Place to rest my head - CA Central Coast and Los Angeles
May 12, 2019 5:27 PM   Subscribe

We are planning a six day trip, driving down Highway 1 from Monterey to Los Angeles next week. Challenge: where to spend the nights. Looking for towns to stop in, hotels to stay at. Other trip ideas are also welcome. Theme is relaxation and recovery.

Husband and I are planning a trip with the primary goal of rest and recovery. The thought is to spend a couple nights along the Central Coast as we head towards LA and then a couple of night in LA before we drive back home. We are leaving next Saturday and would like to have some hotel reservations in place before we leave.

Can you suggest some specific towns to stay in? Better yet, specific hotels. (Bonus if they can recharge our Telsa at the hotel).

Also, I have no idea where to stay in LA. We are walk around, visit museums type of people. Thought maybe we would want to see the Getty and the Griffith Observatory but have no firm plans.
posted by metahawk to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What's your per-night budget, roughly?
posted by Lyn Never at 6:24 PM on May 12, 2019

Response by poster: We can do $200 a night, although preferably not every night.
posted by metahawk at 6:27 PM on May 12, 2019

Best answer: Cambria is pretty touristy but makes a convenient stop close to San Simeon if you want to go see Hearst Castle, which, if you haven't visited previously, is certainly worth your time. In high tourist season you probably want to make tour reservations in advance. And keep an eye on the hills as you're driving that section of the coast -- the last time I was along that section of Highway 1 I spotted a wild zebra on a hillside, presumably descended from the animals released from Hearst's private zoo.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:52 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also adding an enthusiastic recommendation for the Getty when you get to L.A.

I've only been to the main museum complex, not the villa, but it's a terrific museum with a wonderful location and a spectacular setting. Allow yourself a little extra time to wander around the grounds as well.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:55 PM on May 12, 2019

I stayed in this nice cottage in Cambria.
posted by pinochiette at 7:04 PM on May 12, 2019

I'm fond of Morro Bay; seasidey without being overly touristy. We've stayed at the somewhat-quirky Bayfront Inn several times. Room 20 has the best view of the harbor and the Rock; it had a whirlpool tub when we stayed although looks from the website like it might not any more.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:17 PM on May 12, 2019

If you want to visit the Getty Villa in Malibu, you need a reservation (reservation is free, parking is $20).

The Marciano Art Foundation is free, but also requires a parking reservaton. If you're interested in modern, you should definitely go there.

The main parking lot at the Griffith Observatory is closed till May 23. For information on how to get there, check this page.
posted by mogget at 7:20 PM on May 12, 2019

Best answer: Staying in LA almost always means you will have to sacrifice at least one or two of your top five priorities. $200/night doesn't go as far here as it does elsewhere (I just checked several of the places I stayed before I lived here, only one of which I love and that's with major caveats, and they're all $220ish). Airbnb etc is fucking up this city, but I have used them and vrbo and those are often a better deal and more comfortable.

Two of the places I have stayed and like for an okay price-location combo are Farmer's Daughter near the Farmer's Market and fairly close to Miracle Mile/LACMA, and the Foghorn Harbor Inn in Marina del Rey. Farmer's Daughter is boutique as hell but has parking (you'll pay extra) in a tough area and is really close to stuff, it's a good launch pad. Foghorn Harbor Inn - which I adore - is weird, very popular with Europeans, the owners and most of the staff are lovely, it's shabby-chic but slightly more shabby, the noise from the Cheesecake Factory next door is profound until about 10pm, but is actually literally on the beach in the Marina. As in, I always get a lower room because it has a glass wall and then sand and then volleyball nets and then boats. You can walk or bike to Venice beach from there. If you are going to be in LA on a Thursday, the food truck night is in the parking lot next door and I cannot say enough enthusiastic things about that - especially now as the weather is getting great.

