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Jenny from New Jersey asked

California coast road trip suggestions

My Husband and I are planning a trip from LA to Monterrey to Big Basin To San Francisco the week of the 4th of July this summer 2018. 

I am looking for traffic tips for the drive from LA to Monterrey- what day and time is the best to take that drive

Any activity or great restaurant suggestions along the way 

Also looking to rent ATV's somewhere 

Thanks in advance

California (CA)

2 Answers
answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I'm not sure what you enjoy doing, exactly, but here are a few of my favorite stops along the way in no particular order:

Cayucos - this is a "blink and you'll miss it" kind of place with like three places to eat but it's tourist free and a great place to find an AirBnB if you're into that. Try the tacos at Ruddell's Smokehouse if you go. 

San Luis Obispo  - much more lively than Cayucos but well worth seeing. There's a great little outdoor restaurant there called Novo Restaurant & Lounge that makes these incredible martinis with bacon. 

Solvang is a little Danish town that is a total hoot. If you go, check out the aebleskiver cafe and try some aebleskiver which is this highly addictive pancake thing. 

Paso Robles - you like wine you must check out some of the wineries here. Most of them will let you bring your own lunches and sit at their picnic tables. One of my faves is Brecon Estate. It's very laid back with a cute little bocce ball area. You should definitely stop at the Pasolivo Olive Oil ranch. I bought a little jar of truffle salt there that is beyond incredible. 

I also have to put in a plug for my favorite little town, Cambria. It's like the little town from the show, Newhart if you're old enough to remember that one. Cambria Winery is a great place as well. 

I think I'm in the minority here, but I loved seeing San Simeon (California) but I usually love what everyone hates. 

And I know I've said this 2,000 times on this site but I LOVE Carmel By the Sea. There are endless great places to eat there, but two of my favorites are: Patisserie Boissiere Restaurant & Patisserie and Katy's Place.

Comments (2)

I liked San Simeon, but I like old stuff. I also liked Carmel, Paso Robles and Solvang

Great detail and travel info

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cayucos (city)
  2. Ruddell's Smokehouse (restaurant)
  3. San Luis Obispo (city)
  4. Cayucos (city)
  5. Novo Restaurant & Lounge (restaurant)
  6. Solvang (city)
  7. Paso Robles (city)
  8. Brecon Estate (restaurant)
  9. Pasolivo Olive Oil (attraction)
  10. Cambria (city)
  11. Cambria Winery (restaurant)
  12. San Simeon (California) (city)
  13. Carmel By the Sea (city)
  14. Patisserie Boissiere Restaurant & Patisserie (restaurant)
  15. Katy's Place (restaurant)
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answered first by

The route I would suggest for Los Angeles to Monterey would depend on whether the coastal highway repair has been completed.  It is scheduled to be done this year, but I'm thinking that maybe the repairs from the wildfires and mud slides would take precedence.  For this section, if you take the interstate it will be a little over 4 hours to drive.  If you did as much of the coastal highway (US 101-California 1) as you can - driving the coast from LA up to to San Simeon (California) and then cutting back to Paso Robles in the central valley and then taking Jolon Rd and Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd through the mountains back to the coast and following the coast road from there up to Monterey - that route will take at least 8 hours - double the time.  I have actually been on Jolon Road but it was a long time ago- I was visiting the Mission San Antonio de Padua which is up there in the mountains.

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