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Discussion Starter #1
My stepdad's 65th birthday is this October, and I am kicking around some ideas for a trip for his present. The idea is going to be 2.5-3 weeks on the west coast for him and my mom, starting with Vegas and SEMA for some work/fun, then driving to LA with a week driving up the coast, and finishing with a week in napa.

Can you suggest some hotels along the coast, some interesting stops along the way, restaurants, etc For you Norcal guys, any suggestions for vineyards they should check out?

Thanks in advance for the advice
 

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well you definitely have to go to Malibu of course. What type of food do you guys like? and I can recommend some restaurants.
 

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Everything is fair game for food... Not sure there is anything my parents try and avoid
I'd suggest La Costa Mission. It's one of the best Mexican food places you'll ever go to. Ask for the owner or the chef. Tell them Van aka MalibuMafiaV sent you:). They'll take care of you.
La Costa Mission - Malibu, CA | Yelp
 

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Awesome, much appreciated!
No problem. I also suggest if your driving up north to take hwy 1 the whole way for scenic views. If you plan on going pretty far ( looks like your going up to Napa Valley ) Deetjen's Big Sur Inn - Big Sur, CA | Yelp for breakfast. It's the best breakfast you'll ever have in your life. Ask for Dorthy and tell her Van sent you once again:). The Views and peace you'll find in Big Sur will most likely make you guys not wanting to leave. Probably scratch the whole Napa Valley thing all together once your there lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lol Im only going to vegas for SEMA, maybe spend a night in LA too... I cant afford to take 3 weeks off like the retirees, lol.

I was going to map the drive up 1, I figure during the week there shouldn't be any traffic. Should I get them a hotel in Big Sur? Other than food are there any points of interest I should send them to? Think touristy stuff
 

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lol Im only going to vegas for SEMA, maybe spend a night in LA too... I cant afford to take 3 weeks off like the retirees, lol.

I was going to map the drive up 1, I figure during the week there shouldn't be any traffic. Should I get them a hotel in Big Sur? Other than food are there any points of interest I should send them to? Think touristy stuff
Hotels in big sur are more of cabin style. A big part of big sur is. No electronics or cell phone reception, no radios, no TVs, no internet. Extremely quiet or some what noisy. So if their into something like that I can recommend a few places to stay.
 

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i recommend the Avila Village Inn and also San Luis Obispo area in general. There are some great sights.

Of course Monterey Aquarium, Hearst Castle, and Pebble Beach are mandatory stops for most folks- and I highly recommend them for the older folks especially.

Highway 1 is the way to go, no doubt, beautiful driving.

If they are going as far north as Napa, definitely visit the Robert Mondavi winery and local restaurants. Also the Muir Woods are great for first timers to the Bay Area just north of the Golden Gate bridge.

The best wine though is central coast- search the area near SLO to find some amazing tours.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So what Im thinking...
2 nights in LA area (JW Marriott near santa monica pier), explore Malibu, Hollywood, Beverly hills, San Bernardino.
Drive up to Big Sur via 1, stopping at Hearst Castle. (need to find some where for them to stay in this area)
Next day send them to Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach spend the night in that area.
Drive to Yosemite and spend the day there
Drive to San Francisco
Drive to Napa spend a few days in Napa

Is Sequoia National Park worth a stop on the way to big sur? not on the way but more like LA>Seq. National >Hearst Castle > Big Sur with a night being added in there... If I have them go to Seq. National, is it necessary to go to Yosemite? or is one better than the other? My mother has been to Yosemite
 

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Yosemite is for more of seeing waterfalls, mountains n stuff. Sequoia is more forest and awesome trees. So which ever there into that's how I'd decide.
 

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SLO? My dad loves wine, he's been making it for years.
SLO = San Luis Obispo. Paso Robles, the whole Central Coast area (San Luis Obispo county) is really popular right now for wine, more so than Napa.

I would say you might be cramming too much into their trip there...I have been to all the places you've listed (and more), and knowing how much time I spent in the car to get to each...it's a real journey.

For example, you can't really "spend the day" in Yosemite. You have to stay nearby overnight if you want to spend the day there, and then be committed to getting out before sunset so you can get to your next destination.

The thing people forget is...we have lots of windy roads and you have to allow for lots of time in the car :)

It's a great state to explore for sure...you can never get bored here.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the clarification and the good points... I'll modify it then, to add some more time in SLO, and Sequoia National because I think they'll like that more
 

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Monterey is a good place to visit. Stay at The Lodge at Pebble Beach and a round of golf :) Guys hit the links, and there is plenty of high end shopping for your Mom. If you go to Monterey from Napa you have to pass thru Blackhawk/Danville area there is a Auto Museum in Blackhawk( The Behring Auto Museum) Worth stopping for a few hours to view some nice motors.
 
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