What's the best overnight experience I can have between LA and SF?
September 15, 2018 2:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm travelling from overseas to California for meetings, flying into LA and out of SF. I've only been a handful of times, so I wanted to drive between the two cities, ideally along the coast, but I have super limited time and only one night to break up the drive. Where's the best place to stop along the way for some quality R&R overnight? Happy to splurge here. Spa/water features a bonus!
posted by LongDrive to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would look into Monterey or Carmel by the Sea
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:51 AM on September 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo kind of has to be seen to be believed.
posted by corey flood at 2:58 AM on September 15, 2018 [12 favorites]

Just to clarify, I'm looking for recommendations on specific places - i.e, a particular hotel or spa etc. Thank you :)
posted by LongDrive at 3:02 AM on September 15, 2018

I have not been in years, but I would expect that the answer is still Ventana in Big Sur.
posted by sheldman at 5:23 AM on September 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Post Ranch Inn is incredible. We spent our 10th anniversary there and it was amazing.

Might not be the best idea for "super limited time" but it's a wonderful, relaxing place with a stellar restaurant overlooking the ocean and plenty of walking trails on the property. They also have a spa.
posted by kdar at 5:59 AM on September 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Esalen is amazing. More hippie but amazing views and massages - and nude hot tub overlooking the ocean!
posted by treetop89 at 7:32 AM on September 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Post Ranch Inn is great (though $$$$) or Refuge in Carmel. I'm not sure you can stay at Esalen without doing a workshop (maybe I'm wrong) but the hot spring overlooking the Pacific is open to the public in the middle of the night (1-3am). There are some good Airbnbs in the area, too, if you just want to relax in a gorgeous setting. Note that it takes a really long time to drive to Big Sur from LA, i.e. almost as long as it would take to drive all the way from LA to SF on 5. But worth it, in my opinion.
posted by pinochiette at 8:03 AM on September 15, 2018

I like Pismo Beach; I had a nice overnight one time with dinner at the Dolphin Bay resort. I didn't stay at the resort, I cheaped out and stayed next door at Spyglass Inn which was perfectly adequate. But the resort has all the fancy amenities like a spa.

Morro Bay to Cayucos also has nice stuff in it but I can't name a specific place, sorry.
posted by Nelson at 8:36 AM on September 15, 2018

nthing the Madonna Inn for visual exuberance. 189 miles from LA, so about halfway to SF.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:54 AM on September 15, 2018

Came just to recommend the Madonna Inn. I don't think they have spa facilities on site (IIRC), but they do have a lovely hot-tub overlooking the valley, and the rooms are amazing. The steakhouse is also very good, and they have live music there several nights a week.
posted by suelac at 3:20 PM on September 15, 2018

If you don't stay at the Madonna Inn (an overnight in Big Sur or Carmel may make more sense), at least stop to go to the bathroom for the "water feature."
posted by zachlipton at 12:24 AM on September 17, 2018

« Older Working for a school district and the cost of...   |   Pretend to still like friend's abusive spouse to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.