Ten Things Not to Do in San Francisco!!

1. If you’re serious about fish, don’t eat seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf.
2. If you love one-of-a-kind finds, don’t shop in Union Square.

3. For the best sourdough bread, don’t go to Boudin Bakery.

4. Unless you’re stuck in 1968, don’t look for counterculture on Haight Street.

5. If you’re going to hop aboard San Francisco’s most famous icons, don’t take the Powell Street cable cars.

6. If you want a taste of waterfront life, don’t waste your time at Pier 39.

7. To get a real taste of Chinese culture, don’t go to Grant Avenue in Chinatown.

8. If you want to take to the water, don’t pile onto the ferry to Sausalito.

9. If you want to explore the San Francisco gay scene, don’t cruise the Castro.

10. Unless you want to freeze your butt off, don’t wear shorts in July.

Check out our blog at Your Vacation Guru for more travel tips. 


Visit our Travel Site to book your next vacation. If you need additional advice and planning contact one of our professional advisors. 

PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY: WHERE TO STOP

Article by Christian Morgan

No matter where you’re from in America, road tripping the Pacific Coast Highway has been ingrained in the trenches of your head since you were at least an early teenager.

It’s one of the world’s most beautiful drives and needs no introduction, but the great question when you doget to make the windy trip down US 1  is where to take your pitstops. There are lots of ways to divide the drive.

Here are the basics:

  1. Should I drive North or South? 
  • Depends on when you want your trip to “peak.”
  • Using Big Sur as your dividing point, the north has more variety, and the south is more relaxed 

      2. How many days do I need?

  • Under no circumstances should you squeeze this into any less than 3 days. Especially if you plan to make stops and enjoy things along the way.
  • If you’re looking for a means to an end for transportation, take I-5. 

        3. Where should I sleep?

  •  I love a good hotel, and don’t mind splurging to be catered. But if you have the right setup, at least in the central Big Sur area, car camping is the way to go.
  • Campgrounds are booked months in advance and packed with people.  The Hotels are lovely, but they are charging for location. 
  • If waking  up to the sun peeking over jagged cliffs next to the roaring Pacific Ocean is a must, the Kirk Creek Campground achieves these things. And there are no mosquitos at night.

       4. What will I eat?

  • San Francisco, Carmel and San Luis Obispo have tons of amazing restaurants and awesome food.
  • In Big Sur, expect to pay $20 for a mediocre meal. There’s always Taco Bell, or pack groceries for in between stops.

Now on to the fun stuff — where to stop! 

Starting from San Francisco southbound:

1- Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay – Lucky for most of us, the Ritz graciously allows coastal access for non-hotel guests who check in at valet. Stick around for the bagpipe player at sunset if your schedule allows.


2- Santa Cruz Boardwalk – Kitschy, quirky, America’s best seaside amusement park. You have to at least see it.


3- Capitola Wharf – Skip the crowds at Natural Bridges State Beach and head to this vibrant little beach town nearby. It’s about time for a drink. 


4- Monterey Bay Aquarium – If you’re traveling with kids, have the extra time or are just really into aquariums, this is the country’s largest aquarium, and they have penguins. If not, stroll along Seaside Beach nearby instead.

5- 17-Mile Drive – There’s really nothing along the 17-mile drive you won’t see if you keep driving.

6- Carmel-by-the-Sea – Eat Mediterranean food, and browse the galleries. Drive through the adorable little neighborhood along Carmel Beach. The food you have here is the best food you’ll have for a while, so eat up! 


7- Point Lobos – Loads of great trails and hiking are just around the riverbend, but if you want a more established spot to get up close and personal with the coastline (or have a group with accessibility needs), this is your stop. 


8- Soberanes Canyon Trail – This is a super popular trail among locals. Consensus says hike early in the day to beat the heat.

9- Calla Lily Valley – Valley of wild calla lilies leads to private beach oasis completely hidden from the highway. Hello, little paradise. 


10- Bixby Bridge – TURN LEFT. Resist the urge to follow the crowds and head up that windy, dirt road (Old Coast Road) for a view through the valley. If you’re equipped in a truck or 4-wheel drive SUV, follow it all 10 miles back through some amazing terrain .


