I have never taken a trip like this and I need some advise. My partner and I are planning to take his two teenagers on a trip to California in December of 2015. They want to fly into San Francisco and then drive the coast down to San Diego. We will have about 10 days, and I'd like to have it mapped out so that we know where we are staying, (need two adjoining rooms), and what we are stopping to see (I also need advice on that). Do you think I should enlist the help of a travel agent or just try to do this on my own? I would like to use Marriott since I like having the rewards. Has anyone done this and do you have any advice?
My name is Ansa and I am new the Insiders community, I just wanted to introduce myself.
What a great idea, I would love to do a trip like this again. My family and I have done this drive/trip a few times when I was younger. Extended road trips definitely create a lot of unforgettable memories. One of my favorite parts was driving down Big Sur. It is the longer route, but with 10 days you will have plenty of time. The San Diego Marriott (8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA) is a great place to end your trip. It is a wonderful hotel and close to the famous San Diego zoo.
I'll put in another vote for ending your trip in San Diego at Coronado Hotel | San Diego Resorts | Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa. A gorgeous spot across from downtown, they have a ferry boat that will drop you right off at the Marriott Marquis & Marina (much bigger and much less friendly IMHO) so you don't have to drive if you want to go into downtown and then you can also see the beautiful sunset at the famous Hotel del Coronado.
Please keep us informed of what you decide and again welcome to Insiders.
Confirming that we proud Californians are here to help as iahflyr mentioned.
Also right on the spot when he suggested the Coronado Island Marriott - my family's favorite Marriott property in California. We have spent one week a year there for the last five years.
I would say nix the idea of a travel agent unless you simply don’t have the time or inclination to do planning. I personally find vacation research and planning to be great fun.
Here are some city/area sightseeing suggestions for you to consider. Not sure what your hotel and dining budget is, or whether or not you’re open to paying for parking at hotels or need to stay at properties that offer free parking. Let us know, and also what sort of activities your kids enjoy. Time of year, also. There are more places to visit between San Francisco and San Diego inclusive to keep you occupied and entertained for a
year, so you’ll have to pick and choose. Good luck and additional questions are welcome.
I will start with the northern half, and work on the southern half next. Whatever places you decide on, I would definitely take Highway 1 from Monterey/Carmel down to Morro Bay, and then you can get back on 101 if you like. The coast highway offers fantastic Pacific Ocean views (though a bit windy).
Sightseeing from San Francisco to Pismo Beach
San Simeon and Cambria
Cayucos, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach
Pluto that was just about equal to some that kharada46 has done for the islands, excellent information.
I recall a trip from LA to SF along this route my family made close to 40 years ago. We saw many of the sights on your list. More recently (maybe about 10 years ago), I made the coast drive from SF all the way to Seattle. Good things in Northern CA as well.
In any case, fantastic list pluto77. You're making all of us want to take this drive.
Pluto77, WOW !!! you are a great spokesperson for "CALIFORNIA" and San Francisco !
California is really a wonderful state with beautiful, fertile lands, and has a truly amazing amount of diverse geography, wildlife, beauty and wonder. It is rich with history and culture, and I absolutely love it here. If someone put a wall around it's borders and told me I could never leave, I would never tire of exploring and experiencing all that there is to do, see and enjoy here. People really should "Come to California" and visit us! It's a great place with an unending amount of things to do and see.
the thing that intrigues me most about California with all my travels there as a youngster especially (with many relatives living all over the state) is that you can find any type of countryside you would look for...ocean, mountains, desert, flat land, cool climate, hot climate, it's all there. Have you ever traveled up Mt. Baldy in Ontario? I had relatives there for years and made many trips up that mountain. Beautiful. And then there is the wildlife and beautiful redwood trees in the Redwood Forest. Love that place as well. Yes, California has beauty in its own right
here's some info californian
Mt Baldy Chamber of Commerce</title> <link href="_css1.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" /> </head> <body> <div align="center"> <table width="904" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr height="173"> <td valign="top" width="4" height="173" ><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"><html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> <head> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" /> <title>Chamber
i guess the ski lift is still operational during winter months.
