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PCH to Monterey and Carmel

Providence, RI
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PCH to Monterey and Carmel

We want to drive Rt 1 for the scenery and would like suggestions. ie where to stay overnight for a reasonable price? would we have enough time if we left in the Am day 1 and return to SF at night on day 2 (the day before we go home). Should we allow more than these two days. Any advice would be most helpful.

Morro Bay...
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1. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

First of all, some (in demand) places have a two night minimum, especially if you are going on a weekend. I assume you are saying you would leave from SF and return to SF? You could easily go as far as Carmel...however, much of the most famous Highway 1 scenery is south of Carmel, through Big Sur. If you only have time to go as far south as Carmel, you would definitely want to go on the famous "17 Mile drive", which takes you along the coast between these two towns and past Pepple Beach. What do you consider "reasonable? Carmel/Monterey is fairly expensive but you can stay at the Normandy Inn in the heart of downtown and walk to the beach & shops for a reasonable price. Or you can spend $$$ and go for the Highlands Inn. Or you can stay at the Motel Six on a budget in Seaside, near Monterey, if that is to your taste! If you have the time, I encourage you to go a half hour south of Carmel and have lunch at Post Ranch Inn or Ventana Inn and have a view of the spectacular and dramtic Big Sur Coast.

Providence, RI
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2. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

How long of a drive to Hearst Castle from SF, that is taking in time for sight seeing along the PCH? Would two days be adequate or should we consider three days?

Kent UK
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3. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

We recently spent 2 nights in Monterey at the Monterey Bay Lodge. This is a nice little motel type place that is the number 1 on the tripadvisor Monterey site, and we can see why. We really liked it and would recomend it to all. It is about 5 - 10 minutes walk from town centre.

We then went down the coast towards LA and would agree that Big Sur, which starts south of Carmel was the best bit of PCH 1 and not to be missed. Magnificent scenery all the way. We left Monterey, spent a while in Carmel, then did Big Sur, stopping 3 or 4 times to walk to recommended sites. I guess we passed Hearst Castle at about 5.00pm (but did not stop) - so we took all day to get there from Monterey. You could do it quicker if you did not stop, but then you would miss some great sites.

Morro Bay...
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4. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

Hearst Castle to SF. if you go the coast the entire way is about three hours +....but you WILL stop for scenery and probably a bit to eat so make it four. Make it a couple of days to do it justice!

Suburban Maryland
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5. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

Is it worth taking one of the day trip by buses to Monterey and Carmel? I will be in SF for a week in July w/o a car.

LA/OC
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6. Re: PCH to Monterey and Carmel

(For SBC... you're right on the money... if you don't have a car, then take the tour bus option...)

For TravelBuddy...

At minimum is a very long 2 days for you with very limited time for sights if you make stops along the way. Putting it into real perspective... The whole PCH route (on a comfort level without lunch and the Hearst Castle Tour in San Simeon will take you about 6 hours of drive time to go from Monterey to Morro Bay.

It's a 2 lane mountainous coastal road and the average speed is about 40 mph. Why? You'll see if driver decides to take your eyes off of the road for more than a glimpse...But it is very spectacular scenery, so I suggest you pull off to the side of the road like so many folks do to avoid driving disasters.

Monterey to Santa Cruz takes about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay about 1 hour.

Half Moon Bay to SF about 1 hour.

So I'd plan on 2 days down with 2 days back up.

Half way point from SF to Morro Bay is Monterey.

These drive times don't include traffic, eats stops, gas, etc...

hope this helps...