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Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

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Blue Bell...
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Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

After a week in Yosemite, we'll be in Monterey for one night before heading up to the airport in San Francisco the next day. We'd like a scenic drive to see some of the coast and are considering route 1. Is the stretch from Monterey to San Francisco worth the added time investment? We're also hoping to squeeze in an early quick lunch at the pier on Fisherman's wharf before our 3:30p flight. Perhaps we are overambitious?

Pacific Grove...
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1. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

How much time will you actually have in Monterey? If there's time, I'd advise you take the drive from Monterey to Big Sur, as the coastline you see on that ride is far more beautiful than what you'll see between Monterey and SF. It's about 45 minutes to an hour each way to Big Sur and back. Lunch at Nepenthe is nice, and the views are amazing. Doing this would allow you to take a quicker route back to SF and not feel so rushed on the day of your return flight.

Blue Bell...
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2. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

I did that drive from Big Sur as a child and would love to do it again. However, I was concerned it would just be too much driving in one day. Already, we will be leaving Foresta, just outside Yosemite, that morning and driving 4 hours to Monterey. At that point, I think we'll probably just want to take the afternoon there to kayak, bike or hike versus the car ride. That's all we have in Monterey - just the afternoon and then leaving the next a.m. to head home. I know - not much time and we're really squeezing things in here!

Pacific Grove...
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3. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

Understood. What you might do is take Hwy 1 as far as Half Moon Bay, have lunch there and then cut across to the airport via Hwy 92. Take 92 to 280 N and then use the 380 link to cut across the the airport. That will give you time for a leisurely morning drive with some stops, lunch and perhaps look around Half Moon Bay before heading out.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

The above is good advice.

Since the airport is around 13 miles south of the city, lunch at Fisherman's Wharf would not be convenient.

Monterey, California
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5. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

I completely agree with PGdenizen about taking Hwy 1 up to Half Moon Bay. This is a charming little town and a perfect stop over for lunch before heading over to the airport.

It's a shame you don't have more time to go south on Hwy 1 down to Big Sur. Even as a local I LOVE taking that drive to have lunch at the River Inn and stick my feet into the river to cool off!

San Diego...
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6. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

I also agree with the Half Moon Bay option (did it some years ago). Highway 1 north of Monterey is easier driving but less scenic than going south to Big Sur. Always good to check highway conditions (for all of your trip through California) www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

Edited: 25 June 2010, 00:39
7. Re: Taking route 1 from Monterey to San Francisco worth it?

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