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Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

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Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

We're in San Fran next weekend...(daughter and I)

Monday we'd planned to check out of our Hotel in North Beach, go to tour Alcatraz, then go back and pick up our luggage from the hotel and go to an SFO airport hotel.

Tuesday we want to rent a car and drive to Big Basin Redwoods State Park for the day and return to stay in the airport hotel as Wednesday morning we're flying home.

My thinking is that we'd get an earlier start to Big Basin if we're already at the airport Monday night.

I also thought it would be easier to pick up and drop off a car at the airport the same day vs renting downtown and dropping off at the airport.

Opinions? Monday night is a 'throwaway night' with no plans so I'd like to utilize it. BUT if there's no advantage there's no reason to leave the downtown hotel early.

PS. Any recommendations for an airport hotel?

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North Beach
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Big Basin Redwoods State Park
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1. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Your plan is probably a good one, since you won't have to drive back to the city and find a place to park the car on Tuesday.

To get to Big Basin from the airport go North on Hwy 101 a short distance and then Hwy 380 over to Hwy 280. At about Sunnyvale take the exit for Hwy 85 and then watch for the exit to Saratoga Sunnyvale Road. Take this into the town of Saratoga and go straight through town. You will end up on Hwy 9. This is a twisly and winding road. Big Basin is on Hwy 238 (watch for the sin)this makes a loop through the park and ends up in Boulder Creek at Hwy 9 again. Then you could just go back on Hwy 9. At Saratoga just retrace your steps back to Hwyt 85, then 280 and 380 to the airport.

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Sunnyvale
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2. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Thanks Puter ... it sounded logical in my mind but it's always nice to have independent confirmation!

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3. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

The only airport hotel I know is the Best Western El Rancho Inn and Suites in Millbrae. When we travel we usually go for at least three weeks and they have a very efficient way of keeping traveler's cars while they are gone...free for two weeks and then a minimal charge after that. We have done this so many times I can't count.

That said, it is also attractive and very comfortable, has a nice restaurant and a pool and their shuttle service is often and reliable.

Here is their website

http://www.elranchoinn.com/

It is also not in the airport complex, but across Hwy 1 in an actual small city and if you don't like the menu choices at the restaurant there are several others in the area.

Check it out, I think you would be happy here.

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Millbrae
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4. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Whew the typos. It is across HIGHWAY 101 from the airport. sheesh.

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5. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

It's Hwy 236 that goes through Big Basin, Puter. I'm of two minds about this, on the one hand you should have as much time in San Francisco as possible, so you might want to stay the night there, on the other hand you could be well rested and familiarized with the airport area if you stay there the night before. Your call.

Whichever, be advised that Hwy 236 is very very narrow and winding from the northern junction with 9 all the way to Big Basin, about 10 miles. Follow Puter's directions, if by the time you reach the junction of 9 and 236 you think you're ready for an even more interesting road, go straight on through the stop sign onto 236. If not, make the left turn and continue on 9 to Boulder Creek, where you can pick up the wider part of 236 north to Big Basin. Have a great time and say hello to Mother and Father for me, won't you.

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6. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

I strongly advise against going to Big Basin via Saratoga! I also advise against getting on Bayshore (101) to get to the Quentin Kopp (380) and Junípero Serra (280) from the car rental place.

What I recommend is asking the rental clerks how to get to the Quentin Kopp. When you're on it, keep to the left until you're on the Junípero Serra.

Skyline Boulevard (35) soon joins it. Not many miles ahead is the exit to Half Moon Bay. Take it, turn left at the stop sigh and left at the signal thereafter keeping to the right to remain on Skyline Boulevard. Shortly after the second signal is the Pulgas Water Temple at which I advise stopping. Thereafter, Skyline Boulevard is a beautiful bower with occasional breathtakingly views that goes directly to the same entrance to Big Basin as the route via Saratoga.

Taking Skyline Boulevard is not only quicker and prettier, it's probably shorter.

If you miss the Half Moon Bay turnoff, you can go via Woodside. Skyline Boulevard intersects it a bit after the main (cute) part of town.

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7. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

I am in Florida and went to AAA for Maps. I got a San Francisco and a map of California.

