Topic Wiki

Cities are listed from north to south starting with Santa Cruz, ending with before San Louis Obispo. For San Jose and anywhere north, click here. For Santa Barbara and anywhere south click here.
Activities

Santa Cruz area

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Monterey area

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cannery Row

Pebble Beach, CA (golfing)

17-Mile Drive Waste of time and money IMO. Views are lackluster at best- UshDadude

Pacific Grove, CA (Butterfly capital of the world)

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Carmel-By-The-Sea

Big Sur area

Bixby Bridge

Point Sur (Sea Otters)

San Simeon area

Hearst Castle

Cambria, CA

San Lois Obispo (SLO) area

Moro Bay State Park

Pismo Beach

Solvang, CA

Restaurants

None officially, with the following exception:

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Pismo Beach, CA is considered a Southern California store. This means all the food is kosher. There are no other Coffee Bean Stores between San Jose and Santa Barbara.

Shuls

Chabad by the Sea (Santa Cruz)

Chabad of Monterey

Chabad of Carmel Valley

Chabad of SLO
« Last edited by ushdadude on July 28, 2015, 05:11:47 PM »

Author Topic: California Coast PCH Master Thread  (Read 158336 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« Reply #100 on: February 21, 2014, 01:52:33 PM »
That's not a bad idea. Thanks!
What's so special about the SF-LA drive as opposed to LA-SF?
Do you want to see cars/road outside your window or ocean?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline ushdadude

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Re: Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« Reply #101 on: February 21, 2014, 01:55:24 PM »
Do you want to see cars/road outside your window or ocean?

I didn't realize it worked that way. That's why I love DDF. Learn so many things everyday :)

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« Reply #102 on: February 21, 2014, 01:56:53 PM »
I didn't realize it worked that way. That's why I love DDF. Learn so many things everyday :)
Don't think that you can't see the ocean, but when you drive south you're driving on the ocean side of the road so it's a better view.

Offline ushdadude

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Re: Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« Reply #103 on: February 21, 2014, 02:02:24 PM »
Don't think that you can't see the ocean, but when you drive south you're driving on the ocean side of the road so it's a better view.

Makes sense. Thanks!

Offline CS1

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Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« Reply #104 on: February 21, 2014, 02:08:14 PM »
Don't think that you can't see the ocean, but when you drive south you're driving on the ocean side of the road so it's a better view.
+1
Yes, good way to think about it, however, if our steering wheels would be on the right, it would be even closer to the ocean.

PS - However, on the land side of the road (left, if driving southward) is the Chabad Malibu menorah.
  It was still up in January - along with some creative Happy Chanukah road signs (I took pics - will have to post)
  so perhaps you'll have a glance near there -- truly amazing drive!
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Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #105 on: February 21, 2014, 02:12:26 PM »
I've done both directions and Southbound was much nicer. Also note that the drive is quite beautiful north of Sf As well.
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline ushdadude

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #106 on: February 23, 2014, 02:08:25 PM »
I've done both directions and Southbound was much nicer. Also note that the drive is quite beautiful north of Sf As well.

Worth flying into STS for the drive down to SF?

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #107 on: February 23, 2014, 02:12:13 PM »
Worth flying into STS for the drive down to SF?

Yes. Just make sure to drive by the coast and not the 101
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline MC

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #108 on: February 23, 2014, 02:13:47 PM »
Also note that the drive is quite beautiful north of Sf As well.

Drove up to Oregon two summers ago and drove through Avenue of the Giants (redwood forest), it was breathtaking!

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #109 on: February 23, 2014, 02:29:36 PM »
Drove up to Oregon two summers ago and drove through Avenue of the Giants (redwood forest), it was breathtaking!

Didn't make it up to Oregon, but at 80mph it certainly was breathtaking. Would like to do Vancouver-SF one day. Can be hard to get a decent car up there though.
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline YankyDoodle

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #110 on: February 23, 2014, 02:32:41 PM »
I've done both directions and Southbound was much nicer. Also note that the drive is quite beautiful north of Sf As well.
Didn't make it up to Oregon, but at 80mph it certainly was breathtaking. Would like to do Vancouver-SF one day. Can be hard to get a decent car up there though.
Is directionality so important??

Offline MC

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #111 on: February 23, 2014, 02:34:58 PM »

Is directionality so important??

See up thread. Depending on the side of the road you are on, you will have a (significantly) better view of the ocean.

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Re: California Coast Master Thread
« Reply #112 on: March 24, 2014, 12:24:09 PM »
Im doing the drive from san jose to big sur today - what are the must-sees along the way? And any ideas for sunset? Thanks!

