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best exit to take from 101 to 68?

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best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Hi, we're driving down from SF to Carmel Valley, headed to Laguna Seca Golf Course. The map says take 101 to 68 through Salinas, but I'm thinking it might be better to take either Davis Road or Spreckels exit over to 68 to avoid downtown Salinas traffic at rush hour. It will be about 5-7 pm on a Wednesday. Will that work? Thanks!

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1. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

The "traffic" on Davis will be just as bad, if not worse. There really won't be much difference between the two. Traffic in Salinas is minor at best and it won't take more than a few minutes to get through the tiny downtown area.

Pacific Grove...
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2. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

You can avoid downtown Salinas by taking the Monterey Peninsula exit off of 101. At the end of the exit ramp, follow the signs for 68 to Monterey. You'll be on Blanco Rd. Take Blanco Rd. to the intersection with Main St. (It's either two or three lights. You'll see Star Market on the near right corner and Nob Hill Food on the far left corner). Take a left at that light, and you'll be on 68 toward Laguna Seca.

The other option is is to take Hwy 156 WEST off of 101, which is about 10 miles north of Salinas. That takes you to Hwy 1 S into Monterey, where you can pick up Hwy 68 East toward Laguna Seca. But given that most of the rush hour traffic goes from Monterey to Salinas, rather than the other way around, I still think you're better off taking my first suggestion.

Pacific Grove...
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3. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

You know, I just looked at your question again. Do you mean Laguna Seca Golf Course on York Rd? First of all, this is not in Carmel Valley, but in Monterey, along the Monterey-Salinas Highway (68). Secondly, it is actually much closer to Monterey than to Salinas, so I'm now thinking that you should take the second route I suggested--156 WEST (not east!) towards the Monterey Peninsula to Hwy 1 S to 68 East toward Salinas. Even if the rush hour traffic is heading toward Salinas, you won't have that far to go. York Rd. is fairly close in to Monterey.

California
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4. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Wow, thank you so much for those very thoughtful replies. Yes, it is the LS Golf Ranch we're going to on 68, sorry, I always think of that as Carmel Valley, but of course it isn't. We come down for the car show events every August and usually go over 156 to our accommodation in Monterey or Seaside, but this time we're staying up on 68. The coast route is slower and we're driving an old, sometimes temperamental Ferrari and prefer as few slowdown/stops as possible. I think Blanco Road is the answer for us - much appreciated! Hey, and since you are experts, any good ideas for a quick, casual meal on Sunday night in the area of 68 & Laureles Grade? We have all the good places scoped out for four nights, but on Sunday just need something quick like a good pizza or Mexican place to grab a bite after the Concours. Thanks again.

Pacific Grove...
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5. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

To my knowledge there is nothing on 68 in that area. I don't know much about the Salinas restaurants, I'm afraid. I'm assuming that you'll be in Pebble Beach for the Concours, so if you want some very casual and very good Mexican, go out the Country Club Gate exit of Pebble Beach, at the intersection with Congress St (Ave? gee, I've only lived here 26 years) go straight at the stop sign, down the road, around the curve to the right and then take the first right into the shopping center (Country Club Gate Center). Go all the way to the end (you'll pass Rite-Aid, a bank, B's Coffee Shop, Subway and some other stores. In the far right corner is Michael's Taqueria. It's a very casual, order-at-the-counter-and-grab-a-table place. The food is so good (the House Burrito, the Ranch House Quesadilla with chicken and the Blackened Shrimp Tostada platter are a few of my favorites).

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Here's a map to help you with PGdenizen's directions to Michael's Taqueria. An excellent choice to grab decent Mexican fare (don't let the strip mall atmosphere deter you):

http://www.bleich4art.com/invite.html

California
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7. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Thank you both again! Yes, hubby and bro-in-law are going to PB Concours, but that day they will leave the car and take a cab. Too crazy with the traffic and the parking. Been doing this 30 years, and this is the easiest way. So they'll cab it back up to 68 and then head out to nearby dinner. I guess they'll either head over the Grade or into Carmel. Anything semi-decent at the airport?

Grover Beach...
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8. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

This is right off Highway 68:

http://www.tarpys.com/dinner.html

California
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9. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Thanks, Kibbles. We're going to Tarpy's on Thursday. Also planning on Rio Grill, which is kind of tradition for us, and Gino's Italian on 68 just outside of Salinas, which has been recommended to us. Such great food in your area!

Pacific Grove...
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10. Re: best exit to take from 101 to 68?

Tarpy's is the only place near the airport that I'd recommend. If you're willing to go over the Grade, then both Cafe Rustica and Corkscrews in Carmel Valley Village are excellent. One of the things I love about Corkscrews is the outdoor dining in their rustic garden. I always feel as though I'm somewhere in Italy when I'm out there. (not to mention that if the August fog is bad on the coast, which it certainly can be, there is likely to be sunshine out there). I love Rio Grill, too. Enjoy!