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SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

Boston...
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SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

In Northern California for approx 11 days in June. Main goals are Napa, a bit of coastal Sonoma/ Marin ( not sure of border, bear with me), and San Francisco. But am intrigued with Monterey peninsula and wonder about doing 1 night-2 days to visit there at the end of our whole trip. How long is the drive from SF, and is it a big problem going on the weekend, traffic-wise? Would this be too rushed?

From Monterey to the SF airport for our flight home, realistically how much time should we allow for driving? Would it make a big difference to fly out of San Jose airport instead of out of San Francisco, assuming we can get flights out of both?

San Francisco...
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1. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

if you want to get from SF to Monterey it will take just over 2 hours outside the rush hour and on weekends that would be the case. Sunday night there is more of a crowd in parts as everyone is heading back home but it is not as bad as a weekday.

Getting from Monterey to SFO -- again depends on time of day and if you can do it between say 9am and 4 pm you should be fine . Yes SJC would be better if you want to fly into SFO and SJC but with 280 which connects SJ to SF you can pretty much do that part between SJ and SFO in 30 to 40 minutes outside the rush hour.

Also look at car rental pricing. If you get pickup SF and drop off SJC, great. A car is not needed inside SF so please rent it while leaving for Sonoma/Napa

with 11 days, 4 full days in SF and perhaps 2-3 days in Wine country and 2 days in Monterey, you have time for Yosemite National Park as well

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2. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

I find the coast north and south of San Francisco to be very different, so if you have time, do both. I'd go as far north as Mendocino, and south down to Big Sur. In fact, you even have time to head up into Redwoods country, I think. Hmmm, let's see:

4 nights SF

1 night Jenner

1 night Mendocino

1 night Garberville

2 nights Monterey (long drive from Garberville to Monterey, but all highway so pretty easy)

1 night Cambria* (Big Sur is the coastal drive between Monterey and Cambria)

(*if you're flying out in the late afternoon, otherwise 1 night Monterey, 1 night Cambria)

Edited: 18 February 2014, 03:15
San Francisco, Ca
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3. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

>>(*if you're flying out in the late afternoon, otherwise 1 night Monterey, 1 night Cambria)<<

Crud, my edit window passed... in the above, if you are flying out of SFO in the morning, spend the night prior near the airport after driving up from Cambria.

Boston...
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4. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

So helpful, thanks. New question: if we decide to just drive from the Napa/Sonoma/Marin part of our trip straight to Monterey area, what should I consider? That way we keep the rental car, then spend last days in SF and are closer to the airport. Probably best for us to fly in/ out of SFO, I'm guessing (from Boston).

From around Point Reyes Station, is it best to head over east to Vallejo and then south from there? Approx how long a drive? This could happen on a Friday morning, or a Saturday morning. Saturday more likely. I'm a bit confused about which way the traffic goes- is there heavy traffic late on a Saturday heading south to Monterey?

Can I admit, I'm also confused as to whether Monterey is a town, or just the name of the peninsula or Cape or whatever. Is Pacific Grove a neighborhood in town of Monterey? Thanks.

Washington State
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5. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

MrToy's website has some great info about the Monterey Peninsula and about Monterey. Start with this page: montereypeninsula.info/guide/mryintro.htm

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

"....I'm also confused as to whether Monterey is a town, or just the name of the peninsula or Cape or whatever. Is Pacific Grove a neighborhood in town of Monterey? Thanks."...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monterey is a small seaside city with a great deal of California history behind it. Part of Monterey sits on a peninsula, which also encompasses the lovely town Of Pacific Grove, which is sandwiched in between Monterey and Carmel By The Sea. All three towns are within 10 minutes of each other.

The three break down like this:

Monterey: More urban/touristy

Pacific Grove: They call themselves "The Last Hometown". The town is filled with narrow streets, quaint Victorian architecture and some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the area with a long stretch of rocky shoreline where strong waves crash dramatically against the rocks and, in late spring, a beautiful carpet of pink iceplant.

Carmel By The Sea: Quaint town, filled with storybook architecture, upscale shops, fine dining and, IMO, the most beautiful beach in California

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7. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

Monterey is a county, peninsula, bay and town. PG is a town, next to Monterey, on the Monterey Peninsula, and facing Monterey Bay.

To further confuse you, both Napa and Sonoma are counties, valleys and towns! ;)

8. Re: SF to Monterey and back- questions/advice

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