We drove from the mid-west to San Diego- wanted to do the road trip thing and check out Calie. If I had it to do over again, I would of just flown in and rented a car to drop off in San Fran before returning. The drive from Kansas to Calie was long, long, long and drawn out. We took the southern route, wanted to go thru the desert and check out that sceen, but we were so tired we didn't check out a whole lot and just wanted to get there already. I am not going to talk a bunch of smack on New Mexico, NV, AZ cuz I didn't spend enough time to really know the area, but from what I did see -- I will not be vacationing there. We should of went thru CO. Oh, well...got into Calie thru Barstow - middle of the desert hell hole - staid in a Best Western which was clean and under 100. In the morning we hit the road and headed in to San Diego...super nice town, huge, great beach (Mission), great food - so much to do. They have rides and such along the ocean at Mission beach and nice resturants along with cheaper fast food type places. They have some islands of the coast that you can drive to that are fun as well.
Went from San D to LA - bummer- huge let down. I had really built this town up in my head and then when I saw it ...well lets just say you should never build things up before you have a chance to see the place. Hollywood was the biggest let down of all, small, conjested, dirty, dank, and smelled. The rest of LA was ok and some areas of course were great -- I just wouldn't go for Hollywood alone.
Went up to Big Sur - so flipping nice-plenty of camp grounds and trails. Large cliffs and crashing waves, mountians and forests. The best...little shops and resturants. HWY One its slow going but breathtaking!!!! you have to see this!
Carmel...over rated, small, but cute. Overpriced, but warm and welcoming. Mixed feelings on this one. Nice down town for eating and shopping - tucked away in the trees along the coast. If you are shopping here plan to spend some cash. Nice beach! Check out Point Lobos along the coast...such a cool hike!!!!!! Wildlife and natural beauty. Point Lopos and Hwy One were the best part of this vacation.
Monterey was right up the road, loved this town. Picture- so perfect - plenty of places to walk around and site see. Small and easy to scope out on foot -- if you are staying around the warf.
Santa Cruz was a ok city to look at, not as nice as Monterey, but it made up for that in Charater. Super friendly people, we had a blast and even went to a house party after meeting several people on the beach. Laid back town.
San Fran - check it out over LA if you have to choose. It was more my style anyways. Berkley was fun.
We drove back home thru Lake Tahoe and Reno and took the northern route home. I would of liked it if we spent more time in the Tahoe area, from what I did see it was pretty nice, can't say the same for Reno. No matter what though, Calie is worth the money and the time. I have traveled all over the states and seen almost all of America, not counting New England (I hear is very nice), Calie took the cake. It has every thing-- mountians, oceans, forrest, and deserts. The people were very friendly and out going. Great food and great weather as well -- perfect really, even if Hollywood was let down.