I’ve never been to the central coast and it’s been on my list! Love knocking things off the travel list. We’re planning on the end of August.
We’re going to go from LA to Santa Cruz and have 8 nights total. My hub has never been to LA so he wants to see it (and has a friend there) and we have friends in Santa Cruz we’ll stay with for two nights at the end of the trip. We’d arrive late on a Friday night (arriving LAX after midnight) to the following Saturday night (leaving on a red eye at 10pm)
I’m torn on some things. Do we skip staying in Santa Barbara altogether and hit Pismo beach instead?? Do we want to go to the Channel Islands for a half day trip and spend two nights in SB? I’m torn on that! I think it may be too much. In Pismo, I found the Dolphin resort that looks great, but I hate to just spend one day there. I want to both explore and relax and have the nicest beaches/view and hotels possible. For Santa Barbra, I was thinking of the Harborview Inn, but its looking very expensive.
Need help on a hotel in Big Sur. Something nice with hot tubs/springs, etc (does that exist?) or do we stay in Monterey? I definitely am wanting a bunch of relaxing beach/pool time but it’s hard when there is so much to see. Definitely hitting the Monterey aquarium one day on the way to Santa Cruz.
Here’s what I have so far…any help/recommendations on where to stay is greatly appreciated! Am I doing too much?
Fri 8/18 Arrive really late on a Friday night—get to Santa Monica at about 1am. Staying at Shangri La.
Sat 8/19 – Stay in Santa Monica/Venice—pool and beach time
Sun 8/20 – Pool/beach, Drive around Hollywood—see tourist stuff and then Topanga if there is time. Stay in Santa Monica one more night or drive to S. Barbara in the evening.
Mon 8/21 – Go to Santa Barbara. Stay at the Harborview inn. Hang at hotel/pool/beach town.
Tues 8/22 - Channel Islands cruise? Half day. Stay in Santa B. OR drive directly to Pismo beach or Big Sur
Wed 8/23 – Pismo Beach or Big Sur—national parks/beaches
Thursday 8/24 – Pebble beach/Monterey aquarium, drive to santa cruz by evening, stay with friends in santa cruz Thursday night
Friday 8/25 – stay in SC w/friends
Sat 8/25 – stay in SC for day---go home on 10pm red eye
Sun 8/26 – arrive early AM