If you want to stay somewhere on the northern outskirts of LA (like, real north) on your way in or out, there's a number of decent places in Calabasas/Agoura Hills/Thousand Oaks/Woodland Hills. That puts you just over the last hump of mountains to Malibu, and I loooove the canyon roads (Malibu Cyn, Topanga Cyn, Las Virgenes, etc and then Mulholland cuts across all those) that get you over to the 1. The only place I've stayed out there was The Anza hotel (I think right on the Calabasas/Agoura line) and it's pretty nice.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:24 PM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

(Note: my "tough area" reference above means "impossible to park" because the area is so busy, not any sort of danger.)
posted by Lyn Never at 8:34 PM on May 12, 2019

Best answer: I'll give another vote to Cambria. I've stayed here - Blue Dolphin Inn - right across from the beach. The Farmers Daughter in LA (mentioned above) is cute and convenient to tons of stuff. Give yourself PLENTY of time at the Getty. It is spectacular!
posted by nevertoolate at 9:11 PM on May 12, 2019

It’s been awhile, but I remember many hotels in SF and LA offered free valet parking / charging for electric vehicles. One place I remember charged $29/day for conventional parking -> $0.00 for me since I’d rented a Prius.

5 or 6 years ago my family and I flew into LA and rented a car and drove up the coast to Portland. Each morning we looked at a map, decided where we wanted to go and where we might want to rest for the night, and I’d find a likely hotel / motel and make reservations. I ended up joining a bunch of customer affiliation clubs, which often got us perks (nicer room, access to snack bar area, etc) as well as a few bucks off the price.

I’m sorry I don’t have any specific recommendations, but I remember that the casual, one-day-at-time system worked out really, really well. We had a lot of flexibility, and no rush.
posted by doctor tough love at 4:14 AM on May 13, 2019

We are dual-Prius Angelenos and have never gotten a discount on parking, but I would also not be surprised if Teslas got special treatment.

I have noticed that a decent smattering of parking garages here will have 2-3 charging spots, but they're not usually free (possibly using them will give you a parking validation, though) and I've never seen any indication of Tesla supercharging. I probably see them more often in garages attached to offices rather than shopping/entertainment but a lot of places in LA are both. Also, you apparently have to know they're there (or maybe there's an app?) because I've never noticed any signage saying "this way to the chargers" in my usual haunts.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:58 AM on May 13, 2019

Best answer: Some hotel booking engines let you search electric vehicle charging as an amenity -- I've used to find places and then booked directly with the hotel for a better deal. I've never gotten free parking with a Tesla, but the actual electricity is usually free. The Getty has electric chargers...if you come early, you'll probably be able to park at one.

If you're at all interested in wine (and deviating from the coast), Paso Robles is only 45 minutes off of Hwy 1 and some of the wineries and hotels have destination chargers. There's also a supercharger nearby.

Pismo Beach isn't super exciting, but the beach is nice. They have a lot of beach-front hotels with destination chargers, and rates should be reasonable this time of year. If you decide not to stay in Cambria, you can reach Pismo Beach in an hour. You might enjoy it more if you're a Clueless fan. :)

Hotels with Tesla chargers can be pricey, but one thing to consider (if you overnight in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara) is that you'll be paying through the nose for parking anywhere. In the past, I've parked my car in a place with destination charging and stayed in a cheaper hotel next door. Traffic can really ruin your day in LA, so you should figure out where you want to be and try to stay on that side of town... I agree that you should probably check airbnb. There are a surprising number of superchargers in/around LA; if you're willing to go drink Starbucks in a strip mall for an hour then you don't have to worry about the overnight charging.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:30 PM on May 15, 2019

Response by poster: We stayed at both of nevertoolate's suggestions. Loved the Blue Dolphin Inn. The Farmer's Daughter was quirky and more expensive than we expected (didn't realize until later that Wednesday night was almost $100 more than Tuesday night) but the location worked really well. We also stopped in Morro Bay (the bird rookery was my favorite). I recommend to others taking time to stop at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal beach just north of Hearst Castle - a free turnout along the highway that was fascinating.
posted by metahawk at 1:51 PM on June 13, 2019

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