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1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

Khartoum, Sudan
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1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

I am doing a west coast drive ending in Vegas with my husband for his 30th. We will be spending 4 nights in San francisco, 1 or 2 nights in Santa Barbara, then 4 (or 5 depending on Santa Barbara decision) followed by 3 nights in San Diego, and then off to Vegas for 5 nights.

We not going to be visiting too many (if any) museums in Santa Barbara, and would probably just be eating good food, and going to the beach. Would 1 night (arriving around 10am departing around 6am the next day) be enough? What other experiences are a must in Santa Barbara?

Your help is much appreciated!

Manhattan Beach...
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1. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

We like Santa Barbara for two nights. Beside the beach, fun to walk on Stern's Wharf, have a seafood meal, visit the Mission Grounds near downtown.

Fun to rent bikes or surries to ride along the beach as well.

santabarbara.com/community/…

Uden, The...
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2. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

Suggest to spend another night between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. You don't want to miss hw1 along the coast and SF to SB already is close to an 8 hours drive without stops that way.

Edited: 5:09 am, February 07, 2013
Khartoum, Sudan
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3. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

Really? 8 hours! I have been looking online and it says its a 5 hour drive! Thank you guys - welcoming any more advise :)

Uden, The...
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4. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

The drive along the coast will take a lot longer. But even on the inland 101 drive I'd count on more than 5 hours. Many people even take 3 overnight stops like in Monterey/Carmel, Cambria and Santa Barbara. We once spent a full week between SF and LA and weren't bored.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

Yeah, the Highway 1 drive is a lot longer than it looks, because the road is only one lane in some places and very winding. I'd suggest SF to Cambria for one night and then one night in Santa Barbara.

Khartoum, Sudan
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6. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

hmm....thinking about skipping Santa Barbara, spending an extra day in San Francisco and going on a wine route in Napa on that extra day. Good idea? Would then fly to LA?

Edited: 11:42 am, February 07, 2013
SoCal
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7. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

It just depends on your preference and interests. I personally prefer the coast drive over wineries.

Santa Monica, CA
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8. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

I would not skip Santa Barbara or the drive down the coast. Santa Barbara has some nice winery tours (of course it's not Napa wines, but respectable in their own right). Plus the drive down the coast is really worthwhile.

Most hotels and motels in Santa Barbara, at least weekends, though, require a 2 night stay.

If you drive, be sure to swing by the town of Solvang:

http://www.cityofsolvang.com/

Los Angeles
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9. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

Its a matter of personal preference, of course. But the highway 1 drive is one of the most scenic drives in the U.S. if not the whole word, especially in the Monterey / Carmel and Big Sur areas. Of course, Napa Valley is one of the world's premier wine areas so I'd do whichever one strikes your fancy.

Pasadena, California
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10. Re: 1 night in Santa Barbara or 2?

There are 4 popular ways to get from SF to LA:

1. IF you are NOT renting a car in SF, and are not interested in the coastal scenery and small towns along the way, just fly. Look at Southwest Airlines, a very popular local airline which will not appear on Expedia or other sites. You could fly from SFO or Oakland, into LAX or Burbank.

2. A two-day or 3-day drive that includes the gorgeous Big Sur coastline. This drive is a combination of highways: Freeways from SF to Monterey; Narrow and winding, but gorgeous, Rte. 1, from Monterey to San Luis Obispo: Freeway #101 from San Luis Obispo to LA. This drive is extremely popular among travellers who are interested in our smaller towns and beautiful coast line. It is very important to drive the Monterey-Cambria section during daylight hours. Stops along the way: Monterey; Cambria/San Luis Obispo area for an overnight; Santa Barbara. If interested in this option, let us know and we will help you plan it.

3. Freeway #101, for a pleasant 7.5 hour drive that will include some coastal scenery and nice small towns, especially between Paso Robles and Ventura. This is the route to take if you want to stop in Santa Barbara but not do the Big Sur drive.

4. Freeway #5. Fast, boring. Will only be about an hour shorter than #101, so not really recommended for tourists. No place to stop, other than McDonalds, etc.

Edited: 3:21 pm, February 07, 2013