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Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

Atlanta GA
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Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

We've been to San Francisco before and are interested in visiting somewhere interesting that is SOUTH of the airport. With that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions as to neat places to stay? We're in mid-50's and still like to get outdoors, as well as explore interesting towns (think Monterrey, Big Sur). Thanks in advance for any input!

~~ustravlr

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

You can check out Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, both along the ocean. You can also check out Stanford University in Palo Alto. If you like to shop, you can check out the outlets at Gilroy (an outdoor outlet). If you go farther south, of course, you can check out Monterey and Big Sur.

Los Altos...
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2. Re: Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

Then I'd suggest Half Moon Bay / Pillar Point area. It's just south of the airport and west, and a very short drive from the airport. There's state parks along the coast, including a great tidepool (Fitzgerald Marine Reserve), and some interesting little restaurants.

You can travel north( and south (Santa Cruz)of there easily

The mountains that separate the busy 101 corridor from the more slower-going "Coastside" (western San Mateo County) also provide some really pleasant hiking. If you go up to Sweeny Ridge you can see the point where San Francisco Bay was "discovered" on Gaspar de Portola's land expedition in 1769(the fog effectively hid the Golden Gate from the ship expeditions for decades -- Sir Francis Drake just kept going and ended up well north):

http://www.nps.gov/goga/clho/swri/

It's an easy and gorgeous hike that is so close to urbanites, yet really not that known by tourists (unless they're big hikers). With Portola's discovery, the Presidio was established just 7 years later:

www.nps.gov/prsf/history/spanish_period.htm

The Santa Cruz mountains afford some really nice hiking. Big Basin State Park off Highway 9, for one. More ideas can be solicited on the Santa Cruz forum.

This side of the coast is pleasant and pretty and agricultural. If you want to see dramatic coastline, there's a bit of it in the Devil's Slide area (Pacifica) on Hwy 1, all very easy and doable.

There are a few choices in lodging in the Half Moon Bay area and even more further south in Santa Cruz, of course. High-end is the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, but there's many more.

Worth checking out:

Towns of Pescadero

Duarte's ("Doo-arts")

Bach Dynamite and Dancing Society on Miramar Beach

See this site for some ideas and if it fits in your objective:

onroute.com/destinations/…halfmoonbay.html

Pacific Grove...
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3. Re: Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

better than bings has good suggestions.

I would also suggest Ben Lomond.

www.parks.tas.gov.au/natparks/benl/index.html

A good route would be taking 84,from 280. On 84 you can get a great picnic at Roberts which is just west of 280 a bit.

But I would also highly recomend Big sur, or Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. That is the best of the outdoors here. Point Lobos is a must if coming this way Carmel is more for Shopping (which I would also suggest).

Ben Lomond is just less of a drive for you.

Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

Have a look at Half Moon Bay and scroll to "Visiting" ... www.halfmoonbaychamber.org.

Beside The Ritz there are B&B's and three major franchise motels now.

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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5. Re: Places to visit south of San Francisco AIRPORT

I think you'd like the Big Sur area if you like the outdoors. You might want to spend the day in Big Sur and then come up to the Monterey area to spend the night. The next morning, you could head back down Hwy 1 just a few miles south of Carmel to Point Lobos, which someone else mentioned. It's a gorgeous place to hike (easy trails) and look out over the ocean. If you like B&Bs, Pacific Grove is a good place to stay (Green Gables Inn, Martine Inn). It's fun to walk around Carmel and browse the shops and galleries. For a change of terrain and some beautiful views, you could go out to Carmel Valley, visit a winery, hike at Garland Park, have dinner at Cafe Rustica. Carmel Valley Village is about a 20-minute drive from Carmel.