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  1. Default CA Central Coast San Luis Obispo to Monterey

    Hi everyone

    My Dad and I are planning a week long road trip to the Central Coast--I lived in SBP for a time and we can't wait to get back! We know there are tons of things to do so we decided just to focus on: Solvang, SLO, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, San Simeon, Cambria, Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey. What we're struggling with is whether or not to have a home base in SLO or stay at different towns along the way. Here are some of the things we'd like to do: (Flying into SLO 4/16/08, flying out of SLO 4/23/08)

    Spend 2 nights in SLO--do farmer's market and downtown also explore Solvang to the south
    Los Osos--bird watching in one of the parks
    Morro Bay--breakfast, shopping, maybe see some whales!
    Paso Robles--WINETASTING!
    San Simeon--more national parks and see the sea lions
    Cambria--walk around downtown and do Hearst Castle
    Big Sur--National Parks and Nepenthe
    Carmel--spend a half day?
    Montery--Aquarium and maybe play pool at a bar??

    I'm looking for advice as far as whether there are any other things that we can't miss and also your suggestions on what towns to stay in given that my Dad and I do like to imbibe.

    Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Second Base

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your trip sounds wonderful, and I'm sure that you and your dad will enjoy it. You also seem to have a good handle on the things you want to see and do. The one piece of useful advice I think I can offer is on your struggle to set up the housing logistics. To me, it seems as though you could well do with a second home base for the latter part of the trip. While it's true that it's only about 125 miles from San Louis Obispo to Monterey, trying to drive up and back in a day would by way of the PCH would leave almost no time for sight seeing either on the way or in the Monterey area. So I think that while you can easily accommodate everything from San Simeon southward from your base in SLO, you would be well served to move north for the last 2-3 days. My wife and I did this same kind of trip (in reverse) a few years ago and found a lovely house to rent for not too, too much in Pacific Grove, which doesn't have the cachet (or prices) of Monterey, Carmel, or Pebble Beach, but is just as close to the things you want to see and do in that area. Hope that helps.


  3. Default A couple more suggestions

    You might add..

    Checking out some of the writer's and artists history in Big Sur, including lunch at Nepthene in Big Sur.

    There are several very nice old Spanish Missions along this path -- Carmel, Santa Barbara, San Ynez, etc.

    Gilroy is home of the US Garlic Festival. Pretty good food and some rather unique offerings (Garlic ice cream??).

    There's a pretty good small natural history musuem in Santa Barbara on the natural history of the local area (not far from the Mission).

    Pinnacles National Monument is interesting. Carrizo Plain National Monument is interesting as well -- both of these are a bit of a drive from the coast, but could be an interesting counterpoint.

    For a shorter path, I've gone inland and driven along the San Adreas fault area, just to see it. There's a walking tour in Hollister to see some of the effects of the fault movement on the town.

    If you're looking for birds, there are several good places to look for the California Condor to the east of SLO and Santa Maria.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post

    For a shorter path, I've gone inland and driven along the San Adreas fault area, just to see it. There's a walking tour in Hollister to see some of the effects of the fault movement on the town.

    And there's a walking tour within the Carrizo Plain NM, as well. It's on the east side of the basin, across Soda Lake from the CPNM Observation Point on the knoll directly beside the dry lake.


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