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      12-01-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
BarryC
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Suggestions regarding a family trip to Laguna Seca area

Hi,

My wife an I are considering purchasing a Skip Barber two driving school at Laguna Seca at the end of December for my son's 18th birthday.

Since we're on the East Coast and know nothing about the area - I was hoping to get some input on things to do within 100 miles of Salinas.

Any input would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Barry
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      12-01-2009, 09:30 AM   #2
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It's hard to tell you where to begin. It is in the middle of an area, which is one of the most beautiful on the planet. Think Carmel, Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, and on and on.
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      12-01-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Robatas for sushi. located at the "Barnyard" in Carmel.
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      12-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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100 miles?!.. theres is more then you could ever do within 10 miles!


Ive been in that area many times.. all for the racetrack and then around the area in my free time.. similar to you..

For lunch.. eat at The Red Brick pizza.. Its a chain but the vegetables out there are SO fresh.. its great pizza.. its in the same complex as the Starbucks thats closest to the track when you are coming from seasside.. on the corner of N South rd and Canyon Del Ray blvd... The airport is close by so theres planes and private jets flying over your head if you sit outside...

Downtown Monterey is pretty cool to stay in... BUT... There is a hotel in Seaside right on the ocean.. its a Best Western but its actually Really nice and has an awesome location...

Best Western Beach Resort Monterey
2600 Sand Dunes Dr
Monterey, CA 93940-3838

17 miles drive through Peppble beach is a MUST...
Walk around Carmel... There is a great italian place there also.. Ferrari stuff on the walls. kinda small... try it..
Walk down to the beach in Carmel... down the hill...
If you have time take hwy 1 from San Fran instead of the interstate.. It will take about 45min more.. but is worth it... Take hwy92 from i280 to hwy1...


Also Pacific Grove is a cool area to check out...


and whatever they say about the "corkscrew".. you DONT just line it up and Gun it!!
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      12-01-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
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I have been all over the world and our country and without ANY HESITATION I can say that the Pebble Beach/Carmel/Big Sur area is arguably one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. If you have the means, stay at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Drive the 17 mile drive, go down to San Simeon and check out Hearst Castle, Monterey is pretty cool, very Historic and has a great Aquarium, there is so much great stuff to do there. However late Dec will be pretty cold and rainy, yet still gorgeous.
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      12-01-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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I'll third the aquarium. One of the best on the planet. I'm drawing a blank on the name but isn't there a nice auto museum in the area as well? I've been there but have no clue on the name right now.
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      12-01-2009, 03:28 PM   #7
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You Almost Can't go Wrong

If you are into motorcycles there's a huge scene at the intersection of hwy 84 and Skyline Blvd every weekend (just west of Redwood City). The roads are great in every direction. Hwy 9 out of Santa Cruz is like a roller coaster past Boulder Creek all the way to Skyline Blvd. Hwy 24 from Holister to Hwy 198 can be a great alternative to Hwy 101 south. There's a boardwalk and old style amusement park in Santa Cruz. It's beautiful pretty much everywhere you look. My wife took the pictures below last year in Capitola near Santa Cruz. Another + on San Simeon. It's got to be seen to be believed.

Be sure your card has lots of available credit on it.
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      12-01-2009, 10:55 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for the input! We're signed up for the 28th & 29th of Dec. Couldn't convince my wife to do the 3 day race school so it's the High Performance Driving School. Should be fun!

Thanks again,
Barry
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      12-02-2009, 12:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryC View Post
Thanks guys for the input! We're signed up for the 28th & 29th of Dec. Couldn't convince my wife to do the 3 day race school so it's the High Performance Driving School. Should be fun!

Thanks again,
Barry
Where you staying?
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      12-02-2009, 02:11 AM   #10
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Barry -

No disrespect to the other suggestions here, but that's alot to digest and you need to keep it simple at this stage of the game. As someone who lived in Monterey County for ten years, here are my suggestions:

1. Stay in Monterey, Carmel, or Pacific Grove which are well worth the extra dough and give you the best Monterey experience. Avoid Salinas and Seaside which are dumps.

