Road trip at california coast
I have 12 days for a trip on the California Coast. Any suggestion about the itinerary?
Take the variety route
With 12 days, you can do more than just the "coast." Try some of the inland attractions as well -- Gold Rush Country and Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, some of the Redwood parks, San Francisco and Death Valley, etc. Check out some of the missions, if you are interested in history, and so on. Bob
While Bob's point is well taken...
While it is true that 12 days could allow time for exploring other sections beyond the coast -- stick to your plan!
Twelve days on the coast sounds like heaven to me. Where are you starting from? How far south on the coast are you planning to go?
My personal favorites would have to include -- Eureka and the Redwoods National Park area. Mendocino -- I could spend 12 days easily exploring the Mendocino/Big River area. The <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/stanford.htm">Stanford Inn<a/> is pricey but without question my favorite inn in America.
The ocean-bound waves and rip-tides seen from Point Reyes have to be seen to be believed.
San Francisco and Mt. Tam -- hard to beat.
Big Sur and Monterey -- be sure to do the aquarium at Monterey and then walk to the (free) jetty and watch the sea otters play.
One of the best guides I have ever seen for <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/California-Highway-1.htm">California Highway 1<a/> is tiny little book -- only 59 pages but full of gems.
This route is a 12 day route I have done that covers an aweful lot of variety including the coast.
Mark has some great suggestions. I know a retired couple (my father's college roommate and roommate's wife) who taught (teach?) a course at the Monterrey Acquarium on whales and their migration along the coast. I can see if they are still teaching the course and I'd be glad to pass along any info if I get it. They live in Carmel in a beautiful house that has huge windows overlooking the ocean with telescopes for viewing the wales.
Anyhow, I'd also like to suggest a stop at San Simean, which is William Randolph Hearst's estate along the PCH, also know as Hearst's Castle. It's an amazing place. I have been there twice, once when I was 15 with my family, and once when I was 21 on my solo roadtrip in 2000. It's a trule remarkable place that speaks to the extravagance that the rich and famous of the early-mid 1900s lived in.
When I was on my trip in 2000, I made my way south along the "coast" from Victoria, BC to San Diego in about just about 12 days, so I would say that a California-only coastal trip is definitely doable in that time frame.