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California Coast - where to base ourselves for 5 nights self catering

(10 Posts)
redpickle Sun 23-Feb-20 20:33:31

Help! We're going for 3 weeks in the summer holidays and we're looking for somewhere to stay for 5 nights by the beach in Air B&B. It will be between bookings we have in Santa Barbara and Monterey. I'm thinking Pismo Beach or Santa Cruz maybe. I'm looking for opinions on either/both or suggestions of other places.

We really want somewhere that we can chill out, hopefully have a surfing lesson and spread out for a few days between hotel stays.

I would love to hear opinions and suggestions!

OP’s posts: |
mepan Tue 25-Feb-20 20:14:49

We stayed in Pismo Beach last July. I was slightly disappointed as although we had a really nice hotel with a pool the weather wasn't really great to make the most of it. We did a day trip to Solvang and it was much warmer there. Didn't think there was a huge amount to do in Pismo Beach. We had stopped there after driving between Monterey and San Diego and wish we had soent more time in Monteray or San Diego.

BritInUS1 Tue 25-Feb-20 20:16:20

I'd look at Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay or Carmel

twingygirl Tue 25-Feb-20 22:52:17

Cambria is very lovely. Either on Moonstone Beach, or in the lovely little town. Avila Beach also nice.

Atalune Tue 25-Feb-20 22:57:18

Santa Cruz is a little down at heel in places. But we loved staying at the Dream Inn.

Big sur is amazing. Carmel is also gorgeous but not so good for sunbathing on the beach. Inland in the valley is hot though.

Didn’t like pismo at all, very uk seaside vibe with lots of tat shops and mediocre food options.

Laguna Beach is gorgeous.

BubblesBuddy Wed 26-Feb-20 08:18:25

Carmel for me. 5 days is quite a long time to stop over. Big Sur is fantastic but not a beach area.

redpickle Wed 26-Feb-20 08:25:24

I think we've revised it now so we will have 1 night in Pismo in a hotel, self-cater for 4 nights in either Santa Cruz or Monterey area, rather than stay in a hotel in Monterey. I hadn't realised Santa Cruz and Monterey were so close. Seems silly to self cater and stay in a hotel in roughly the same area.

Depends on what we can find on Air B&B as to where we will end up I guess.

Laguna Beach looks lovely but it's in the wrong direction!

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Wed 26-Feb-20 08:27:11

Posted too soon! Of course Carmel is quite close to Monterey. You could try Cambria. It’s mid way between LA and SF. Beaches and a small town.

BubblesBuddy Wed 26-Feb-20 08:28:18

Carmel is nice than Monterey. I liked the beach there.

drivingtofrance Thu 27-Feb-20 10:41:10

Monterey is a nice place to visit - but I don't know if I would want to be there for 5 days. We stayed for 2 nights and saw a fair bit.

Carmel is very pretty. A lot of small arty/crafy shops etc. The beach is large - very windy when I was there. You definitely won't be swimming in the ocean either - wild!

Further up the the coast there are beautiful beaches - again all very natural and wild. Half Moon Bay - as mentioned upthread is pretty - there's a nice cafe/restaurant nearby.

Just be prepared to wear layers - it can feel quite chilly even in high summer due to the wind - and if nearer the Bay Area, the temps in general will vary. Still gorgeous though.

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