Totally agree, especially Solvang for an overnight stay.Definitely - assuming you're talking about going Highway 1.
Stay at Monterey, make sure you drive along the coast of the Pacific Grove peninsula to the S of Monterey past Pebble Beach and have a coffee or lunch at Carmel (pronounced Car-mel). Definitely visit Hearst Castle (a good place to stay for that is Cambria - I don't think there's much on offer at San Simeon, so the slight back-track if you decide to do Hearst in the morning, as we did when heading San Francisco-LA, is worth it.) Going in the morning can be quite interesting as you rise through the fog, thinking you aren't going to see anything, only to get above it - spectacular!
A good place to visit further on is the Santa Barbara wine region, with the Scandinavian town of Solvang a good option for overnight. Do the 'Sideways' (movie) wine trail The Sideways Wine Trail - Wine Country Getaways
(it's more interesting if you've seen the movie - famed for the phrase "I'm not drinking any f*cking merlot!"
Then just beeline for LA.
We stayed here too for 3 nights and the views are amazing highly recommendedI can recommend staying at Kon Tiki Inn at Pismo Beach for excellent value. Amazing ocean views in a 60's style hotel for a bargain rate. From memory it was $110 USD which included breakfast. We couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled on this gem. Just outside of San Luis Obispo