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Recommendations for visit to Hearst Castle

Recommendations for visit to Hearst Castle

Old Feb 2, 05, 1:20 am
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Recommendations for visit to Hearst Castle

I would like to spend 2 or 3 days driving down from SFO on the 101 to visit Hearst Castle and then driving up the coast on Highway 1 to Carmel.

As we will have lots of luggage I am trying to work out a plan which means that we dont have to leave our rental car unattended with luggage in it whilst we visit towns / Hearst Catle, but I am finding it hard to work out where to stay overnight in the area.

If we drive down to San Luis Obispo to overnight and then visit the Castle from there, it looks like a 45 mile each way trip if we go back to San Luis Obispo for our bags vor for a 2nd night, which we would then have to cover again on the way up to the coast.

I would rather not stay in 2 different hotels in the area on consecutive nights.

I would recevie gratefully, any suggestions generally as to places to stay in the area and to my conundrum mentioned above.

PS
As an afterthought I won der about Cambria. Does it have anywhere 5* to stay and would it work ?
Would San Luis Obispo be worth the drive from there just to see it ?

Last edited by Frequentflyer99; Feb 2, 05 at 2:09 am
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Old Feb 2, 05, 10:34 am
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I don't know about 5 stars, but Cambria has a number of very nice B&Bs. We've visited Hearst Castle from Cambria and it is extremely convenient -- a mere 10 minutes or so in the 101. When we were there (which was about 8 years ago) there were some world class restaurants in Cambria.
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Old Feb 2, 05, 3:28 pm
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Well, I personally think that going to SLO would be worth it. But I'm biased, having spent a few years there while in college. It's a beautiful town, with a nice downtown (Thursday night farmer's market is not to be missed). You could always stay one night there, then drive to Hearst, leaving your luggage in the car there (I would think it would be fairly secure there given the amount of foot-traffic). Then you could stay a night in Cambria, or continue up ther coast and stay somewhere further north.

Another possibility, if you really want to leave your luggage at a hotel, would be to stay in Morro Bay. It's another nice town, and is about 15-20 minutes closer to Hearst, so the drive back there after getting a tour wouldn't be too bad.

But again, if I were you I would go to SLO, spend a day there, get a nice hotel (Madonna Inn, of course, is an experience in and of itself), then check out, go to Hearst, and continue a bit further north and stay at a hotel there.

As I recall there are a couple good threads on the CA forum regarding Hearst Castle, San Luis Obispo, and the drive up/down 1. A search would probably reveal more input/thoughts.

Good luck, and enjoy the trip!
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Old Feb 2, 05, 3:49 pm
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The accomodations in Cambria are more quaint B&B than 5*, but they can be very nice. My wife and I liked the J. Patrick House when we stayed there but there are many very nice properties. Dining in Cambria is indeed some of the best in California outside San Francisco (and maybe L.A.). I think you would have a more enjoyable experience, if your goal for going down that far is primarily to visit Hearst Castle, if you stay in Cambria rather than SLO. Of course, YMMV. If you do stay in Cambria, I wouldn't bother with Moonstone Beach and woudl instead opt for something on the mountain side of town. Moonstone tends toward the more pedestrian accomodations (and I really don't mean that to sound snobish).

BTW, for the person who suggested Morro Bay - it is 17 miles the wrong side of Cambria if you are coming from SFO. It is very nice there, though.
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Old Feb 3, 05, 1:27 am
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Thanks for the tip.s Also not wanting to sound snobbish, , what would be the best that money could buy in terms of Cambria accomodation ?

Burton House looks nice but is not on the beach. The Best Western (not my normal choice of chain) looks well positioned and appears to have been remodelled in 2004.

Thoughts on either ?

Last edited by Frequentflyer99; Feb 3, 05 at 2:58 am
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Old Feb 3, 05, 2:20 pm
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This is a good list of the accomodations available. You might try calling them or looking online for reviews. Unfortunately I have only stayed in Cambria the one time, although I am very familiar with the Central Coast in general, so I can't comment on the other B&B's.

http://www.cambriachamber.org/busine...ry/lodging.htm
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Old Feb 3, 05, 8:00 pm
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I did some quick checking, and the Blue Whale Inn looks rather promising (it's gotten good reviews on Tripadvisor.com). Here is the URL:

Blue Whale Inn

There are a lot of places to stay on Moonstone Beach, and they do tend to be crowded together. But some are nicer than others, of course.
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Old Feb 3, 05, 11:42 pm
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I stayed at the Best Western Fireside Inn back in 2000 when I visited Hearst Castle (this was when I was visiting from the east coast - doing SFO to San Diego - and not yet a Californian). It was nice enough at the time for one night. Definitely not 5* - more an upscale motor lodge as there is a road is between all the hotels and the ocean and your car is right out front - but it is very convenient to the Castle. The beach area is nice too.

I also recommend the dining in Cambria. We went to this incredible Indian-fushion place on the main street. As good as anything i have had in many trips to San Francisco (which I consider the best dining of any city I have visited).
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Old Feb 4, 05, 7:16 am
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Any collective thoughts on the Burton Inn in Cambria ?
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Old Mar 30, 05, 10:06 pm
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I don't know if your trip is already over but you might want to take a look at the Madonna Inn, just off the 101 near Hearst Castle. It's a really quaint inn with a lot of unique themed rooms.

http://www.madonnainn.com/
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Old Apr 4, 05, 9:09 pm
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Try the B&B's in Cambria.
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