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Desiree asked

Planning a Round Road trip from San Fran to Big Sur and back, please help!

Hello! I'm planning a baby moon. We have ten days we could travel, but if we can fit it in 6/7 that would be even better. We'd be coming from NY into San Francisco (early morning flight), spending the night in San Fran and leaving early the next morning to start our road trip. (Disclaimer: I purposely want to avoid spending a long time in San Francisco, I realize I'm not giving it a lot of time. That's on purpose.) I want the majority of our trip to be spent in the Big Sur area. But I want to hit a couple of spots along the way, including San Jose Winchester Mystery House, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Hearst Castle and Solvang IF we can fit it in. ALSO, I'm trying to not feel rushed on this trip, after all it is a baby moon. So here are my questions:

1) If we leave San Fran in the morning, and all we want to do in San Jose is the tour of the Winchester Mystery House, plus maybe lunch, can/should we try to fit San Jose/Santa Cruz in the same day. I feel like this is probably not a good idea, so where should we stay overnight. 

2. Can/should we do Santa Cruz/Monterey in one day before big Sur, or would that be too rushed, if not where is it worth it to stay?

3. How many nights should we spend in Big Sur, to feel relaxed, do hikes, head to the beach, 17 mile drive, to really take it in?

Thank you!

San Francisco   San José   Santa Cruz   Monterey   Big Sur

2 Answers
answered by
Wayne from San Francisco

Ensure you check road conditions before your journey as roads were recently closed

Comments (0)

answered first by

Flying into SF one day and leaving the next morning is not just "not a lot of time"  It is NO time.

I don't know what there is to see in Santa Cruz- I've never spent much time there, so I think you could do the mystery tour and Santa Cruz in the same day.  It is only about 50 miles from San Francisco to San Jose, and less than 50 to get to Santa Cruz

In my opinion, one day is too little to spend in Monterey  You should stay in Monterey to do the Aquarium, Fisherman's Wharf and Pacific Grove (which is where 17 Mile Drive is located) and Carmel By the Sea and Point Lobos State Reserve  before you drive down to Big Sur  At least 3 days in Monterey and maybe 2 days in Big Sur.

When we were living there we drove down US1 to San Simeon will take a day but I think that highway may be closed for part of the way.  So you could go to San Simeon and then drop down to  Solvang

I don't have any current information on places to stay in this area

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Monterey (city)
  2. Pacific Grove (city)
  3. Carmel By the Sea (city)
  4. Point Lobos State Reserve (attraction)
  5. Big Sur (city)
  6. San Simeon (city)
  7. Solvang (city)

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