My brother is flying out from the Chicago area mid-June and he and I are taking a trip up north from where I live in L.A. We're probably going to "quickly" buzz up the interior route to the Russian River area first where we will spend 3 nights. We then want to drive down the coast so that he can see our magnificent coastline here in California!
We'll drive down a ways from Jenner on Highway 1 and maneuver so we can drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. I've heard road conditions south of San Francisco along the coast are not in good shape at a point or two...so we'll probably stick to the 101 South and cut in at the Montery Peninsula area.
We were thinking of spending 2 nights in Big Sur...but lodging seems a little pricey or a little sketchy (reviews are widely mixed in the forums and on the review pages here). So maybe we'll spend a very inexpensive night at a Motel 6/Travelodge in Monterey/Carmel area on the first night and then start the next day by hitting Point Lobos. That seems pretty efficient way of winding South.
Just stumbled across info about Point Lobos Reserve. Is it really a "must see". Sound like it is beautiful spot, but I am totally in the dark about it. My brother is rather outdoorsy (we are kayaking/hiking in Russian River area...with a few wineries for me!). It it worth the stop or should we head directly to Big Sur?
Then I thought maybe we'd spend the next night in Big Sur proper...even though it is only 40-50 miles away. Hiking in Big Sur will probably be our biggest use of time...any other suggestions? Or particicular hikes that are "must do's"?
Also, Big Sur Lodge seems to be the most appealing lodging from what I've read...but running around $239/night for a 2-Queen room (why I'm considering the previous night at a budget motel). It is a decent spot to say, however, right? Any other spots you suggest? DeetJen's sounds cool...but don't know if I could relax not being able to lock our room when we went to hike. Glen Oaks sounds like a maybe? We aren't looking for a swanky resort...and don't want to camp...someplace clean, comfortable, safe to get a good night's rest after hiking.
Other possibility is to stay in Carmel are budget motel...do Point Lobos and a hike or two in Big Sur...and then stay 2nd night in Cambria (at my fav hotel). That might be too ambitious though. Trying to balance the driving and the exploring.
Regardless our last day will be spent driving back to L.A. Along the coast cutting in at SLO...so my brother can see Little Sur and Morro Bay.
I know, I'm long winded...basically looking for feedback on Point Lobos, Big Sur must do's/hikes and lodging in Big Sur. Also what stopover plan seems best with driving time and hiking time...1 night Carmel/1 night Big Sur...1 night Carmel/1 night Cambria...or 2 nights Big Sur?
Thanks greatly! Really looking forward to the trip!