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Old 03-30-2008, 09:03 PM
 
138 posts, read 528,861 times
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My wife & I will be visiting CA for the 1st time in August to celebrate our 10th anniversary. While there, we plan on driving the PCH but I'd really like to have some suggestions on nice towns to stop in, where to stay (we'll probably make at least 2 days of it, maybe 3) where to eat, etc.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. We can't wait!
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Currently California
1,546 posts, read 3,979,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdswines View Post
My wife & I will be visiting CA for the 1st time in August to celebrate our 10th anniversary. While there, we plan on driving the PCH but I'd really like to have some suggestions on nice towns to stop in, where to stay (we'll probably make at least 2 days of it, maybe 3) where to eat, etc.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. We can't wait!
Santa Barbara is worth a stop. It's only a couple of hours north of LA, but it is a beautiful town. I would probably drive up the coast from SB, make the obligatory stop at Hearst Castle -- it is something to see -- and stay the next night in Carmel (Big Sur, which you will drive through, is perhaps the most incredible stretch of coastline south of Oregon, but it is more of a camping site, although a couple of accomodations may be found there). Carmel is a smaller town and it is adjacent to the larger (and also nice) town of Monterey. Carmel has some great restaurants and 17 mile drive is worth a spin to seem some of its beautiful coastline. Monterey has an amazing aquarium (I am told, but I've never been) and both towns have some nice restaurants. I highly recommend the Flying Fish restaurant in Carmel. The food is incredible and I still recall an amazing rockfish that I had there ten years ago. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 56,172,750 times
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Brings back great memories. I rode my bike down the Pacific Coast Bike trail from SF to Moorpark in 1995.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd316/charles_ucsb/BIKE_SF2.jpg (broken link)

Here's where the main places to check out are:

Santa Cruz
Monterey (Aquarium, Kayaking in the bay; If you have kids take them to Dennis the Menace park)
Carmel
Big Sur
San Simeon (Hearst had his own electric power plant, I think it was 50 Hz AC)
Cambria
Morro Bay
San Luis Obispo
Pismo Beach
Solvang
Check out Andersons Split Pea soup nearby in Buellton. See if you can break the record of for eating the most bowls of soup (currently 11 or 25 or something??? I forgot. I think you win a trip to Denmark if you can break 25???)
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:07 PM
 
799 posts, read 2,835,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdswines View Post
My wife & I will be visiting CA for the 1st time in August to celebrate our 10th anniversary. While there, we plan on driving the PCH but I'd really like to have some suggestions on nice towns to stop in, where to stay (we'll probably make at least 2 days of it, maybe 3) where to eat, etc.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. We can't wait!
Oh, Big Sur and contrary to what another poster said there are some
wonderful places to stay. To spend the night and wake up in the morning in Big Sur is a special experience.

Big Sur Lodging Guide, Hotels, Resorts, Cabins, Vacation Rentals Big Sur California

Depending on your taste and budge here are 4 places to stay that i recommend. I've only stayed at the Big Sur Lodge (very sweet and clean cabins but not too "rustic") and Treebone resort (if you want a yurt experience on the cliffs overlooking the ocean) but have friends (with $$$) that would point you in the direction of either the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana.

Post Ranch Inn
Ventana Inn
Deetjens Big sur Inn
Big Sur Lodge

And Nepenthe is a great restaurant overlooking the pacific (lotta very cool history). I prefer to eat at the Cafe Kevah which is the outdoor cafe just underneath the main restaurant and also overlooking the ocean. It's a little less expensive and just a little more laid back. It's all Beautiful and magical.
Nepenthe - Big Sur, California - 831 667 2345

Happy Trails!
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:15 PM
 
138 posts, read 528,861 times
Reputation: 37
Thanks, Goozer. We LOVE seafood, so I'll put the Flying Fish on our short list .... and the Hearst Castle too.

Charles, thanks for the list. I wish we were into biking .... seems like a great way to see the world. My BIL lives in COS and bikes all over Colorado (all sorts of races/events, etc.). I stick to tennis & jogging. Anyway, my wife likes split pea soup but I'm not sure if she could eat more than a bowl or two : ).

Rubyskye, great info. TYVM.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:23 PM
 
799 posts, read 2,835,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdswines View Post
Thanks, Goozer. We LOVE seafood, so I'll put the Flying Fish on our short list .... and the Hearst Castle too.

Charles, thanks for the list. I wish we were into biking .... seems like a great way to see the world. My BIL lives in COS and bikes all over Colorado (all sorts of races/events, etc.). I stick to tennis & jogging. Anyway, my wife likes split pea soup but I'm not sure if she could eat more than a bowl or two : ).

Rubyskye, great info. TYVM.
Oh, i forgot to say ... bring your binoculars! Dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea otters and i can't remember when you said you were traveling but you may even see whales heading north. If it's at the right time and you want a good place to see them from .... Davenport just a few miles up the road from Santa Cruz.
And the aquarium in Monterey is one of the best if not the best.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:28 PM
 
138 posts, read 528,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyskye View Post
Oh, i forgot to say ... bring your binoculars! Dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea otters and i can't remember when you said you were traveling but you may even see whales heading north. If it's at the right time and you want a good place to see them from .... Davenport just a few miles up the road from Santa Cruz.
And the aquarium in Monterey is one of the best if not the best.
Sounds awesome! Late August is when we're travelling.

I had never even heard of a Yurt until your post, but I'm not sure that we could swing it. We are a little too "high maintenance," and when I say "we," I mean my wife .
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:07 PM
 
799 posts, read 2,835,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdswines View Post
Sounds awesome! Late August is when we're travelling.

I had never even heard of a Yurt until your post, but I'm not sure that we could swing it. We are a little too "high maintenance," and when I say "we," I mean my wife .
Well then you take her to the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana!!!
I think late August is way too early for the whales to be migrating south but bring those binoculars anyway for all the other Pacific ocean residents.
Hope you have a great trip.

Last edited by rubyskye; 03-31-2008 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,655 posts, read 7,350,936 times
Reputation: 1225
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdswines View Post
we plan on driving the PCH but I'd really like to have some suggestions on nice towns to stop in, where to stay (we'll probably make at least 2 days of it, maybe 3) where to eat, etc.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. We can't wait!
For a no-thrills but quiet and rustic trip back in time, I like the Piedras Blancas motel north of San Simeon. Movie rentals in the lobby and a tiny, low-key restaurant overlooking the bluff and roaring central-coast ocean. Front yard is "decorated" with a hodgepodge of odd items. It has a certain 1930s roadside nostalgia about it. Maybe the constant northwest wind adds a certain character to the place, too. Not sure what it is, but I like it.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 9,715,382 times
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Default If you are Wine Drinkers....

Then you defintely want to go to Solvang and then turn left into the Santa Ynez Valley. In Los Olivos, almost every winery has a tasting room. Along the road, there is a mini horse farm and a couple of apple orchards where you can pick your own apples.

Solvang is about 45 North of Santa Barbara so if you've decided to stop in Santa Barbara you won't be going out of your way. Also, if you like to gamble, the Chumash Indians have a casino next to Solvang. It's a very nice hotel and they have entertainment.
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