Excellent job Pluto!
My frustration is that Marriott has no hotels between Monterey and Pismo Beach and I would like to see some go in.
You didn't mention budget. There is a non Marriott that is expensive and very nice, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. You can't beat the location. A two night stay would allow exploring the nicest part of the CA coast coming back to a quality place to stay with good food.
Agree about the lack of Marriotts along the central coast. I mentioned it here: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/100303#100303
Another nice place just below Carmel is Tickle Pink Inn. Fantastic rooms, wrap around balconies overlooking a rocky coastline, beautiful patio with great morning and evening spreads.
OMG! Thank You so much!! I can't believe how many wonderful responses I have gotten. I have plenty of time, so I'm going to print all these ideas up, show them to the kids and then start planning. The California coast was their idea, so I'm sure they will happily help in the decisions. Can't thank you all enough!
anothergina be sure to bookmark the site so it is easily available to you. Once nothing is posted for a day or so, sometimes the posts go into what we call the "gone and soon forgotten" barrel
Happy travels! Looks like you have a great start at planning from our wonderful insiders who love to share their knowledge
This sounds like a fabulous trip. While I have never done the whole drive, here are a few places along the way that I think your group will enjoy:
Ventura Marina, and try and at least have an "Ice cream cone at McConnell's in Santa Barbara. It's a world class place for ice cream. The Oxnard RI, is a great place, if you are on a budget! Get the two BR suite that is bi level, nice!
Long Beach, There is a lot for everyone to enjoy. The Queen Mary, Aquarium, downtown on Friday's they have a "Farmer's Market" that is fun to go to. The Renaissance or other downtown Marriotts are wonderful.
Another "Must" should be Hollywood! Go to The Kodak Threatre and enjoy the many sights, maybe take a tour! You will want to visit "Rodeo Drive", as well, "Window shop" and see some wonderful classic cars! Many great properties in the area!
Have a wonderful trip!
Look at that young fella in front of the Queen Mary, nah it isn't, sort of looks like, could it be, by Jerry I think it is jerrycoin!!! Great pictures as always Mr. Coin.
You are tooo good!
I really find Long Beach, "A Hidden Gem"!
The 555 Steakhouse, Churchills/Queen Mary, The Farmers Market, and so much more. Marriott has some wonderful properties there. My only regret is not taking AMTRAK to Santa Barbara, and driving thru LA!
You may enjoy this photo of us prior to meeting Jay Leno! He was wonderful, never have seen him on TV, but a "Natural, Nice Guy". He had Sandra Bullock on his show, I had never heard of her either. She told me she was formally a "Waitress in Indiana"?
IAHFLR, The Canadian gov't had arranged all of this. And Neal, The Mountie, is in the blue outfit. The guy behind him is "Mende", an executive from Medicine Shoppe, and Jay Leno really like him. He said, "Where did you get that Pumpkin Jump Suit"! A wonderful time was had by all. BTW, we had a 200 pound Canadian Gold Coin with us at the show!
Yes, it was 200 pounds, not ounces!
What a lot of fun this trip was! Stayed at The Renaissance Long Beach!
You are not going to believe this but I DO travel with my DR! Dr. Bill is a retired radiologist, and the funny stories we have had together are special. When we travel together, I am Sherlock, and he is Dr. Watson! (No xxxx, Sherlock!)
Me and Dr. Bill in Bavaria!
Dr. Bill enjoys "Licking his plate" with my cooking in Crans-Montana, Switzerland!
Dr. Bill, just bought this German outfit, while we were in Bavaria, Germany. He thought he would "Impress" a local "Frau". This DID NOT WORK! He has always been, and continues to be a "Bachelor"! We have had wonderful "Marriott" times!