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Old 04-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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I grew up just outside San Jose. IMHO, trying to do Northern and Southern California in one trip (I'm guessing two weeks???) is too much. Either start in Monterey and head north to the wine country, or start in San Diego and head to Santa Barbara.

PS- I've never heard anyone who is a native Californian call it "cali". Same thing with "frisco", except they are a little touchy about it.

 
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulegli View Post
I'll second the Santa Cruz suggestion, but since I live there maybe I'm biased... The Santa Cruz area has great parks (Big Basin, Henry Cowell Redwoods, The Forest of Nisene Marks) and beaches, and there are lots of wineries to visit as well as Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Seabright Brewery. If you head south on Highway 1 from here, you can stop at any of the following places:

* Monterey: spectacular aquarium and Cannery Row
* Big Sur: beautiful views of the ocean and great camping
* Morro Bay: small but very cute town with a great bay and beaches
* San Luis Obispo: college town, quirky and fun
* Santa Barbara: always feels like a mixture of Southern and Northern California to me

One thing that surprises first time visitors is how big the state is. The drive from Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo takes almost four hours when you go down Highway 101, the larger inland road that parallels Highway 1. The quickest route from San Francisco to Los Angeles can take 5 1/2 hours or more depending on traffic.

I also lived in San Diego for a while, and can recommend all of the little beach towns north of the city itself: Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Encinitas are cool little surfing towns; Del Mar and La Jolla are more upscale with shopping and mansions. In addition to the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, and Balboa Park, you can also take a day trip to Tijuana if you are so inclined.

If you like desert more than beach (who am I to judge?), consider visiting Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley in Southern California. Want to see mountains? Drive up to Lake Tahoe and ski, hike, or mountain bike, depending on the season. There is tons of stuff to do out west!
I second this list! SF is great but not worth spending 10 days there. Go ahead and make your way along the coast, there's a lot to see. Starting in SF is really more like starting the center so you'll have to choose between heading North or South. I'd head South. Trust me, you can make this trip in the time you have. I've driven it many times.

In San Luis Obispo, check out SLO brewing Company. They have great live bands (some big names) almost every night. You can check out Hearst Castle while there too. When you're in the Santa Barbara neighborhood take a jaunt over to the cute little dutch village called Solvang. In Thousand Oaks is a cool little place called Brat Brothers, they make their own sausages in some really unique flavors.

Once you get closer to San Diego the beer possibilities are almost endless. In Escondido is Stone Brewing Co. They give free tours, and a free sample of 4 of their beers at the end of the tour. Also Check out Pizza Port for great beer and Pizza. In San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park are right next to each other. There's a lot to do at Balboa Park, and I personally like the zoo better than the wild animal park.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msu09 View Post
Hello All,

I'm booking my honeymoon in California and we've come upon a stumbling block. We want to do San Francisco (Wine, Alcatraz, Parks, ect.) and drive down highway one in a convertible. We had initially planned on going to San Diego for a while but can't seem to find anything fun to do (besides the zoo). Any suggestions? Should we skip San Diego and go somewhere else? We were planning on spending a night in Santa Barbra and that was about as far as we got. Any good beer locations to hit up?

Thanks for the input!

FYI- We're from Michigan and have never been to Cali
Starting in SF, my neck of the woods and heading down towards my home town areas. Couple things. Brew in the Bay Area, hit up Toronado in SF and if adventurous Beer Revolution in Oakland. Great beer at both. On the trip down the 1 going through Big Sur hit up a restaurant called Nepenthe, trust me this place is ridiculous. Go for lunch of even just a glass of wine. It over looks the ocean from the top of a cliff, your soon to be bride will love it. Took my wife there on our honeymoon, it is very romantic. Lasty, do not skip San Diego. San Diego is the second greatest town in California Next to of course SF. It's a wonderful place and the zoo really is something that you will be amazed at. Also, while in San Diego hit up the Stone Brewery and Ale Smith. Plus Green Flash is down there. It is a top 5 city I've ever been to. Have fun man.

