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Thread: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018
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    PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Hi,

    thanks for the great suggestions last summer about the 395, it was a great trip with fantastic landscape and things to explore.

    I find myself with a few weeks of holiday this summer and would like to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back, exploring the coast, Big Sur, Monterrey, Santa Barbara and the coast.

    As my planning skills haven't improved much since last year, all the campgrounds along the coast are full, the handful of hotels in the area that I've checked so far are either full or $400-800/night, a bit outside my budget.

    Last year we managed to camp on BLM lands in some spots where there weren't any camping spots available, and it turned out well.

    I wanted to ask two things of the kind people here -

    1. What spots would you recommend along the coast that are a must-see?
    2. What options would you suggest for finding places to stay? Doesn't have to be free, nor luxury-priced. Something in the middle would be fine.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,510

    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Similar was discussed previously here:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...nterey-10-Days

    HWY 1 remains highly recommended.


    Bernice

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    For something unique that's budget friendly, try the Hostels at Pigeon Point (N of Cayucos) and Pescadero (N of Santa Cruz) Lighthouses.
    One of our favorite hotels is Kon Tiki in Pismo Beach---not cheap but not outrageous either.
    The Shoreline Inn in Cayucos is very good as well, again not cheap but not outrageous.
    Lots of motels in Monterey/Pacific Grove.
    There is a decent state campground in San Simeon. This time of year you'll need reservations for all these of course.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Thanks Bernice, great thread that I've gone through and pulled out the highlights from.

    At this point I'm mostly concerned with accommodations, either hotel/camping/BLM/similar.

  5. #5

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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    I forgot to mention Phil's Fish Shack in Moss Landing---between Monterey and Santa Cruz
    The Fishwife in Pacific Grove
    Rosa's and Ada's, both in Pismo Beach
    Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana in Pismo Beach----all very good places for dinner

    For wine tasting try Stax in Morro Bay and Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Great suggestions John, I found all of them in the thread Bernice referenced.

    Will have a look at accommodations this weekend and see what's available.

    Oh btw, this is for a trip with myself and my 18 year old son, both avid photographers, and both of us like a good hike.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    I forgot to mention Phil's Fish Shack in Moss Landing---between Monterey and Santa Cruz
    The Fishwife in Pacific Grove
    Rosa's and Ada's, both in Pismo Beach
    Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana in Pismo Beach----all very good places for dinner

    For wine tasting try Stax in Morro Bay and Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon
    Jocko's in Nipomo?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Glendale, CA
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Your top priority along Hwy 1 is not getting stuck behind 3 rented RVs from Arkansas traveling at 15mph and who refuse to pull over. To avoid this, stay a night in Morro Bay or environs and hit the bottom end of Hwy 1 at 6 a.m. Doing so may give you the feeling that you have the entire highway to yourself, a rather eerie (but pleasant) sensation. Getting behind those guys will make for a REALLY, REALLY MISERABLE 6 hours.
    There are 3 kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't.

  9. #9

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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    As you travel the Highway take the side roads you see. Go a mile or more inland on each. You might be surprised at what you see and how nice they can be.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Re: PCH in summer? (LA - SF)

    Be sure to sort out your accommodations before hand. We like to head up the coast from LA and usually have our itinerary planned out, reservations made, etc. Once we just decided to head out and be more spontaneous- this was in the summer. We ended up sometimes split between 2 motels (4 of us traveling) or simply nothing available without driving a considerable distance inland. If you head inland at times from PCH you’ll find some gorgeous country and more lodging availability. Have a great trip!

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