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  #1  
Old 09-05-2014, 03:00 AM
FuzzyToaster FuzzyToaster is offline
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Default things to do between San Francisco and LAX?

Along the pacific coast highway. Great food especially. I want to see the elephant seals for sure. Maybe Monterey bay aquarium. Nothing super expensive. Soooo spam me please!
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2014, 04:19 AM
k8secondo k8secondo is offline
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Visit me!!!! I live near Monterey!

If you want a scenic drive down the coast, Hwy 1 is amazing. Just be aware that going south you will be on the cliff side, meaning huge drop-offs down to the ocean out the passenger window. Not for the faint of heart or those scared of heights. Also, traffic can be heavy and it takes at least twice as long to go that way than by going down the 101. It's also super curvy, so not good if prone to carsickness. If you want to just see a portion of it, including Big Sur, I would start in Monterey and go south to Morro Bay. That will take 4-5 hours depending on traffic (it takes about 2.5 on the 101). There are some great restaurants in Big Sur, Nepenthe or the Big Sur Roadhouse are good.

The MB aquarium is awesome. It was just voted one of the top aquariums in the world and the kids would love it. Plan on several hours there. I have two guest passes to get people in, so depending on the day you are here and my schedule I can drive over and get you in.



Other ideas (I can give you more info if you want):

San Jose - Children's Discovery Museum, Happy Hollow Zoo (combination playground & small zoo)

Santa Cruz/Aptos/Capitola - Beach Boardwalk (check schedule to make sure it's open), Gayles Bakery and/or The Buttery are two amazing bakeries delis.

Hearst Castle in San Simeon (there are usually elephant seals just north of here at Piedras Blancas)

Paso Robles - Wine country, lots of wineries and tasting rooms

San Luis Obispo - fun downtown area, Mission, huge Farmer's Market on Thursday nights, college town, great restaurants, Novo is my favorite

Avila Beach - great beach with playground, gentle surf, farmer's market on certain nights, Avila Barn farm stand on the drive to the beach with petting zoo and produce, my parents love The Custom House restaurant for seafood.

Pismo Beach - huge long beach, good for walking, waves can be rough, weather is not as good as Avila, often windy, depending on the time of year you can see Monarch butterflies nesting in a grove of trees

Solvang - Touristy town full of Danish heritage, wooden shoes, windmills, shops, and BAKERIES! Yum!

Santa Barbara - Beautiful town of the rich and famous, lol, lots of good restaurants, beach is ok, Mission has a beautiful rose garden

Summerland- Super small beach town, but has a few great burger shops, Tinker's is our favorite.

Ventura - another beach town but bigger, great shops along Main St, awesome fabric store called Super Buzzy

Let me know if you have any other questions or want more info.
~~~~~~~
Also in Monterey there is a huge playground called Dennis the Menace park that is fun.
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Last edited by k8secondo; 09-05-2014 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #3  
Old 09-05-2014, 01:52 PM
FuzzyToaster FuzzyToaster is offline
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No kids are going! Just me and my bestie for 3 days! We are planning on hwy 1. I'm glad I have a heads up about the drop off. We will be getting in at LAX on the 20th and flying out of San Francisco on the 22nd.

Thanks for all the info! I don't know if we will have time for the aquarium. we only have a little bit of time, so I doubt we will want to designate basically a whole day to it. Even though I really want to check it out.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:47 PM
k8secondo k8secondo is offline
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Oh, in that case, if you are coming up from the south you will be on the inside of the scariest parts, so it's not so frightening.

Hwy 101 is basically merged with the 1 until San Luis Obispo, then you can get on it and go up to Monterey from there.

I've never gone all the way to SF north on Hwy 1, the furthest we got was Pescadero which is a fun little town. I think a little ways after that is Half Moon Bay, and then Pacifica and SF.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2014, 11:13 PM
k8secondo k8secondo is offline
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Just thought of a another stop if you end up going north of Monterey on Hwy 1. Moss Landing has some great little food stops.

Pezzini Farm stand (Nashua Rd Exit) has a Choke Coach with steamed and fried artichokes for sale.

Moss Landing Cafe is great for breakfast & lunch (just went there today so it reminded me)

Phil's Fish Market is a famous seafood place, it's been featured on the food channel and travel channels.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:14 AM
FuzzyToaster FuzzyToaster is offline
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Awesome! Thanks.

How about Morro Bay? We are planning to have dinner there the first night and stay there.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2014, 01:58 AM
k8secondo k8secondo is offline
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Morro Bay is nice, we just camped there at the State Park last month with my parents. It will take you about 5 hours from LAX depending on traffic. There are hiking trails along the estuary and beach areas if you want outdoorsy stuff.

The Embarcadero is the main tourist strip, lots of shops and restaurants. We love the Shell Shop, The Garden Gallery shops. Restaurants are all mostly seafood, Giovanni's has a take-out window with fish & chips and clam chowder, The Hofbrau has hot roast beef and pastrami sandwiches.

A little further north is Cambria which is another coastal town, about 30-40 minutes from Morro Bay. It's a little more upscale, has nicer (and more expensive) hotels, and more fine dining. We like Robin's there, it's got a great menu of local items and nice outdoor seating. Also Main St. Grill is good there. There is a row of shops and art gallery type places on their little Main St. and also a nice beach you can walk along.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2014, 02:05 AM
FuzzyToaster FuzzyToaster is offline
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Great thank you!!! We plan to stay the first night there then the next night in Monterrey. I'm super pumped!

OH! Is there anywhere to see the redwoods that isn't too far off the PCH between LAX and San Francisco? I would really like to see them
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2014, 03:53 AM
k8secondo k8secondo is offline
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There are two spots to see redwoods that I know of for sure, maybe more up north closer to SF.

There are redwoods in the Big Sur area south of Monterey. They are right off the highway in some areas and also in the area state parks.

There are also some in the Santa Cruz mountains, near Felton. Roaring Camp Railroads has a train ride thought the redwoods or there is Henry Cowell State Park with hiking trails and groves. It's about 15-20 minutes off of Hwy 1 near Santa Cruz, super easy detour, especially of you want to head over the mountains to San Jose for a shortcut to SF.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2014, 04:41 PM
FuzzyToaster FuzzyToaster is offline
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Awesome!!! Thank you SO much. I have been googling, but I am the world's worst googler. And add in that I don't know what town is where, I wasn't getting very far. But I can't go to Cali and not see the redwoods if at all possible. That would be like not seeing the golden gate bridge. I super appreciate all your help.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2014, 01:25 AM
yvonne yvonne is offline
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I really enjoyed Monterey Aquarium. The view was so pretty and you can see seals/sea lions outside. Tickets were pricey though IMO (as aquariums usually are). I liked Monterey so much better than the beaches further south.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:31 AM
yvonne yvonne is offline
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At Pier 39 in San Francisco you can see a bunch of sea lions. (free) I think we saw a seal or two mixed in.
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