It’s difficult to make detailed recommendations without knowing your budget or interests, but I will be happy to share what I would do which is to make every trip memorable. I would plan to spend one night in Monterey, Pacific Grove, or Carmel. They are all three on the Monterey peninsula. I would spend a full day exploring the Monterey peninsula using this article, or my book which is available on Amazon. I would definitely make a stop at Nepenthe which is about 20 to 30 minutes South of Monterey. It’s a great spot to have lunch overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. If you have an interest, Hearst castle is a little farther south and might be a way of spending two or three hours. I would plan to spend the night at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. It is probably one of the most unusual and fascinating places to spend the night anywhere in the world. Every room is completely different. I would spend the majority of the time stopping along the way between San Francisco and Monterey and taking photos or exploring little beaches. Pismo Beach is another Place of interest between Hearst Castle and San Luis Obispo, but I would leave that if you had extra time. I recommend making a reservation at the Madonna Inn because it’s often full if you wait until the last minute. Also, that will allow you to arrive late afternoon early evening. Santa Cruz (between SF and Monterey is an old hippie and surfer town and a boardwalk), but if the timing is right. I hope this helps?