Going to be 2 weeks in mid-Sept., flying into San Jose. Staying with friends in Carmel Valley for 5 days then off on our own for the remainder. With friends we'll go to Big Sur, the beach, Monterey aquarium, etc.
I first thought of driving the few hours east and spending the rest of our time at Sequoia Nat'l Park. But then friends suggested going north to see big redwoods.
I don't want to drive anymore than about 2-3 hrs. So also thought to find an inexpensive hotel close to Big Basin Redwood State Park (Santa Cruz), so we can go to the beach AND hike amidst the big trees. Big Basin sounds great, but is there enough to do for a little one to spend the rest of our time there? How far from Santa Cruz is it? Drive up and spend one day hiking around? Santa Cruz beaches any good? Crowded, expensive?
I like all the things that Sequoia NP has to offer little ones; junior ranger, interpretive center, more hiking trails for littles (I think?), etc. But I do like the idea of having more beach time as well.
Any other places besides Big Basin that would give access to beach and big trees?
There is just SO much to do in this area, its' overwhelming! I've been to the area a few times and no matter what we do, my lo will be thrilled. He does love the beach though!