7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2010 1:28 PM by richmo RSS

Pacific Coast Highway & Napa

bfine52 Platinum
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I am planning a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to San Francisco and then a day in Napa.  Any suggestions of hotels or  attractions would be welcome.  The trip is planned for Mid March.

 

Thanks!

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    pltnmprincess Platinum
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    I have stayed several times at the Marriott Hotel and Spa in Napa. It is conveniently located north of downtown and to the wineries.  You could walk to many shops and restaurants.  During that time of year you may be able to get some great weekend deals.  I stayed there quite a few times for $99/night on the weekend.  I also used my points for a $250 spa certificate and used the Amadeus Spa which is next to the hotel.

     

    I would not recommend the new Springhill suites in Napa - it is in a congested traffic area and you have to drive to get anywhere.  Plus its about 20 minutes further to the wineries in Napa.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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    I live in Monterey and our Monterey Bay Aquarium is worth a stop for at least several hours.  The Monterey Marriott has rates that include Aquarium passes, and is worth a look.

     

    Starting North of LA and heading north:

     

    1. Morro Bay, Cambria and San Simeon's State Park called Hearst Castle are nice to visit anytime, but when it's foggy it's especially neat

     

    2. Big Sur, 26 miles south of Monterey and Carmel, is a fine place to stay and to dine. Two hotels, Ventana and Post Ranch, have fantastic views and excellent food as well, but are both priced in the highest range imaginable. No discounts unfortunately or loyalty rewards! For an expensive but fine Ambrosia hamburger try Nepenthe, nearby. Views on a clear day are forever!

     

    3. The little town of Davenport, just north of Santa Cruz, has a great little "cash store" that is worth a stop for a meal.

     

    4. If it's Elephant Seal mating time, the state park at Ano Nuevo is exceptional for close up viewing of these large mammals in their territorial best manners (meaning they can be aggressive, so be careful).

     

    5. Heading north toward San Francisco, the town of Half Moon Bay, near the famed Maverick's Surf Contest area with the 40 foot waves, has many excellent places to dine and stay including a wonderful Ritz Carlton hotel.

     

    I recommend you pick up both the AAA tour-books for CA--Monterey is in both for some reason, and plot your adventure.  You might also check to see if PCH is open the entire way for the journey--there are often road closures due to mud and rock slides, so check before heading off.  CA highway 1 (PCH) is a slow, winding, but pleasurable driving experience. Going North you are mostly on the inside of the road--a nicer experience.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    blava007 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    See "The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa" another great Marriott property in the area that you may enjoy as well.  It is ~15 minutes a nice ride throough the wine area to Napa, we like the downtown in Sonoma.  

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    tjcnewyork Platinum
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    The Pacific Coast Highway trip is simply amazing and unforgettable.  My son still talks about it as though it were yesterday. We did not stop in San Francisco and travelled from San Diego to Seattle over a 3 week period.  Although Oregon and Washington are not on your itinerary this trip, consider these destinations in the future.  

     

    Among the must sees that stand out immediately and not mentioned already are LaJolla, San Juan Capistrano Mission, and Hearst Castle in San Simeon. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    travlbug Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    My wife & I stayed at the Lodge in Sonoma Sep 2009 & I'd recommend it as quite nice plus quite convenient.  It was our first trip to Napa/Sonoma & we especially enjoyed the wineries Louis Martini, St. Francis, & Larkmead (Larkmead requires a reservation, which means it won't be as crowded).  Cafe LaHaye in Sonoma is fantastic - one the most memorable meals of my life (not cheap, but great for a wonderful evening).  We didn't eat dinner at the restaurant at the Lodge, but had two very good breakfasts there.

    John Muir Woods is a very nice walk/hike through the redwoods & is a very easy way to visit redwoods, if you can't drive farther north.

    Of the things we did in SF city, my favorites were going to the top of Coit Tower, walking around Fisherman's Wharf, & taking the ferry across the bay to Sausalito & back (which was a relatively cheap way to get out on the water, have a nice lunch in Sausalito, poke around some shops & return).  Don't drive around the city, it's too much of a hassle; park your car & use the trolley cars & buses, which are both super easy to use.  We went to Alcatraz, which was interesting & odd; I'd recommend it if you have a few days in SF, but if you have just a short stay, make sure you do the other sights first.

    In Monterrey area, we loved the 17-mile drive.  We did a self-guided walking tour of Carmel, which took us through some nice art studios, shops & views (map is available).  We did a whale-watching tour in Monterrey & saw a blue whale & dolphins, which was really cool.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    richmo Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    Napa is really awesome to drive through, i would check out the Castello di Amorosa... completely amazing, definitely book a tour if possible.  However, before you get to Napa, if you are into wildlife, stop at Safari West (www.safariwest.com).  There's no other place to get so close to wildlife without fences in the way, short of going to Africa. 

    Also - final suggestion.  Don't stay in Napa, you will have a much better time staying in Sonoma... so hit Napa on your way back towards Sonoma and then San Francisco.  Sonoma is so much more quaint than Napa... trust me. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Pacific Coast Highway & Napa
    richmo Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    Napa is really awesome to drive through, i would check out the Castello di Amorosa... completely amazing, definitely book a tour if possible.  However, before you get to Napa, if you are into wildlife, stop at Safari West (www.safariwest.com).  There's no other place to get so close to wildlife without fences in the way, short of going to Africa. 

    Also - final suggestion.  Don't stay in Napa, you will have a much better time staying in Sonoma... so hit Napa on your way back towards Sonoma and then San Francisco.  Sonoma is so much more quaint than Napa... trust me. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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