 
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #14
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Was in Monterey this last weekend for a buddy's wedding. The Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina is about 10 miles north and has a couple cottage type rooms overlooking the beach, and an overlook with a fire pit. London Bridge Pub in Monterey is always good, just a quick drive up the road from Monterey Bay Aquarium. There is a kayak rental right next to the pub.

With any coastal town from San Francisco South, once you know when you are going, start googling for special events the each town/city. Some of the cultural street fairs and presentations are really fun.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:40 AM   #15
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Thank you guys for all of the great ideas! I think that we are going to spend 3 days in SF, go up to Sonoma or Napa for a day or two and drive down Highway 1 (and see some of the wonderful sights that you guys recommended) all the way to San Diego. Any recommendations on things to do in San Diego (I get the vibe that there is a lot in S.F. and along the way). We'll be doing the Zoo, but we were deciding how much else there was to do. Is San Diego walkable like S.F.? Does it have a nice night life?

F.Y.I. Were going at the end of July/Early August.

I used to have a friend when I was younger who lived in Windsor, CA. I think that I got the "Cali" thing from him...

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #16
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San Diego:

North county is awesome...Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Escondido. Less crowded (relatively) than the city itself and less touristy. No idea on night life.
  • Tony's Jacal - small little Mexican restaurant in EG. My dad grew up down the street; family has been going there for 50+ years. Incredible food, atmosphere, etc. Can't miss.
  • Del Mar beach, we like 22nd street.
  • Drive through Rancho Santa Fe. Bring a map, easy to get lost. Drool over the beauty.
  • Grab some fresh veggies from Chino's. Produce from heaven.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
McBrewskie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msu09 View Post
Thank you guys for all of the great ideas! I think that we are going to spend 3 days in SF, go up to Sonoma or Napa for a day or two and drive down Highway 1 (and see some of the wonderful sights that you guys recommended) all the way to San Diego. Any recommendations on things to do in San Diego (I get the vibe that there is a lot in S.F. and along the way). We'll be doing the Zoo, but we were deciding how much else there was to do. Is San Diego walkable like S.F.? Does it have a nice night life?

F.Y.I. Were going at the end of July/Early August.

I used to have a friend when I was younger who lived in Windsor, CA. I think that I got the "Cali" thing from him...
Downtown is walkable. Nightlife is laid back and fun. It's a great beer town. I can't express this enough, go to STONE BREWERY. The weather will be amazing that time of year down there, you'll have a great time. Also, eat Mexican food in San Diego and lots of it, you can't get better Mexican anywhere in the country. Fish Tacos and Beer and warm coastal nights, great ****ing town.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #18
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Old town San Diego is great. Guadalupe's was one of my favorite Mexican places. La Jolla cove is beautiful and cool to check out all of the seals. Balboa park is fun if you like museums and the like.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:56 PM   #19
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la jolla is really cool to hang out. I liked Pacific Beach (just south of there). There are some really cheap places to stay right on the boardwalk there.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:37 PM   #20
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I'll chime in since it is my favorite vacation ever.

1.) We stayed at Grosvenor Suites. Small, older, but had a little kitchenette and a great location. (Close to trolleys, buses, etc.)
2. Alcatraz was really cool. We actually got to go up into the lighthouse. A great view for sure.
3. Golden gate park was massive and a lot of fun.
4. Walked all over and ha a blast.
5. Do Chinatown and I wish we had done their farmers market. Great street food I am told.

Gettting out of town.
1. Stinson Beach and Muir woods were pretty cool.
2. Sonoma/Napa is beautiful countyside and fun.
3. Wish we had made it to Big Sur. Awesome I am told.
4. Yosemite - A bit of a drive but absolutely fantastic. (If you are into that nature type stuff)

Tons to do in and out of SF. Writing this makes me want to book some tickets now. Great HM choice. Enjoy

 
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