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Bryson City

California, Los Angeles

Oakland to Los Angeles, where to stay and places to eat?

My husband and I will be driving from Oakland to Los Angeles this spring and have a night to kill getting there. We'd like to stay the night in a little beach town if we could with awesome food. Any suggestions?

9 Answers

top answer by
Fritzi from San Francisco

The road trip on Route 1 is awesome. You can break the trip in Cayucos, a small beach town which is very popular. It is a village, smaller than San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara. 

On the way I highly recommend a lunch stop at Phil's Fish Market & Eatery in Moss Landing just before Monterey. Phil won the "throwdown" with Bobby Flay for his Chioppino; it is the perfect rendition of the dish. All his seafood is super fresh. Skip the crowds in Monterey. 


Or you could go to the classic Nepenthe in Big Sur. If you are going upscale, the Post Ranch Inn


So many beautiful things to see on Route 1. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cayucos (city)
  2. San Luis Obispo (city)
  3. Pismo Beach (city)
  4. Phil's Fish Market & Eatery (restaurant)
  5. Moss Landing (city)
  6. Monterey (city)
  7. Nepenthe (restaurant)
  8. Big Sur (city)
  9. Post Ranch Inn (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

I love Monterey and it won't extend your driving time by too long. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of my favorite places, period, and the coastline itself is stunning. For me I always look at it as a nice relaxing break from LA's hustle and bustle.

Hotel-wise they have everything from cute bed & breakfasts to budget or luxury hotels. I'm dying to splurge on a stay at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. A clean, reasonably priced option is the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course. It's not on the coast but was clean and comfortable when I stayed there. 

The clam chowder in a bread bowl at the Old Fisherman's Grotto on the wharf is the absolute best around.

6 thanks

answered by
Ilona from Warsaw, Poland

If I was planning such trip, I would stop overnight in Santa Barbara and eat at Pacific Crepes. I love that place! And Santa Barbara is a gorgeous beach town ;)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Barbara (city)
  2. Pacific Crepes (restaurant)
5 thanks

answered by
Eric from Rocklin

I second the San Luis Obispo/Pismo Beach recommendations.  You can't go wrong with the tri tip sandwich at Firestone Grill.  You can also visit the Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles on your way.  It is one of the finer craft breweries in CA, in my opinion.  I haven't stayed in Shell Beach but have heard good things about the little places right on the ocean.  Shell Beach and Pismo are a short drive from downtown SLO.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Luis Obispo (city)
  2. Pismo Beach (city)
  3. Firestone Grill (restaurant)
  4. Firestone Walker Brewing Company (attraction)
  5. Shell Beach (city)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Brett from Eindhoven

If you're specifically looking for a beach town, we stayed at Morro Bay. It's right around the midway point of your journey.  There's a number of nice inns and B&B's, many with views of Morro Rock. You can pay a visit to the sea lions at Morro Rock before heading down to finish your journey.

If the focus is more on the food and you want to go a little further the first day driving, and are ok being a little further inland from the sea, then I'd suggest staying in the SolvangLos Olivos area.  This is the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country, the area made famous by the movie Sideways, and has a number of excellent restaurants, and lots of great wine! Plus you're just a shorter drive to LA the next day.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Morro Bay (city)
  2. Morro Rock (attraction)
  3. Solvang (city)
  4. Los Olivos (city)
  5. Santa Barbara (city)
5 thanks

answered by


Shell Beach - Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa - call ahead and ask for 

Erica - tell them Fred and Susan Suggested you stay there.

The hotel on either side has great ocean view restaurants. The smallest room at this hotel is 1600 square feet with full kitchen - so might want to walk to Depalo & Sons next store by gas station and reheat Lasagna, Eqqplant, or ...... and enjoy your room.

Also, Venice Beach or Manhattan Beach have nice little Motels.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shell Beach (city)
  2. Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa (hotel)
  3. Depalo & Sons (attraction)
  4. Venice Beach (city)
  5. Manhattan Beach (city)
5 thanks

answered first by
Joanna from Oakland

If you want a leisurely drive with a coastal view, take Highway 1. Along the way, you can stay in Pismo Beach or the San Luis Obispo area. You'll pass by Big Sur on the way, which is stunning. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pismo Beach (city)
  2. San Luis Obispo (city)
  3. Big Sur (city)
5 thanks

answered by
Sherry from Los Angeles

Malibu is a great little community to explore for a day. Stay at the newly remodeled Malibu Beach Inn.  All the rooms have ocean views and the malibu pier is a few minutes walk where you can dine at the casual restaurant there.  Or if you want more of variety of cuisine, then the closest best bet is to drive to Santa Monica, a much bigger beach city about 12 miles from Malibu and head to Ocean Ave which is lined with great restaurants.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica (city)
  2. Ocean Ave (attraction)
  3. Malibu Beach Inn (hotel)
3 thanks

answered by
Jelena from Los Feliz

If you want to sleep over before you hit Los Angeles, I've heard great things about San Luis Obispo recently - but, the food won't be on the level you'll find in the LA metro area by far. You will get unlimited natural beauty but LA-level food is found only in LA and NYC...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Luis Obispo (city)
3 thanks

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