11- Big Sur River Restautant + Inn – Strongest WI-FI in Big Sur and an adorable setup out back with wooden chairs in the river. 

12- Partington Cove – Unmarked trails lead to crystal clear streams, which lead to mysterious cave tunnel, which  leads to super aggressive hidden cove with 90 foot sea kelps. A favorite adventure on this road trip. 


13- Hearst Castle – Yes, this is a tourist trap and a half but it’s worth every bit of $25 and 45 minutes. 

14 – Montana de Oro State Park – If you’re driving in spring, this is one of the largest wildflower spots in all of CA.

15 – Downtown San Luis Obispo – Eat! Shop! Shop! Drink coffee! SHOP! Seriously, so many cute boutiques here.


Overall, you’re in for the time of your life — this is the most scenic drive you will ever take. All the windy cliffside roads, sandy beaches, flowers and views for DAYS! 

Enjoy!!

Yourvacationgurus!!


Start planning your Spring and Summer Beach Vacation today.

Spending Time In Southern California. 

California is one of the top travel destinations in north America. Of course, part of the reason for the popularity is the original Disneyland – but it’s certainly not the only reason to visit this fantastic destination!  Here is our recommended southern California travel i for those who want to see and experience the main sights, as well as spending some time at Disneyland!



Public transportation in LA is not ideal for tourists, aside from a few shuttles here and there between hotels and tourist sights. So renting a car is usually the easiest option. Plan lots of time into your travel times around LA. Traffic can be quite a nightmare, with horrible traffic jams. Do yourself a favor and give yourself plenty of time to get around, and find parking!



Accommodations For Your Trip To Southern California

Los Angeles:  The key consideration for anyone traveling to LA is to be sure that your accommodation is convenient to where you are spending most of your time, including having easy access to interstates. Another thing to keep in mind is the neighborhood, although many hotels located in popular tourist areas (like near Disney) are overall safe. 

During your time at Disney, I highly recommend staying at a hotel right near the park – this will make it so much easier for you and you won’t need to fight traffic in and out of the parking lot. The Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites are literally right across the street from Disneyland and are super convenient, as well as having great reviews. 

But there are many other hotels close by that are great as well. Away from the Disney park,  Embassy Suites Los Angeles – International Airport South and its a quality hotel and includes a great breakfast! This hotel is also more convenient to the beach areas, while still not being too far from Hollywood and other tourist attractions. There are popular hotels that  are centrally located to major attractions and are quite highly rated from other travelers with good reviews.



Best Western PLUS Hollywood Hills

Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel

Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles LAX /

Century Boulevard

Miyako Hotel Los Angeles

Quality Inn & Suites Anaheim at the Park ( Disney)

Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort (near Disney)

San Diego area:  If you are looking for unique experience or a romantic trip in San Diego, then the Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast is a popular choice and highly rated. However, if you are traveling with kids and want to take advantage of San Diego’s great beaches, then the Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town/Sea World Area is a 2-star hotel that is highly rated and a well-reviewed option. Other accommodation recommendations in San Diego include the following:




Crown City Inn Coronado

La Jolla Riviera Inn

Activities & Tickets During Your Trip To Southern California

Attraction pass:   from Madam Tussad, Santa Monica Pier, Universal, Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Celebrity Homes tour, and more!

Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Ticket

Long Beach: Aquarium of the Pacific Tickets

Universal Studios Hollywood 1-Day Ticket with Options

Los Angeles Hollywood Studio Tour:

Warner Bros.Los Angeles: 2-Hour Beverly

Hills Segway Tour

Hollywood: 75-Minute “Behind the Scenes” Walking Tour

Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt in Los Angeles

The USS Midway Museum

San Diego Zoo Ticket: 1-Day Pass

Old Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour

San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Pass

Brothels, Bites and Booze: San Diego Gaslamp Walking Tour

Half-Day San Diego City Sightseeing

TourSan Diego: Tequila, Tacos &

Tombstones Walking Tour

SeaWorld San Diego Admission Ticket

La Jolla Shark Snorkel Tour

San Diego Electric Bike Rental: Half-Day and Full-Day

Have fun and enjoy!!

YourTourGuru