I would go to Shell Beach. You can get a nice hotel, not too pricey, and be out of hectic Pismo, but just close enough check it out during the day. Your about 2 to 2.5 hours to fresno. You can take a cruise down the beach, go whale watching, deep see fishing, go to san luis obispo and check out downtown, go surfing in pismo, shell beach, or morro bay, see the elephant seals, ... and a lot more things to do. I grew up in arroyo grande, about 5 miles south of Shell Beach. It's a great, lade back area. Lots of things to do, and the crowds aren't to bad, unless its a holiday and you get all the trouble makers coming into town. Nice hotels are Sea Cliff, Sea crest, Sycamore in Avila Beach, and a lot of others. If you need any help with anything, let me know. I might even be there that weekend. don't know yet.
This would be my suggestion as well.
You will have to hit Marlin on Friday because they are not there on the weekends. Marlin is about 1-2 miles from the airport and right on the way to the freeway that will take you to either Shell/Pismo Beach or Monterrey. Personally, the aquarium is boring as hell but if you are into that sort of thing then it is among the best in the world. Been there 3 times myself.
Yosemite is about an hour or so away also and is amazing.
I think that you will be disillusioned on the Marlin Crawler the shop. I know that I was the first time I was there. I was expecting a retail shop with parts all over, half cut up trucks showing parts installed, etc. Instead there are four desks and 4-5 ugly guys floating around. I have been in the parts storage area but never in the back outside. I hear its insane.