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Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Boston, MA
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Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive


My family and I are traveling from San Fran down the Coast to San Diego (10 day trip).

We are driving "through" Monterey and Carmel and want to spend a few hours here.

We would be very grateful for any suggestions of "must see" or "must dine" places.

We are traveling with a 16 and 19 year old boys. I like to shop, the boys not so much. Perhaps we could compromise, or the boys could do something different while I am shopping.

Any suggestions on where to shop. I am rather frugal, however will splurge every now and then, especially for one of a kind items.

Restaurant should not be expensive as we will be dining out many a day and night.

Thank you so very much for any help you could offer.


San Francisco...
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1. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

If you like quaint, Carmel-by-the-Sea has lots of quaint shops. Your kids might enjoy the beach nearby.

Monterey Peninsula...
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2. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Wait a minute. You have ten full days to cover the ground between SF and SD and you've only allocated a few hours for the Monterey Peninsula? The Peninsula is arguably the most beautiful and diverse spot on your entire journey, and there is a LOT to see and do here. So you may want to re-think this. I would suggest at least an overnight stop, but even then you'll probably leave wishing you had stayed longer. Two nights would be better.

To better grasp the breadth and depth of what we have to offer, have a look at my website, especially the visitors guide, photo gallery, and maybe the history section. The link is below.

-Mr. Toy


Edited: 27 July 2013, 01:25
Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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3. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Skip 17-Mile Drive. You'll have even better scenery as you drive down the coast south of Carmel. You might want to stop briefly(say an hour?) at Point Lobos State Reserve as you head south out of Carmel. More time would be better, but I know your time is limited. If you can take just one trail, I recommend Cypress Grove. It's a loop that you can do in under an hour, and the ocean views and Cypress trees covered in bright orange algae are amazing! Well worth the time. A casual place to eat in Carmel that the boys would like is Club Jalapeno (http://www.clubjalapeno.com/). p.s. I agree with Mr Toy, of course, but if you choose not to stay longer, I'd advise you to either skip the shopping or make it brief and devote more time to Point Lobos and/or Carmel Beach.

Edited: 27 July 2013, 01:27
San Diego...
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4. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Point Lobos SNR is the "must see." http://pointlobos.org

Dublin, California
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5. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

I think 17 miles drive is also a "must see". If you don't have enough time and must choose between this and Point Lobos, then I'd choose Point Lobos. But you have 10 days, I'd spend 2-3 hrs on 17 miles drive.

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6. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

My husband and I have taken the 17 mile drive several times, and while we've enjoyed it, I think teens would be bored silly.

Please consider a kayaking opportunity for them (and you if you're lucky) on the Monterey Peninsula. It'd be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you all. And of course you should make time for the Monterey Aquarium, too...it's spectacular. Have fun!

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Yes, the kids will be bored with 17mile drive. Definitely spend your very limited time in the area doing something outside the car :-)

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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8. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

The OP's entire trip is 10 days, including SF and SD. I believe they only have one overnight stop between the two cities.

Houston, TX
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9. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

Stop for at least a few minutes at the elephant seal rookery on the beach near Piedras Blancas, just north of San Simeon. Hundreds of elephant seals on the beach--quite a sight. Take the time to read the informational displays so you will understand the behaviors you may see. Also, if you are lucky, you might see some zebras in the fields south of the entrance to Hearst Castle at San Simeon, north of Cambria. Hearst once had a private zoo on the property and a few zebras remain. Of course, they roam around so you may not see them. We did, and it was an amazing sight--ocean on one side of the road, 5 free roaming zebras on the other.

10. Re: Monterey/Carmel/17 mile Drive

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