Offline ganizzy

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #113 on: August 22, 2014, 05:26:12 PM »
I am looking for a place to stay close to big Sur. any recommendations for a good price?
family of 5.
there are plenty of places under $100 in Monterrey. the map says its about 25 miles, but how long does that take on this road in the evening.

dont need anything fancy, arriving at night, leaving early in morning

Offline ganizzy

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #114 on: August 31, 2014, 03:57:35 AM »
here is my trip report:

from LA - SF. taking the 1 up with plenty stops and driving down the 5. We went with our kids ages 6-10. A large part of this trip was visiting our colleagues -  campus shluchim.

left sunday. got a late start of course
on the way someone told us that there was a great airshow in camarillo so we stopped there and caught the last hour.

made a short stop in S. Barbara to visit Chabad of UCSB. we have been there before so just dropped in to say hi, but some good things to do here is the SB zoo, there is great park called kids world with some great climbing structures for the kids.

then we continued on to San Luis Obisbo. was nice seeing all the vineyards on the way. visited chabad of UCSLO. we got there at night. in the morning we went to the San Luis pier where we were told u can see seals on the docks. we then went to Avila family farm which is a small place with some animals u can feed (no entrance fee but u can buy animal feed or bring ur own lettuce) they have a tractor ride for $1 which brings u to their apple trees. you pay $1.50 a lb for what u pick. was cute and the kids enjoyed it. Across the street is a spa, they have natural hot springs u can go in (up to 2 people) for $10 an hour. my husband used that for the mikvah
we were told that there is alot of stuff to do in SLO - beautiful biking paths, nice beaches, Pizmo beach ATVing ... but we didnt have time.

we drove to Big Sur. on the way there is a place to see Elephant Seals but apparently August is the worst month. no breeding or babies. there are signs on the road saying where it is - a few miles north of Hearst Castle.
We stopped in julia pfeiffer burns state park for Mcway falls. the actual start of the hike is on the ocean side not from the park, so no point in paying the fee, just park on the side of the road. its more of a walk then a hike, stroller accessible. u get to look out over a gorgeous beach with a waterfall that goes almost directly into the Pacific Ocean. (shouldnt be more then a half hour including round trip, taking pictures...)
I hadn't done more research (and no service to do it on the spot) to find other good hikes (Big Sur is very large and made up of a bunch of different parks, so u need to know where u want to go, and how far it is from each other so u dont miss it.)
so we continued driving and saw signs for Pfeiffer park. with a sigh for Pfeiffer falls hike. my husband likes waterfalls so... I asked the guys at the entrance where u pay how the hike is. they said its about 1.5 miles and no problem with kids. well we didn't realize its 1.5 miles UP. my kids weren't too thrilled when it just never ended, after a long while we threw in the towel (and in the summer with a drought, how great can the falls be?) the saving grace was that we saw deer and on the way down, they were right in front of us on the path.

by that time it was getting late and we went to our hotel in Monterey (actually Seaside) I used the Booking.com search engine and when u input how many people u are it gives hotels that are good for that many people with the info of how many beds upfront. we stayed at El Castell Motel with had the best reviews of all the cheap hotels. cost us $160 with all fees. found out at check in that if u book over the phone u don't pay the $5 online service fee and u would be able to get $10 off for AAA discount.
room wasn't anything special but it had 2 queens and a sofa bed. breakfast seemed nice waffles, eggs, yogurt, cookies... but we just took some fruit. on the same block they had Best Western, Travelodge, Econolodge....

we drove back about 15 minutes to Point Lobos. This was a great hike with beautiful views. ur hiking right along the water. a section of it is stroller accessible but not the rest. the kids were able to climb some rocky cliffs and formations, put their feet in the cove... and we saw seals and some whales. we could spot the blowholes and their tails, but then they started "diving" -  half of their body coming out of the water. that was very cool and the ranger told us it doesn't happen very often.

we then did 17 mile drive which was an absolute waste of time. u couldn't see half of the homes behind gates and none of the views were anything u didn't already see driving the 1. and for sure Point Lobos had better views. we then continued to pacific Grove. starting at the light house (which was closed for renovations) nearby is a Monarch butterfly sanctuary but that is only certain months. we drove down the street. beautiful ocean views. we continued driving thru Monterey.

we then continued on to Santa Cruz. stopped at Chabad of UC Santa Cruz. went to West Cliff Rd. some more beautiful views of the ocean and sailboats. this would make a nice walk or biking. alot of surfers out which was interesting to watch. we then went to the pier where u can go down some steps to where they used to dock boats and were able to get within a few feet above the seals hanging out on the dock. at the end of the pier they have viewing squares of the beams below with lots of seals lying on, swimming around, trying to jump on... was very interesting for the kids. u can also fish from there.
we then went to the boardwalk. its Amazing!!! tonz of rides. parking is pricey so we drove around till we found street parking. there are no signs but u only have to pay the meters until 8PM. the boardwalk is not open year round. in the summer they have $ nights on Mon and Tue. every ride is only $1. on Wed and Thu, if u bring a Pepsi product u can get a unlimited wristband for $13 (this is about the same price as Santa Monica Pier, which is a joke compared to this board walk.) check the hours before u go bec the night we went it closed at 9. Seems like as the summer winds down the hours get shortened
we then drove to Brentwood (about an hour from SF) where our cousins are shluchim there to spend the night.

