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Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

SOLON
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18 posts
34 reviews
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Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

Hello,

We are a family of four with a 15 and 12 years old traveling from SF to LA the last week of March. We would like to spend one night someplace on the way there and possibly on the way back to SF. Can you please recommend the best area to stay? We plan to take our time driving, possibly visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hearst Castle but can't decide between the two. We are leaving SF on a Monday and need to get back by Friday night. In LA we will need one day to see the Universal Studios and we would like to do the tour of celebrity homes. We were planning to leave LA either on Thursday evening or on Friday morning. Any suggestions? We love nature and prefer it over man-made attractions, however, we would like our kids to have fun and not be bored. Any suggestions? I am really not sure if they will enjoy the Hearst Castle.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
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53,954 posts
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1. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

Cambria is the most common stopping place.

Look at the hotels on Moonstone Beach like the FogCatcher Inn, Best Western Plus Fireside Inn and the Blue Dolphin Inn.

Skip touring the celebrity homes, it is pretty much a waste of time since all you usually see are gates and walls.

SOLON
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18 posts
34 reviews
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2. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

Would you recommend Hearst Castle with the kids this age?

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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32,358 posts
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3. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

I would, especially if you give them a little taste of its history ahead of time.

Bay Area, CA
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4. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

If you are deciding between the Monterey Aquarium and Hearst Castle, I'd definitely go with the Monterey area with kids that age. Besides the aquarium, there's kayaking in Elkhorn Slough or Monterey Bay, Carmel Beach, Point Lobos, and my family likes cycling the coastal bike trail (we haul our bikes down from the Bay Area).

vina del mar
5 posts
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5. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

Hearst castle is more in the middle and will help break the trip up. Small town but beautiful and full of charm. San Luis also is a nice town with shopping, theaters if the small town feel in Cambrian gets to be too much. Also "bubble gum alley" is a fun sight to see

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
53,954 posts
422 reviews
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6. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

I would definitely take kids that age to Hearst Castle. I was that age or possibly a bit younger my first time and it blew me away that people lived like that at one time.

7. Re: Where to spend one night between San Francisco and LA?

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