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Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Hawaii
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9 posts
12 reviews
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Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

We are a family with well-traveled teenagers driving LA to Carmel and taking our time to enjoy the stops. Leaving LA on a Friday (probably by 1PM or so), should we go to Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach for our first night stop? next night will be in Cambria to see the Hearst Castle, then on to Carmel for three nights.

We're making the trek in March and live in a beach town in Hawaii. What do you recommend? Thanks so much!

So. Cal
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1,160 posts
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1. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Tough choice! But I'd go with Santa Barbara IF it's your first visit. SB is really a special jewel IMO. Heck, it's all good along the Central Coast!

IF you chose Pismo Beach you'll be much closer to Cambria the next day.

IF you stop in Pismo you might enjoy Sycamore Mineral Hot Springs! I LOVE that place! Private mineral hot tubs, clothing optional, surrounded by beloved oak trees-BYOB. HEAVEN!

Have fun!

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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20,496 posts
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2. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

I agree. Santa Barbara for the first night. Much nicer than Pismo Beach and a good choice considering the time you're leaving LA.

san luis obispo
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53 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

I would suggest taking 154 (San Marcos Pass) out of Santa Barbara. Under most traffic conditions, this is not only the scenic route but a short-cut as well. This will also give you a chance to see Solvang. Also consider picking up Hwy 1 between Lompoc and Santa Maria and taking that all the way to Pismo. You will also be near four beautiful Missions - SB, Santa Ynez, La Purisima (Lompoc) and San Luis Obispo.

Since you live by the beach, I suggest you stay in SB rather than Pismo. Also consider staying in San Luis Obispo instead of Cambria since you have teens.

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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4. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Santa Barbara for your first night is just about right. A Friday after lunch, begins the exodus out of LA for weekend getaways.

Monterey Peninsula...
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2,368 posts
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5. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Santa Barbara is a beautiful town. It's a model of excellent city planning and has a wealth of beautiful historic buildings, the most famous being the courthouse, Arllington Theater (see a show there if you can!), and the mission (the only California mission with symmetrical towers). If Monterey didn't exist, I'd want to live there.

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

SF Bay Area
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639 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Another vote for Santa Barbara!

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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53,472 posts
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7. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Santa Barbara.

Poor Pismo, no love on TA :)

Are your kids bringing wetsuits? Do they even own one?

Hawaii
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9 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

Poor Pismo. Thank you to all! Santa Barbara it is!!

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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20,496 posts
10 reviews
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9. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

I love Pismo, but, since the OP has a night planned in Cambria (Which is only 45 minutes from Pismo), Santa Barbara just made the most logical first night stop. Spreads the overnight stops out more evenly.

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35,740 posts
903 reviews
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10. Re: Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach?

The Harbor View Inn is a nice place to stay in Santa Barbara. They have a beautiful wharf there, Stearn's Wharf. www.santabarbara.com is a great website for the area. Enjoy your trip! :)