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  1. Default San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 5 or 6 days

    My husband and I are are in our early 50s and planning a road trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara over the course of about 5-6 days. We love nature, street fairs, and anything interesting and fun. Where do you recommend we spend our nights? What sites should we visit? We want to arrive in Santa Barbara a day or so before the 4th of July and spend the 4th there. We'll be spending 5 days in SF prior to the road trip, so no need to go into the SF attractions. It's the road between the two cities we're interested in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Where to Begin

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are literally dozens of great attractions along the Pacific Coast Highway on your way south, but even with 5 or 6 days you'll have to limit yourself. Some that are definitely worth looking into are the Aquarium in Monterey as well as some of the historic buildings. Unfortunately, I think that budget cuts have led to the cancellation of the docent-led walking tours. Also check out Seventeen Mile Drive and Pebble Beach. Window shopping in Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Carmel Mission, San Carlos Borroméo, then any number of beaches and rookeries on the way south. the stunning waterfall into the ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns Sate Park, Randolph Hearst's San Simeon, Morro Bay, and a city consistently rated one of the best places to live, San Luis Obispo, and finally a 'shortcut' via US-101 and CA-154 over the Santa Ynez Mountains into Santa Barbara.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Before you even get to Monterey, there's Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

    Book a tour at Hearst Castle in advance. Just south of there, Cambria is a charming little town for an overnight stay.

    South of San Luis Obispo is Pismo Beach.

    Instead of taking 154, go a bit farther south to Buellton and take 246 into Solvang. You can continue on to 154 or backtrack to 101 to get to Santa Barbara from there.

  4. #4

    Default And don't forget Cambria

    Cambria is on the PCH just below Morro Bay. It's a small village and there are a number of quaint, small motels on the landward side of an old section of the PCH, now a quiet 2-lane street. A walkway is on the ocean side and there are steps leading down to Moonstone Beach, some 25' in elevation below the road. A "point break" on the immediate south side of the beach draws surfers year-round, and there are a number of shops, restaurants, and small bars, all within strolling distance of the motels. The re-routed PCH now runs about 1 block east, behind the motels, etc. My wife and I enjoyed a late lunch there about 3 years ago, and we were so enthralled with the place we ended up spending the afternoon hanging around Cambria and vowed to return for an overnight.

    Much farther north, Capitola offers some small and entirely cool-looking motels and a collection of shops, restaurants, and bars right on the beach at the mouth of a small river. That looks like a great place for an overnight, too.


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