Is there a more detailed 'area' map on the internet I can download? I've looked but as yet not found one with detail needed to map out all these options before I leave.

I will be bringing "Madeline" our GPS so will be able to determine where I am for the most part.... :0)

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8. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Oh, I found that I can "Drill in" close on Google Maps .... so maybe that'll do it!

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9. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Geez Swing, this really is one of your more opaque posts, I must say. The rental clerks will be completely dumbfounded by a request for directions to "the Quentin Kopp freeway". Ask for directions to 380, I-380, or Interstate 380 and you might get some useful information on getting to this short freeway. It has been secondarily named in honor the Honorable Mister Kopp, but there are no signs referring to it by that name, and more important, almost no one knows that it refers to 380.

I don't know how one could get to 380 from SFO (the airport) more easily than by taking the 101 freeway a few miles north to there--maybe there are some surface streets from the airport, but unless the freeway is at a complete standstill, it would probably take you longer via surface streets.

Now Hwy 35, well it is even more scenic than the 280 freeway, but it's a mountain ridge-top highway, also known as Skyline Boulevard (this *is* a generally known term for the road, unlike Quentin Kopp for 380). I wouldn't discourage you from taking it if you want to, but it's not going to be faster than 280. You still have to get onto Hwy 9 and then 236, 35 does not go "directly to the ... entrance to Big Basin".

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10. Re: Where should I leave from for Big Basin -Dwntown or Airport?

Bayatuning «must say. The rental clerks will be completely dumbfounded by a request for directions to "the Quentin Kopp freeway".»

You should read more carefully, Bayatuning. Like the second sentence, for example.

«It has been secondarily named in honor the Honorable Mister Kopp»

Three-eighty is its numerical designation, not name. Quentin Kopp is its name, not number. Each is equally valid.

«there are no signs referring to it by that name»

If you were familiar with the road, you wouldn't say that.

«almost no one knows that it refers to 380.»

News t'me!

«I don't know how one could get to 380 from SFO (the airport) more easily than by taking the 101 freeway a few miles north to there»

Then you don't know The Airport. Further, they're not leaving from The Aiprort; they're leaving from the car rental place that's right near the Quentin Kopp terminus. It would be out of the way and inconvenient to go to Bayshore.

«Hwy 35 … Skyline Boulevard»

Numeric designation/name. Cabrillo=1, Shoreline=1, Pacific Coast Highway=1, Bayshore=101, James Lick=101, Van Ness Avenue=101, Doyle Drive=101, Golden Gate Bridge, Redwood Highway=101, Ventura Freeway=101, The Loop=101, Junípero Serra Freeway=280, John Francis Foran=280, Southern Embarcadero Freeway=280, Nimitz=880, and on and on.

«it is even more scenic»

An understatement

«I wouldn't discourage you from taking it … but it's not going to be faster»

Eighty is a normal speed on the Junípero Serra; sixty is on Skyline. But taking Big Basin Way (9) from Saratoga is so slow you'll probably lose any time advantage by the time you get to the intersection with Skyline Boulevard "that goes directly to the same entrance to Big Basin as the route via Saratoga". Would you like it better if I said "Skyline Boulevard intersects Big Basin Way from Saratoga to The Park"?

«You still have to get onto Hwy 9 and then 236»

I'm unfamiliar with 236. Is that Big Basin Way after it splits from Highway 9?

If I tell you to take Highway 29 to Highway 53 to Highway 8 to get to Big Basin, you won't know that all of that information is incorrect until you try to follow some of it. But if I tell you to take the Haff Mun Bei Hiway to Skailyne Boolivard to Bag Bison Wya you'll know I'm wrong but also know what's right. You'll have no problem following the directions. You can't do dat wit' digitally designated directions!

I don't speak in digits, I don't think in digits, I don't read in digits, and I don't write in digits. I use them to augment other information (as you can see in many posts in these fora) or when they're the only form of understandable information.

In case you hadn't noticed, I also eschew the obfuscatory use of abbreviations.

«one of your more opaque posts»

Consistently pristine clarity, just as perfection, evades me.

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