We've mapped out the Los Angeles to San Francisco drive with some less expensive picks, but where should you stay for a blowout road trip? These are a few of our favorite boltholes when cruising the coastline.
In Monterey Peninsula:
Stay at the Carmel Valley Ranch for its plush rooms, sprawling grounds and super cool kid-focused activities, including the Bee Experience, where families suit up to tend hives. The resort sits on 500 acres, so use it as a base to explore spots like Pebble Beach and the Monterey Aquarium, but leave enough time to chill "on campus" as well.
In Big Sur:
With little ones in tow, the top spots are off-limits. But if you're traveling with older teens, Ventana Inn and Post Ranch Inn are the bucket-list destination hotels to check off your list. Warning: they are uber romantic (Ventana even has a clothing-optional pool), so proceed with caution or stick to the more family-focused Glen Oaks Big Sur.
In Santa Barbara:
The Four Seasons Biltmore is a resort dream come to life, and it's a repeat destination for many families from both the East and West Coasts. If countryside is more your vibe, try the San Ysidro Ranch, which has the pretty four-poster beds to impress the parents but the Beanie Baby turndown service, bottle warmers and infant monitors that baby needs.
In Los Angeles and San Francisco:
If having your start and end points at a city hotel doesn't appeal, you're in luck. Both LA and San Fran have resorts a short hop from the urban sites. Check out Terranea down south and Cavallo Point in SF.