Wed morning (late start) we headed to Jelly Belly about 45 minutes away. we saw a family fun center close by - miniature golf... but we didnt stop there. my kids loved the factory. the tour was interesting. they give a small bag to each person at the end of the tour and then u can get samples of all their flavors in the store. my kids weren't brave enough to try - vomit, earwax, baby wipes... but they did enjoy candy corn, gummy worms and the reg flavors.

we then headed to Berkeley to the Chabad on Campus shluchim there. by the time we finished visiting we realized if we wanted to get a decent night with a normal time dinner we wouldn't have time to fight SF traffic there and back. so we headed back to Brentwood Via Mt. Diablo which had some beautiful views from pretty high up. (if ur passengers get nauseous dont try this)

Thursday morning we drove to SF. hit pier 39 (my kids collect key chains - so for those interested there is a key chain store that sells a package of 10 SF keychains for $11 - a much better price then the initial store we bought from which was $4 each) we then continued on to Fishermans Wharf  - pretty overrated imho. most of the street entertainers were in between Pier 39 and the wharf so we didn't really have to walk all the way.

we then drove down Lombard st. It was nice, glad i wasn't the driver. stopped at the bottom for some pictures.
both at the top and the bottom there were a ton of tourist taking pictures in middle of the street as if cars weren't supposed to go thru. many people walked up/down. thats alot of stairs!

we then drove across the Golden gate bridge. we took the first exit which takes u up a hill with a great view of the bridge. if ur into pictures then its a must.
we drove back across and went to visit the shluchim to UCSF. had supper there and finally got ready to head home at 8pm

unfortunately for us on the 152 which takes u from the 101 to the 5 we got stuck in major traffic by Casa de Fruita. apparently there was a brush fire. took us 3 hours to go 7 miles!! we finally got home at 5:30 am. so much for a 2am ETA. (another tip - always listen to waze, even if, or especially if, they are suggesting a crazy route)

All in all, was a great trip with beautiful sights, nice hikes, great stops. Portable DVD player was a lifesaver. and now i need a full detail for my car. we had some meals by the shluchim we visited (mostly unplanned) but we brought coolers with food and bagels, spreads, snacks... i would do this trip again  - at least until Santa Cruz. but would bring our bikes along and stay longer in each place instead of rushing to reach SF.

thanks to all those who wrote their trip reports so i could get ideas.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #115 on: August 31, 2014, 11:37:23 AM »


here is my trip report:
...
Nice TR! Sounds like it was a great trip. Reminds me of when  we did it a few years back. Only difference was instead of getting stuck on the 152, we found out the grapevine was closed due to  a fire, so we ended up taking the 58 from the 5 to the 14 and coming back from Mojave. It took 10 hours to get from San Jose back to Pico. Not fun indeed.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #116 on: August 31, 2014, 02:30:08 PM »
Thanks for the TR, glad u enjoyed the jelly belly factory was there a few times. There is also a Budweiser factory a few blocks from there, where u can get free unlimited fountain soda and a few beers. I liked pier 39 a lot, and all the interesting shops they have there.

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #117 on: August 31, 2014, 02:51:56 PM »
Another fun thing to do along the way: there's a drive-in movie theater right near Santa Barbara that tends to show family friendly movies.
Maybe I'm young, but it was on my bucket list ever since I saw Grease :)

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #118 on: August 31, 2014, 03:28:18 PM »

Another fun thing to do along the way: there's a drive-in movie theater right near Santa Barbara that tends to show family friendly movies.
Maybe I'm young, but it was on my bucket list ever since I saw Grease :)
Ha! One of my fondest childhood memories was watching Babe and a Kid in king Arthur's court there.

Offline ganizzy

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Re: California Coast PCH Master Thread
« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2014, 05:59:55 PM »
Thanks for the TR, glad u enjoyed the jelly belly factory was there a few times. There is also a Budweiser factory a few blocks from there, where u can get free unlimited fountain soda and a few beers. I liked pier 39 a lot, and all the interesting shops they have there.
How come no one mentions it?  Is it kid friendly?  Do u get a tour like by jelly belly?  Free?