2. Aquarium is a must - right on Cannery Row. When you're done, drive south along the coast thru PG to the 17 mile drive and take it, ending in Carmel. Have a drink at Clint Eastwood's place (Hog's Breath Inn).

3. Another must is a drive down hwy 1 to Big Sur redwoods - spectacular coastline (you'll recognize Bixby Creek Bridge from many commercials).

4. If you're a golfer you've got your pick of 3 or 4 of the best courses in the world - PB, Poppy Hills, Carmel Valley Ranch, etc.

Don't worry about individual restaurants as there are LOTS of options and you can simply ask around when you get there.

Have a great time and feel free to pm me with questions. Laguna is my favorite track - I'm jealous!
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      12-02-2009, 04:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drey View Post
Barry -

No disrespect to the other suggestions here, but that's alot to digest and you need to keep it simple at this stage of the game. As someone who lived in Monterey County for ten years, here are my suggestions:

1. Stay in Monterey, Carmel, or Pacific Grove which are well worth the extra dough and give you the best Monterey experience. Avoid Salinas and Seaside which are dumps.

2. Aquarium is a must - right on Cannery Row. When you're done, drive south along the coast thru PG to the 17 mile drive and take it, ending in Carmel. Have a drink at Clint Eastwood's place (Hog's Breath Inn).

3. Another must is a drive down hwy 1 to Big Sur redwoods - spectacular coastline (you'll recognize Bixby Creek Bridge from many commercials).

4. If you're a golfer you've got your pick of 3 or 4 of the best courses in the world - PB, Poppy Hills, Carmel Valley Ranch, etc.

Don't worry about individual restaurants as there are LOTS of options and you can simply ask around when you get there.

Have a great time and feel free to pm me with questions. Laguna is my favorite track - I'm jealous!
Thanks Drey! Current plan is to fly into SFO early Sunday morning and take Hwy 1 to Monterey. Do you agree this is a good idea?

We had planned to stay in Monterey so it looks like we're on the right track so far. We'll follow your other suggestions too!

Thx,
BC
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      12-02-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpencerM3 View Post
Where you staying?
Haven't decided quite yet.... Do you have a suggestion?

BC
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      12-02-2009, 08:37 PM   #13
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"Current plan is to fly into SFO early Sunday morning and take Hwy 1 to Monterey. Do you agree this is a good idea?"

Yes, Barry - Hwy 1 will not disappoint between SF and Monterey - just make sure you make time one day to continue south from Monterey to Big Sur...it's not far.

Another thought - if you have time coming or going, your kids would probably enjoy the Santa Cruz boardwalk which is on the beach about 40 minutes north of Monterey so it's on the way. Hwy 1 will take you right through there.

And lest we forget, Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world, is also on the way!
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      12-08-2009, 12:00 AM   #14
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Hey Barry, you are very brave scheduling this during the rainly season. I can give you some suggestions for driving roads on your way from SFO to Monterey.

I'd travel via hwy 9 and Big Basin if you're into mountain roads and big trees.

A hidden gem of a restaurant is Duartes in the tiny town of Pescadero. Order the crab sandwich and ollaliberry pie.
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      12-08-2009, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
Hey Barry, you are very brave scheduling this during the rainly season. I can give you some suggestions for driving roads on your way from SFO to Monterey.

I'd travel via hwy 9 and Big Basin if you're into mountain roads and big trees.

A hidden gem of a restaurant is Duartes in the tiny town of Pescadero. Order the crab sandwich and ollaliberry pie.
I'm either brave or stupid - we'll see which it is in a couple of weeks! Actually, we wanted to go somewhere after Xmas and nothing on the east coast or in the Carribean excited us. My oldest son has been dying to get on track and Skip Barber was offering 30% discount so we decided to take the chance. We'll be in Monterey 5 days and the school is 2 days so hopefully we'll see beautiful sights and maybe a little sunshine....

Thanks for the suggestions!
BC
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