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Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo? Santa Maria or Lompoc?

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Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo? Santa Maria or Lompoc?

Old 06-16-08, 08:25 PM
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spinnaker
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Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo? Santa Maria or Lompoc?

I trying to put my itinerary together for the PCH. I will be credit card touring.

What would be the better town for a night's stay? Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo?

and

Santa Maria or Lompoc?

Any stop north of Santa Barbara that would make a better stay than Santa Maria or Lompoc?
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Old 06-17-08, 10:48 AM
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I live in SF but have done this stretch of PCH annually for several years.

I usually camp further up north but in this area I have stayed once a hostel in downtown, San Luis Obispo. I have ridden through Morro Bay many times and it is an attractive little burg that is heavily reliant on tourism and supplies a full range of accommodations from bare bones to luxury. It also has a state campground. I don't stay there because it is in the "middle" of a day's riding on my itinerary (I camp at San Simeon state beach and usually lunch in Morro Bay).

I have friends in Santa Barbara so don't camp when I get close to SB. Instead, I stop in Lompoc for the night. It has an older downtown but has the usual California expansion strip on the road out to the Federal Prison (Highway 1). For a night of a relatively cheap hotel stay (I use the Motel 6 on the edge of town) and good cheap eats, I like it. I've never biked to or stayed in Santa Maria. However, I don't ride up that route; I take Highway 1 all the way to Santa Barbara. The 19 miles south of Lompoc on Highway 1 is one of the trip highlights, for me.

I hope this helps.

Ray
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Old 06-17-08, 11:02 AM
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Morro Bay is pretty but SLO has more going on downtown. If you have the energy for it, that is.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:13 AM
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As close to one another as they are, Morro Bay and SLO are remarkably different. As said, Morro Bay is quiet and very dependent on tourism. Lodging in both places is mostly on the high side, but SLO offers a hostel and more budget alternatives. Morro Bay has the ocean, a great estuary, lots of wildlife viewing and touristy stuff. SLO is the hub of the Central Coast, with lots going on. If you can contrive to be there on a Thursday, the main drag (Higuera St.) is closed for a farmers' market that includes entertainment and lots of food offerings from the restaurants lining the street.

Santa Maria or Lompoc? Lompoc has more character. Santa Maria's off most people's route, and it's kind of an anonymous tract home strip mall kind of place. Just about the least attractive chunk of that part of the state.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:58 AM
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Not sure if this is exactly what you're asking, but . . . going north, for example--in that area--I'd stay on US 101 instead of the Pacific Coast SR-1. But then, the night I spent in Lompoc was pretty bad and there is nada for miles when you leave there.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:06 PM
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Morro Bay has hiker/biker for $5. Quaint little fishing village.

San Luis Obispo has a hostel and some motels for around $65/night close to the train station. Lots of stuff to do...a few breweries in town if you're into that

Not a whole lot going on in either Santa Maria or Lompoc.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:24 PM
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Are you camping, looking for a cheap hostel, or something more pricey (bed and breakfast)? I live next to Morro Bay. I like the hiker/biker campsites at Morro Bay State Park. San Luis Obispo has a lot of nice spots - restaurants, bars, etc. Thursday night Farmer's Market is crowded but lots of fun.
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Old 06-17-08, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Are you camping, looking for a cheap hostel, or something more pricey (bed and breakfast)? I live next to Morro Bay. I like the hiker/biker campsites at Morro Bay State Park. San Luis Obispo has a lot of nice spots - restaurants, bars, etc. Thursday night Farmer's Market is crowded but lots of fun.
Hostels and cheap but clean and safe hotels. Clean and safe trumps cheap.

Your welcome to join us for part of our ride, along with everyone else. Once I firm up the itinerary, I will post on a separate thread. Right now dates of tour are Sept. 10 - Sept. 20 with 10 and 20 being our fly in and out days. So actual days of tour are 11-19, that is San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

Last edited by spinnaker; 06-17-08 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:09 PM
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SLO is a college town, lots to do, some mildly interesting nightlife, you know. Downtown has amazing old architecture.
Morro Bay is a beachside community, very dependent on tourism. Pretty, natural.

Lompoc has a lot of crime and gang activity. Not my favorite place in the world, I'd easily call it (and so would everyone else I know in the area) the worst part of the county.
Santa Maria... Hmm... I live in Santa Maria. Not much to say. Boring to live here, just kind of a run-of-the mill big town. But opposed to Lompoc? I'd stay here in a heartbeat.

Although if you stay in lompoc (as I have to twice a year) go to their holiday inn express. It's the nicest hotel in town generally, and very cheap.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:25 PM
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SLO is my college town (Cal Poly U), so it's very dear to me, it was voted nicest big town in the USA more than once, nice architecture & nature, very low crime, good bars, nice people, pretty girls, I'd stay there. However Morro Bay is a very charming town as well, quite picturesque. I'd say both are worth a stay!
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Old 10-29-08, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I trying to put my itinerary together for the PCH. I will be credit card touring.

What would be the better town for a night's stay? Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo?

and

Santa Maria or Lompoc?

Any stop north of Santa Barbara that would make a better stay than Santa Maria or Lompoc?
I did a small tour from SLO to SB over Labor Day. Took the train up to SLO from SD, stayed in Motel 6's in SLO, Lompoc and SB.
I have stayed in Morro Bay in the past and it's a nice place, but so is SLO. Going down to the coast from SLO to Pismo is a nice ride.
Lompoc was nothing special, but was OK.
I had thought about going more inland- SLO through SM (Foxen Canyon wine trail) and stay overnight in Solvang or Buellton, then on down to SB, but was not sure how hot it would be so I settled for the 1 down to 101 route. Either way you go, it is a nice ride. Interesting thing on my trip was I did not see any other people touring that weekend. Thought for sure I would have, as it is a popular route.
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