Hopefully, you'll come back so we know exactly what your plan is. It does make a difference!

Cheers!

Waterloo, Ontario
posts: 1,116
reviews: 2
9. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

We haven't completely mapped out the route yet but we are definitely planning to drive the PCH towards San Diego as far as we can. We can find freeways anywhere in the country, there's only one PCH.

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 19
10. Re: Paso Robles to San Diego - where to stay 1 night

***We can find freeways anywhere in the country, there's only one PCH.***

Great attitude! When you confirm a route, if you'd like some tips as where to stop or eat let us know.

My favorite beach town in OC is Laguna Beach, it's the most scenic. TRY to make a stop if you can.

Enjoy the ride!

Happy travels.