Destinations within 3-5 hours south of SF, ideally near the coast?
September 3, 2010 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Destinations within 3-5 hours south of SF, ideally near the coast?

I finally have a free day since moving to SF and want to take a drive on the coast...but ideally I'd like to have somewhere to drive to instead of just going and then turning around and coming back. I'll be with a friend, so maybe a tasty place to eat or something. I love Mexican food and I've heard that central CA has some good places in that vein, so that'd be awesome. But really anything worth a drive.
posted by wooh to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
San Luis Obispo? You can go see the Hearst Castle.
posted by loriginedumonde at 6:00 PM on September 3, 2010

Big Sur. Henry Miller Museum
posted by goalyeehah at 6:24 PM on September 3, 2010

Best answer: Monterey Bay Aquarium is always fantastic. And Santa Cruz is a fun town to wander around in for a day.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:32 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you go to Heart Castle, Monterey/Carmel is practically on the way if you take take 101 --> 1. IIRC, SF --> Monterey is about a 2-3 hour drive with Hearst Castle being another 2ish hours taking 1. I was just on vacation in CA for a wedding, and those are the main spots we hit up after SF and it was fun.
posted by jmd82 at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2010

Best answer: If you've never driven it, then I'll second the Big Sur / Highway 1 South from Monterey as far as Hearst Castle. Stop in Monterey for the Aquarium on the way there or back.
posted by jontyjago at 6:50 PM on September 3, 2010

I'm not sure who told you that Central CA has excellent Mexican food. ALL of California has excellent Mexican food :)
posted by puritycontrol at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2010

Response by poster: Recommend me some, purity control :)
posted by wooh at 7:32 PM on September 3, 2010

If you've never seen an elephant seal up close, you might add a stop to the rookery to your trip:

They are pretty impressively massive animals. Not so much a destination, but definitely worth pulling over if you're in the neighborhood.

If you do end up as far south as San Luis Obispo, then I'd recommend Morro Bay and Montana De Oro state park (cool cliffs and surf) as some cool coastal areas to explore.

There are also several disc golf courses in and around San Luis Obispo too if that's something you're into.
posted by Sharakov at 11:49 PM on September 3, 2010

Give yourself a leasurely stay in Monterrey. Take time to look around and enjoy. Stay at Casa Munras and have dinner at Passion Fish. Take a walk at Point Lobos. Mexican food restaurants abound but I can't think of one to recommend, hopefully someone else can provide a name of one for you.
posted by X4ster at 9:14 AM on September 4, 2010

If you go to San Luis Obispo this little taco stand probably has the most authentic and best tasting Mexican food in town - Lo Mejo de Acapulpo. For a sit down meal La Palapa currently ranks among the best of SLO's Mexican restaurants.
posted by X4ster at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2010

Lo Mejor de Acapulpo
posted by X4ster at 9:29 AM on September 4, 2010

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