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Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Dwight, Illinois
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Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

We have a vacation planned for the beginning of May. We're staying around Monterey and then have one night stay in Pacifica. With Highway 1 being closed at Devils Slide, what would be the best and most scenic highways (and the most uncongested) to use in getting from Monterey to Pacifica? Thanks so much for your help!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

You can still take Hwy One as far as Half Moon Bay, then take 92 over the Santa Cruz Mtns to I-280 north. But 92 will be the most congested route, especially weekday rush hours, since everyone who used to commute via One is taking it now. It's the shortest way from the coast to 280, but it does become stop and go when it's crowded.

An alternative would be Hwy One to Hwy 84, this is a bit of a detour through the hills, definitely not the fastest route, but not congested and you'll see both ocean and redwood forest, plus the picturesque little village of La Honda, where you can stop for a beer at Applejacks. There's a small slipout on the highway near La Honda, but you can get through with one way controlled traffic.

You will cross Hwy 35 at the top where there's a place called Alice's Restaurant. You can then continue north on 35 to the junction with 92 and take 92 to 280 (it's only a couple of miles, so even if it's jammed it won't be too bad). This will not be congested except possible the short bit on 92.

The fastest route would be 17 to 85 to 280, which is not bad as far as scenery or congestion, but not as scenic as 1 or 35.

Dwight, Illinois
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2. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Thanks Bayatuning! That's very helpful information. We'll probably go with the more scenic route. Another thing, once we're on I280, what's the best way to get to Pacifica? We're staying at the Sea Breeze motel there. Go all the way up to where it intersects with Highway 1? Is that clearly marked? Thanks again!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Mapquest.com is a great site providing free maps and directions.

Dwight, Illinois
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4. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Yes....I of course I know all about mapquest and other such sites and use them frequently.

I was really just interested in the perspective from a person who actually drives this route though......

Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Hi...driving north on 280 from anywhere you jump on (or from Hwy 92 from Half Moon, drive 280 for about 5 miles) take the Pacifica exit (Skyline Drive-Hwy 35), you will pass through the light at San Bruno Ave., then turn left at the second light where you see an Oil Changers on the left northwest corner and a large apartment/condo complex on the southwest corner. You will start the downhill and in about a minute will come to a neat vista overlooking the Pacific and the Pacifica pier. Continue on down the hill for a winding 3-4 minute drive on what we call Sharp Park Rd or Drive. You will come to an overpass for Hwy 1, keep going to the T in the road at Sharp Park, bear to the right and hairpin to get on Hwy 1, drive south about 3 minutes to Rockaway Beach (big sign and Shell Station on the northeast corner as well as various small businesses, motels and restaurants on the ocean side). Turn right at Rockaway Beach and drive to the T in the road, turn left into Nick's Restaurant parking lot and keep going about 30 yards until you arrive at the Sea Breeze Motel.

Sea Breeze Motel is an older accommodation that sits right on the ocean, some rooms face the ocean and others face a small inlet where you will see surfers entering the ocean. There is a marvelous coastal trail in Pacifica now, passing right by your lodging both east and west. Dress in layers as it can be windy, chilly and quite damp. It cools down significantly in the evening, e.g., if it is 65 daytime temp it might drop 15-20 degrees in the evening. As you may know, Nick's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Portofino, just a short walk, offers a good Italian lunch and dinner menu and superior ocean views (sunset) with window seating right on the ocean.

Hope I got my directions, turns and all straight. After proofreading twice, I think I got it.

Mapquest is also helpful. You might want to print out the map offered online by Holiday Inn Express for its Pacifica location because it is almost next door to Sea Breeze.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

deadendangel: "Devils Slide [closed] . . . the best and most scenic highways "

Follow the Driving Directions: San Francisco to:

Pacifica-Half Moon Bay-Santa Cruz-Monterey/Carmel

geocities.com/iconoc/Articles/DriveDir.html

It's been altered to provide the option of avoiding The Slide.

"(and the most uncongested) to use in getting from Monterey to Pacifica?"

Take the Santa Cruz Highway (17) to the Junípero Serra Freeway (280) to uphill on Woodside Road to Right on Skyline Boulevard (35) that goes on and off the Junípero Serra, to Westborough Boulevard, Left to Sharp Park Road all the way or Right on Skyline Boulevard to Manor Drive from Skyline Drive.

OR

Pass Westborough Boulevard to get off at Hickey Boulevard and go uphill to to turn Right on Beachview Avenue.

Dwight, Illinois
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7. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Thank you all so much! This is the information that I needed. I will check these routes out on a map and see which best suits us. Thanks again........

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

You know? Under these circumstances I would cancel my reservtions at Sea Breeze and stay somewhere on the ocean in San Francisco itself. Can't remember the name of the place at the end of Geary, I think. (?) Help, someone.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Puter, I think you mean Seal Rock Inn in SF, but it's a different experience than Sea Breeze. You are right on the ocean there. Nick's is pretty good for eats as well.

Kauai, Hawaii
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10. Re: Driving up from Monterrey to Pacifica

Actually there is not that much time lost taking the alternate route (92 to 280 to the Pacifica exit and down Sharp Park Drive) to the Sea Breeze Motel. I am guessing up to a half hour more while Devil's Slide is closed and as well, time of day. Work commutes are generally 7-9 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m. over 92 and best avoided.

The trade off is relative to deadendangel's desire to stay directly on the ocean. Sea Breeze Motel is located about 30 feet from the surf and is a smooth direct half-hour drive into the heart of The City...avoiding commute-to-work hours.