Help me plan a chill Mid/Norcal vaycay!
May 29, 2015 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Hivemind!, Previously, you helped me plan a killer trip up to Joshua Tree by pointing me to Kate's Lazy Desert (A+++!). Now I've got about a week before I start a new job and the lady friend and I are looking to make our way up the Cali coast in search of the perfect chill. There are plenty of travel guides, but I always prefer a personal touch. We'll be departing from LA and happy to see anything north from there! More inside.

Here's the criteria:

-Interesting beats comfortable
-Camping is possible, but we're not camping pros.
-Hiking etc. is totally okay! We're both able-bodied if not exactly athletic.
-But we're also into wine and dine and don't mind the high-brow.
-We'd love to take our 25 lb mutt along for the trip, so dog-friendly is a huge perk.
-Number one request: Chill vibes! We've both been stressing majorly lately and so a low-stress vaycay is totally on the agenda

I'm mostly trying to avoid tourist traps, expensive spas and crowded areas. Suggest away! We will have a car that's not really off-roadable, but otherwise capable.
posted by GilloD to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of Cambria as a mid-Cal alternative to Morro Bay, Carmel or Big Sur. I believe several of the hotels on Moonstone Beach are dog-friendly. The drive from 101 (Paso Robles) to the Coast along Hwy 46 is especially beautiful.
posted by vunder at 11:28 AM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

> -Interesting beats comfortable

Hmmm... I think you need to elaborate on this and define what you mean by "interesting"?

In the mean time, we have always enjoyed the time we've spent hanging out in and around San Luis Obispo. The town itself and the surrounding communities (Avila Beach, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, etc.) are beautiful, have great dining and outdoors activities (hiking, biking, fishing, etc.), friendly people, and really do embody the word "chill".

You don't need to necessarily start or end your trip there, but it makes a great mid point destination.
posted by mosk at 11:31 AM on May 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

When I lived in Silicon Valley, I liked to take vacations in June Lake. There's not a lot there, but it is beautiful country and about an hour from Sonora Pass.
posted by plinth at 11:39 AM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've been to play dates for dogs on Avila beach, so I know you can openly bring your dog there. (Probably all the time, but I can't swear about hours.) It's pretty gorgeous there and I parked and entered for free.
posted by puddledork at 11:46 AM on May 29, 2015

If you end up near Morro Bay, there is a nice hike at Cerro Alto. You can also camp. Dogs allowed on this trail.
posted by notned at 11:55 AM on May 29, 2015

Paso Robles calls themselves Wine Country.
posted by notned at 11:58 AM on May 29, 2015

Also, really, Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It takes some planning (because places to stay fill up), is a bit expensive, and I have no idea what is or is not dog-friendly, but it's really gorgeous and there's some unusual stuff to do there, including going to the Esalen hot springs in the middle of the night.

I have not stayed at Big Sur Lodge but have heard good things about it. There's good camping there too, but again, you'll probably want reservations.
posted by vunder at 1:29 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Treebones Resort and the Madonna Inn are both great. Unfortunately, both have a no pets policy.
posted by cleverevans at 4:39 PM on May 29, 2015

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