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Old 01-28-2016, 11:53 AM
 
263 posts, read 266,539 times
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I begin big drive from San Francisco along coast south to San Diego this weekend to see more California beauty for first time. Have started researching online especially cause sounds like may lose phone reception through Big Sur area though I have both Verizon and T-Mobile.

Just me, my car packed too full to sleep in (I am driving across USA to relocate), and small, shedless, quiet dog. Have tent, sleeping bag, blanket, warm coat, gloves, hat, layers, plenty of food with no refrigeration or stove needed. Will get dog a warm coat.

Budget quite tight and love nature so want to spend VERY little on lodging yet still get shower atleast every few nights. Looking into couchsurfing.com as have always had good experiences with it. Maybe monastery? But would also love to camp, like thinking of splurging one night at Fernwood Resort $70/night dog-friendly tent camping in Big Sur...includes laundry, electric outlets, fire pits, supplies store! Ok with rustic camping too but am single woman and wanna stay safe.

LOVE nature, hot springs, beaches, swimming, hikes, meeting people, you name it. But also wanna stick to budget and keep it all under 3 days. February weather and dog limit me too. Wanna avoid any super precarious roads and extreme tourist swarms.

Interested in hitting Half Moon Bay, dog-friendly beaches/trails (only fairly light dayhikes), Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, whatever parts of greater San Luis Obispo area are best, don't care as much about Santa Cruz/Davenport area cause already seen it. Wanna hit Santa Barbara, Ojai, Ventura, Santa Monica, maybe avoid L.A. Hit Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree...before heading to Arizona.

Nature is main goal but also seeing different little towns and cultures without spending barely any money there. Need wifi cafes with outlets along the way. Assume swimming holes too cold to swim Maybe there are affordable hot springs?

Found this:
14 Things You Need to Know Before Driving California's Big Sur

What are the best spots for my dog and I along the way???? Roadtrip tips?

THANK YOU!

Last edited by NatureYogi; 01-28-2016 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Good for you. I guess I don't understand are you relocating to Calif eventually. I live in Santa Monica for 50 yrs but explored all of CA and living in San Jose for 5 yrs at a point. Love the SLO community. Thought about relocating up there but it never happened....
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:26 PM
 
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Camping: kirk creek and limekiln near big sur. Pfeiffer as well. Montana de oro near slo. Further south: check out camprgounds near pt mugu. Sycamore is one cant recall other one. Remember: this is el nino year so you may want to be prepared for NO camping in feb. If you have to hide indoors motel 6 is cheapest chain and has options along the coast.

Cool towns: slo, cayucos, cambria, carpinteria, ventura. Most of LA is skippable if youre tight on funds! Nearly everything good costs money. And with only three days, even trying to do one thing can burn through your hours pretty quick due to traffic. Also if your moving to AZ it isnt a long trip to come back and visit LA later. Haul through and spend your limited time somwehere like palm springs or joshua tree. Skip ojai. Very nice place but with the trip your taking adds probably an hour of winding road out of your way. After the crazy drive from carmel to cambria i suspect you will slightly scale back your driving ambitions the rest of the way. I would plan for that now rather than later. And yes if you want beauty then the drive on 1 is worth it at least once in your life.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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One most important thing that isn't on that list (surprisingly) is to check to see if HWY 1 is open. During the winter rains parts are often is not with slides, etc.. Some stretches of 1 may not survive into the future. Interesting and distressing dilemma.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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To keep up to date about Big Sur :

Big Sur California Blog
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:28 AM
 
263 posts, read 266,539 times
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Thank you!! My trip starts tomorrow from Berkeley.

Thinking of going to atleast Monterey then deciding on either inland or more coast from there. Reading about driving south on Highway 1 makes me kinda nervous...but will check weather reports and be rested with full gas tank and early start if I do...and may regret if I don't do it. Hmm. Bought roadmaps. Had some really sunny days in Bay Area lately, rain pretty light.

What are safe spots between SF and San Diego to sleep in car? Can go awhile without bathroom, shower or campfire though filling car today and haven't yet tried sleeping sitting up.

(Stayed with various friends like a month to work a last-minute huge decluttering job, etc., then camped at campgrounds 3 nights, slept in car in fancy neighborhood last night, now at motel to recharge for a night. Found free showers at yoga studio and by making friends. Will be happy to return to "normal" life at trip end but gotta do shoestring budget most nights til then.)

Was reading online about least-safe portions of Highway 1 but info varies. Pfeiffer Beach to Cambria. Between Santa Cruz and Monterey?

Any hot springs advice welcome...

Last edited by NatureYogi; 02-02-2016 at 05:04 AM..
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:55 AM
 
263 posts, read 266,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
I guess I don't understand are you relocating to Calif eventually.
Jaminhealth: lived in Santa Cruz couple years, loved it but not for long-term. Left to Austin, Texas, a few months, loved it but left mainly for career reason. Then lived in inner East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito) past couple years, mostly love it. Haven't explored CA outside SF Bay Area enough. Gonna try living on East Coast again to be near parents and pregnant sister. If East Coast doesn't fit enough probably will return to Austin or California.

So SLO is your favorite? How come? What do you like about Santa Monica? Any other CA favorites?

Last edited by NatureYogi; 02-02-2016 at 05:09 AM..
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureYogi View Post
Thank you!! My trip starts tomorrow from Berkeley.

Thinking of going to atleast Monterey then deciding on either inland or more coast from there. Reading about driving south on Highway 1 makes me kinda nervous...but will check weather reports and be rested with full gas tank and early start if I do...and may regret if I don't do it. Hmm. Bought roadmaps. Had some really sunny days in Bay Area lately, rain pretty light.

What are safe spots between SF and San Diego to sleep in car? Can go awhile without bathroom, shower or campfire though filling car today and haven't yet tried sleeping sitting up.

(Stayed with various friends like a month to work a last-minute huge decluttering job, etc., then camped at campgrounds 3 nights, slept in car in fancy neighborhood last night, now at motel to recharge for a night. Found free showers at yoga studio and by making friends. Will be happy to return to "normal" life at trip end but gotta do shoestring budget most nights til then.)

Was reading online about least-safe portions of Highway 1 but info varies. Pfeiffer Beach to Cambria. Between Santa Cruz and Monterey?

Any hot springs advice welcome...
You're not along the coast from Santa Cruz to Monterey. No problem there. I was just referring to hwy1 in Big Sur.
And it could be just fine. That's why i provided the blog ... so you can stay present with what's happening.
I think the weather this week is pretty good actually.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Better luck in Santa Cruz county for spending the night on the road. In between the two counties? I wouldn't say so, no. Is that what you're talking about? Spending the night in vehicle?
Send me a private message re; that in S.C. county.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Mountains of Oregon
15,284 posts, read 17,691,842 times
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Here are some ideas i came across...

4. Where to Shower and Change | Bicycling Monterey

Drive Safely.

Be Safe...
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