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Coast trip planning - help needed!

UK
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Coast trip planning - help needed!

Hello all,

We're planning our honeymoon for next September. It's our first trip to California. We're not into lazing around doing nothing so we've planned quite a few stops but we don't know if it's too ambitious!

The plan at the moment is:

4 nights in San Diego (Coronado- Glorietta Bay Inn), driving to Santa Monica and staying two nights (The Georgian Hotel), driving up to Ragged Point (2 nights at Ragged Point Inn), driving to Monterey/Carmel (1 night), 2 nights in Napa and finally 4 nights in San Francisco (Hotel Monaco).

Any advice or opinions? Nothing is booked yet- the current itinerary is the result of hours of planning and reading forum posts and guidebooks -but we’re open to suggestions.

We haven't picked a hotel in Napa or Monterey/Carmel yet as these are new additions to the itinerary, suggestions would be appreciated; we're looking at mid-range hotels.

Is this too much for one trip??

Thanks

CJ

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

Wow!!! Other than helping you pick out the best CAlifornia wines to go with this trip you have picked the best and most romantic places to visit.

In San Diego;have lunch in LaJolla. When driving up to Santa Monica;exit the 5 frwy at the beach cities exit in Orange County; then have lunch at Laguna Beach.

On the way up to Big Sur;stop in Santa Barbara for lunch.

Cheers and Buon Viaggio!!!

UK
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2. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

Wine recommendations are always welcome!! Thanks for the tips, I'll out them in my ever-expanding planner.

Watford
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3. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

Carmel and Napa have many wonderful and expensive lodging options so you won't go wrong in either place. I would think that Carmel and nearby Pacific Grove are slightly nicer (in the romantic sense) than Monterey which has a greater selection of mid priced accommodation.

A lot of excellent B&B's can be accessed via www.selectregistry.com.

If you can spare two nights in Carmel/Monterey so that you have a full day in the area then please do. The aquarium in Monterey is as good as any in the world and the whole area (17 miles drive, Point Lobos, shopping in swanky Carmel) is delightful.

A full day in The Napa Valley can be taking up wine tasting but if you are not interested then just driving around is fun and we enjoyed The Jack London State Park located in Glenn Ellen within The Sonoma Valley which lies parallel to The Napa. Sonoma itself makes for an interesting (and possibly less expensive) alternative to Napa.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time and congratulations.

adamhornets@yahoo.com

Scotland
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4. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

I am just home from a trip to California. It was fantastic.I drove down to LA from San Francisco.My advice is and please listen if you are on highway #1 please make sure you are not driving when dark it was a nightmare for us.It is a fantastic drive when daylight so beware dont get caught out.

Seems like you are taking your time so prob you wont meet the darkness.Be careful and you will enjoy.Its a fantastic place to visit.

Linz

Petaluma, California
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5. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

You are really on the right course to having a great trip. My only suggestion would be to adjust one of the nights at Ragged Point or in Carmel and spend one extra night instead in Napa. Only 2 nights in Napa (and Sonoma) is just not enough. Three would be best.

Have a fantastic time.

One suggestion for wineries - is call and book a reservation for a tour at Schramsberg. They make champagne and their tasting which accompanies their tour is fantastic. I also like to taste at Mumm. I know this sounds weird but be sure to ask for the famous cheese crackers there.

Also, I would add a hot air balloon ride while in Napa. Fantastic!!

UK
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6. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

great - thanks for all the advice! We are thinking about having a day less in San Diego and having an extra night in Carmel/Monterey instead as everyone seems to think it's definitely worth an extra day. And we are looking to doing a hot air ballon flight, in Napa would be amazing.

Los Altos...
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7. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

I think you're right to cut back one night in San Diego. San Diego is nice and all, but you want to give yourself some time to enjoy the coast.

Los Altos...
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8. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

Are you going to keep your car once you get to SF, or are you going to return it and go carless (as we often recommend)?

If you end up keeping it for a day or two, here's a garage about a block from your hotel that is the most reasonable we've heard:

"Found a garage at 644 Geary (bet. Jones and Leavenworth), 2 1/2 blocks away, for $17/day with in/out or $15 if you leave it. By far the best deal I could find and close to many other downtown hostelries as well."

New York, NY
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9. Re: Coast trip planning - help needed!

I was just on a business trip in Sept. that had me at the Hotel Coronado. It was so beautiful there, however, nothing prepared me for the beauty of La Jolla. I spent the weekend there after the meeting and I was blown away. Now, I haven't been to N. California YET, but I absolutely loved it in La Jolla. Sitting on the beach at Windandsea, LaJolla Shores (walking over to Blacks beach)or even Torry Pines beach is amazing. If I had my honeymoon to do over again, this would be it. If you can go, I ate at George's and it was wonderful.