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best route from Monterey to SanFran

freeborn, MN
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best route from Monterey to SanFran

Hi,

We're leaving from Moss Landing 17 miles north of Monterey about 1 p.m. on a Thursday and would like your suggestions for the easiest route to SanFrancisco. Our hotel is on Lombard Street. We are from a tiny town in MN and are a bit stressed thinking about California driving. Time is not an issue, but multiple lanes with tailgating drivers going very fast is. We don't mean to sound sissy, but we don't want to be in an accident or be the cause of one either. Thanks for any sound advice.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

If you are not in a hurry and want to go the scenic route, I would suggest you go North on Moss Landing towards Santa Cruz and then continue on Hwy 1 North towards Half Moon Bay and then still go on 1 past Montara to Pacifica and then onto 280 to 101North to Van Ness Avenue to Lombard street

If you leave at 1pm you should be in SF before the bulk of the traffic starts

Highway 1 is not a multi lane freeway at 65+ MPH speeds. And it is a scenic route. Have a good time and don't worry you will be fine.

http://goo.gl/maps/qcpQC

Basically it is 1N to 280N to 101N

Edited: 16 September 2013, 20:46
San Jose, California
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2. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

I agree - head up Hwy 1. It is a nice drive. You will have freeway for part of the trip - basically between Watsonville and Santa Cruz - this is not a crazy freeway though, not to worry. Then the highway goes through the west side of Santa Cruz on a surface street. Once you get north of SC, it will be a 2 lane highway through a rural area along the coast. You only have a minimum of the driving you are concerned about just to get into SF.

San Francisco
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3. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

I think downtown driving is worse than freeways.

I agree with using Highway 101 all the way through Pacifica. However, rather than take the freeway and Van Ness Ave to Lombard, here's a route that will take you along the Pacific Ocean in the city and has a lot less traffic.

1) Just past Pacifica (as you head up the hill) look for the exit for Highway 35 (Skyline Dr). Take it north. It's not a freeway but a 4 lane divided road. Again, rarely heavily trafficked.

2) You'll pass the entrance to the Olympic Club and skirt the west edge of Lake Merced. The road will "Y" .. take the left branch onto The Great Highway.

3) At The Cliff House the road will curve up the hill and to the right. This will put you onto Geary Blvd.

4) Anywhere between 26th and 32nd turn left two blocks to California and turn right. (I have you doing this because I do not believe a left is allowed from Geary to Divisadero.)

5) Turn left onto Divisadero. Go up and over the hill to Lombard. Enjoy the big mansions at the top of the hill. You'll pass the Getty's house. Most likely you will turn right to your hotel. Tell us where you're staying and we can be more exact.

This is a lot less stressful a drive than the portion from I280 -> 101 -> Van Ness. And a lot less traffic. Lately the traffic reports I've been hearing have 101 backed up from 280 to the Bay Bridge beginning shortly after 2PM.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

>>>>>"I agree with using Highway 101 all the way through Pacifica."

I think she means Highway 1 through Pacifica not 101. Just a typo

Here route is very scenic no doubt about it - may just confuse the heck out of new people - Sal err Whitedahlia.

Al.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 22:57
San Francisco
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5. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

Whoops, yes I did mean Highway 1 through Pacifica.

It's really not confusing. Especially if one has a map with them.

Thanks Madison!

freeborn, MN
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6. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

Wow, thanks to all of you!I I feel less anxious already. We are staying at Cow Hollow Motor Inn. Address is 2190 Lombard St.

San Francisco
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7. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

The Cow Hollow is a nice spot, I think you'll enjoy it. My folks stayed there often when they visited. I put my nephew up there this spring.

The Cow Hollow is located on the northeast corner of Lombard and Steiner.

If you like my directions, from Divisadero, turn right onto Lombard. You'll need to make a left off Lombard which isn't allowed from 4 (or is it 3?) PM. So ... turn right on Pierce, go a block and turn left on Greenwich, turn left onto Steiner. Cross Lombard and make an immediate right turn into their garage. They have some short term spots while you check in.

If you like the directions from the previous poster, from Van Ness turn left onto Lombard (you're almost forced to do this). Go 8 blocks to Steiner. There is an entrance to the garage from Lombard (just before Steiner) or turn right on Steiner and then immediately right again.

Enjoy the neighborhood. There are lots of good restaurants in the immediate vicinity ... let us know if you need any recommendations.

(And cheers from a former resident of Eden Prairie!)

Edited: 17 September 2013, 01:29
freeborn, MN
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8. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

Thanks, Eden Prairie:)) Our summers are in lake country further north and west from the Twin Cities. We do love it, but time to get out there and see a little more of the world, now that we are retired. I'm glad that we chose a hotel that is nice, considering we didn't pay an arm and a leg with free parking to boot! I would love it if you gave recommendations as we are clueless.

All this great is advice is much appreciated!

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9. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

Is the mosquito still the State Bird?? I admit it was a "walk in the park ago" that we lived in MN but enjoyed it immensely. I don't think this California girl would have learned to ice skate otherwise!! We used to head out to some big lake (Bush was one of our favs ... well it seemed big to me) and just head out and skate across and back. It was great fun!!

But I digress ... resto's in the area. Here's a quick rundown. But don't be limited by this list. There are tons in the area.

First off, Lombard Street is a busy road which is Highway 101 through town connecting to the GG Bridge. If you think you'd be bothered by road noise, ask for a room in the back. (My nephew lives in Paso Robles and said being on Lombard was "a little loud" ... I'm sorry my brother raised such a wimp. But I am a city girl at heart. I find road noise like a lullaby -- most of the time.)

One block north of Lombard is Chestnut. Tons of stuff here. My suggestions: Blue Barn, Tacolicious, Delarosa (try everything), Mamacita, A16, Dragon Well. On Steiner -- on the block of your hotel -- Izzy's for steaks or Parma for Italian (this last has been there for decades).

Three blocks south of Lombard is Union. Lots of options here as well. Rosa's Café is nice ... especially on a nice day to eat outside.

Also on Greenwich just east of Fillmore, Café Claude is opening a new restaurant (it's been a very popular place downtown for years).

You won't go hungry!

San Francisco...
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10. Re: best route from Monterey to SanFran

Just for the record, the coastal drive past fort funston, great highway, Landsend that Whitedahlia gave is really lovely. So if you can get a map and go that way, more power to you. I was just giving you the more generic route

It is amazing you can remember all the street names. We were there less than 2 weeks ago Fort funston is dog heaven so I am not trying to make this difficult for the OP.

I remember going for Christmas to visit family in St Paul and the family said -- you came because you wanted to see us and not to see MN. That was true that year.

Edited: 17 September 2013, 03:00