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Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

Wayne, Pennsylvania
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Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

DH and I are heading to Monterrey peninsula after a conference in Napa. We leave Napa Sun 7/20 and depart SFO on a red eye Thursday 7/24. We will have spent time in SF prior to conference, so we will bypass city on our way south. We have 4 nights and the better part of a 5th day to enjoy the area.

1) should we do a night in Santa Cruz or just stop on the way south. We are in late 40s so I don't want to feel like an old fogey in a college/surfer town.

2) we want to cover the area between Monterrey and Julia Pfeiffer Burns park, so should we base ourselves in Monterrey and do day trips or plan to do nights in Carmel and Big Sur? We like to stay within walking distance of good restaurants and bars and are more prone to be on the move, rather than just chilling (seems that all reviews of Big Sur mention chilling/getting away from it all, so I'm thinking it will best be explored as a day trip).

We do like to do day hikes, but DH has a bad knee so we'll focus on shorter but scenic trails - nothing too adventuous. We love to stroll towns and duck into shops, galleries etc.. We are not the type that need to check off a visit to every historic site and museum. We love craft beer and good wine. Suggestions?

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission
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San Francisco...
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1. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

The fastest way from Napa to Monterey would be via 680 and then 101 and 1. (Google maps will show you that route ). Monterey and Carmel are right next door to each other and you are about 40 mins outside rush hour to Sc and about an hour to Big Sur Village without stops. You could stay in one place and do a day trip to Sc and one to Big Sur village stopping and doing short walks or shooting photos OR if you want you can spend the first few days in Carmel and then on the 24th drive to SC, spend the day and drive to SFO say around 7pm and no you won't be out of place in SC. Nice downtime great state parks good walking areas in the Henry Crowell state park or you could go to elkhorn slough between Monterey and SC

Edited: 10 June 2014, 19:48
Wayne, Pennsylvania
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2. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

Thanks! Is it better to stay in Monterrey or Carmel? I know Carmel is more scenic, but I had heard they roll up the sidewalks at night. We aren't all-night clobbers, but do like to bar hop post dinner time hours.

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3. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

I would stay in Monterey, near downtown.

Monterey Peninsula...
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4. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

When considering where to stay, this may help narrow down your choices. In a nutshell, stay in Monterey if you want an urban environment, Carmel if you like a quiet romantic atmosphere. This page goes into more detail. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/lodging.html

This page of mine lists several great walking areas, most of which are fairly easy and offer great views. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/walking.htm Carmel Point is especially easy and offers a lot to see in a small area. Of course, Point Lobos is not to be missed.

-Mr. Toy


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5. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

Check out the Normandy Inn or Colonial Terrace Inn in Carmel. If you like to wine taste, head out to Carmel Valley. Have fun! :).

6. Re: Napa to Monterrey area - where to stop/stay?

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