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Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

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Ottawa Canada
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Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Will be at conference in Berkeley and looking for oceanfront place to stay for week or 10 days before or after. Had been considering Del Mar near San Diego but the reviews of BW Cliffs and others here have caught my eye on this forum.

Wondering about getting here from SF area via public transit (how and how long) and getting around wo car ie into town etc. Appreciate any thoughts or other locations (small town feel with oceanfront location good). Looking for clean, quiet, no frills for under $100 night which seems doable in Jan. Car rental not that expensive so might consider renting car for week if needed.

San Diego
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1. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Are you just planning to sit and look at the ocean for a week? Do you want there to be activities/sights in the area?

WHERE are you planning to fly out of after your break?

Pismo is near San Luis Obispo which has a small airport and also has a stop on the train from Emeryville(near Berkeley) Don't know if Pismo itself has a train station.

It would take at least 5hrs on the train to get nearby.

You could easily fly down to San Diego in MUCH less time and in Jan. prices on the beach would be off season rates although not sure if we can find you under $100.

Grover Beach...
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2. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

California's public transit leaves little to be desired. Buses and trains run late, make lots of stops and neither really put you near Pismo Beach without a long walk or cab hire.

Renting a car puts you control of where you can go and what you can do.

Also not likely to get a room at The Cliffs for under $100 a night. They just spent 3 mil remodeling/updating the place to a more contemporary look.

If you have your heart on ocean front in Pismo, consider Spyglass Inn (near The Cliffs Hotel), Kon Tiki Inn, Edgewater Motel, Best Western Shore Cliff Lodge, Best Western Shelter Cove Lodge, Cottage Inn.

Berkeley, California
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3. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Several things here...

1. Have you considered other beach destinations? Santa Cruz and Monterey are much closer to the Bay Area than Pismo Beach, which is on the Central Coast.

2. Beach-front lodging probably won't be had for $100 unless you do not want a view or a particularly updated room. Considering your length of stay, you may want to try a vacation rental. Also consider using a site like Hotwire or Priceline if you would like to save money.

3. With a full week to spare, you will want to rent a car. Believe me I am an advocate for California's crumbling public transit system, but especially in a place like Pismo Beach, you'll get cabin fever without a car. (I lived in San Luis Obispo for four years without one, and I would not recommend the experience to anyone. In any event, this is one of the few cases where I can say the public transit system has *improved* over time. It's still very anemic, though. Public transit elsewhere has been on a regular decline for the past X years.)

4. To get from Berkeley to Pismo Beach, you will want to take Amtrak. There are three different route combos, so you'll have to decide which option sounds best. They are:

(1) Take the Coast Starlight train from Emeryville to San Luis Obispo. You will have to catch AC Transit Route 19 to get from Berkeley to the Emeryville train station, and SLORTA Route 10 to get from SLO's train station to Pismo Beach.

(2) Take the "Coast Daylight" bus from Oakland to San Luis Obispo, then either catch a connecting Amtrak train to Grover Beach or SLORTA Route 10. AC Transit Routes 72 and 72M stop at the Oakland train station near Jack London Square.

(3) Take the Capitol Corridor train from Berkeley to San Jose, then transfer to a connection Amtrak bus to Grover Beach. AC Transit Routes 19 and 51 stop at the Berkeley train station, and SLORTA SCAT Routes 21/24 operate between Grover Beach and Pismo Beach.

Details:

http://www.actransit.org

http://www.amtrak.com

http://www.slorta.org

Ottawa Canada
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4. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Thanks to all. Makes me think I will return to Plan A which was to fly to San Diego after conference via SW airlines and stick with BW Stratford Inn at Del Mar as likely can get for the $100/night and fly back to Ottawa from there or if before conference into SD and home from SF.

I have had 2 trips to CA in recent years including car rental so have seen coastal CA quite well. A couple of years spent some time exploring San Diego area and quite liked Del Mar. Also that area seems to be well-serviced by public transit.

Berkeley, California
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5. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Del Mar has one bus line, NCTD Route 101. The train station was relocated to Solana Beach several years ago, so Del Mar really just has the one bus line.

Amesbury...
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6. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Del Mar is definitely your best bet in January as it never quite seems to get hit with the same amount of rain as the rest of the coast in January. And with the entire state PRAYING for rain this January, weather should be a real issue. If you are staying 10 nights you should be able to get the old Stratford to come down on that $100 rate. Use the savings to rent a car, you'll be so glad to have it especially if you get a rainy week.

Ottawa Canada
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7. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

Thanks. Will consider car rental although may take opportunity on "rainy" days to go into LA via train and take a tour or two since have only seen airport there or into SD and did find public transit there OK last visit for getting around SD area.

The nearest train station to Del Mar I gather is Solana Beach and on my Del Mar postings some have been trying to steer me there but find rates very expensive and will follow advice of checking various rates again in November before booking anything as likely negotiable give Jan./Feb is offseason and my dates are a little flexible ie before or after conference in Berkeley.

At the moment a kingsize oceanfront at BW Stratford looks like it could be had for under $100. However I do note it falls under Pacifica group of managed properties so will also have to check TA reviews later in fall and Del Mar Motel which is beachfront falls under another management firm so will check those reviews too.

8. Re: Doable without a car in Jan. for week?

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