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GPS or Iphone for directions

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Shreveport, LA
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405 posts
11 reviews
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GPS or Iphone for directions

Flying into SFO, spending a few days in San Francisco. From there will spend a couple of nights in Calistoga, and then down to Carmel/Monterey for a couple of nights, then back to SFO. Should we have a GPS in our rental car, or will our Iphone do the job, with one of us navigating and the other driving?

Vancouver...
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1. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

You should have a real map. GPS will, many times, lead you astray. Chuck.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

Your Iphone should be fine

San Francisco...
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3. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

agree with the above - there are some great apps on the iphone such as google maps and waze that will help but one cannot go wrong with a map to get bearings

Shreveport, LA
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405 posts
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4. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

A state or city map or road atlas?

San Francisco, Ca
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5. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

You "should" get a data signal for your phone in those areas, depending on your carrier. But I found out the hard way that in rural regions of Northern California (like Gold Country), there is no (Verizon) cell/data signal and all my carefully planned Google Maps on my phone were unavailable. So I carry all 3 -- smart phone, GPS and paper maps. I like Google Maps for planning (and then import to my phone for a customized map), a GPS to set me back on course when I wander aimlessly, and a paper map for overviews, route changes on the fly, and a backup just in case of multiple gadget failure.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

(Sigh) I would get a paper map, or ask here for the best directions. The satellite-based maps on GPS and Iphones want to send you on weird routes. It is as if they had programmed them for truck drivers.

For example, a GPS is going to send you over the SF Bay Bridge on Hwy 80 to start your Napa Valley trip. This is fast, if that is what you want, but the scenery is industrial and ugly and if there is a lot of traffic it won't be fast at all, and you won't save much time, if any, form this route: If you take the Golden Gate Bridge, instead and then take Hwy 37 from Hwy 101 to Hwy 121 you will be going through some lovely scenery and past wineries in the Carneros region before you get to the city of Napa to turn north on Hwy 29 for Calistoga. (29 miles)

Another way to get to Calistoga is to stay on Hwy 101 to Mark West Springs Road, north of Santa Rosa, and take that over the mountain directly to Calistoga This is a winding road, however, but a pretty drive. This option would be slower than the one I uggest, I am pretty sure.

For Carmel/Monterey they will send you down Hwy 101 to 156 West. Hwy 101 also goes through industrial sections, with a lot of traffic, until you get past San Jose. If you take Hwy 280 to Hwy 85 to where it runs into Hwy 101 south of San Jose you will be driving on a beautiful 8 lane freeway through the foothills of the Coast Range, and then through residential areas (to skirt downtown San Jose) until you hook up with Hwy 101 south of San Jose. and then 156 West.

We live in Santa Cruz and go into the city often. Just for fun sometimes when we first got our GPS we turned it on laughed all the way home when "Gertie" said we were on the wrong road and kept telling us "make a U turn when it is safe" so she could get us back on HWY 101.

I would test out your Iphone and see which way it sends you. I like to have a sense of the whole trip and always look at a paper map before a trip, even if we use the GPS....but I am old. :~)

San Francisco...
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7. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

a road atlas of the US is a good investment if you travel a lot and that has nothing to do with just this trip. But AAA has a series of maps that cover the Bay Area or Napa and that is fine but just one map is really ok.

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

You asked above about paper maps. For where you are going a AAA Central California map is very good. It is clear and includes all of the areas you will be in.

Vancouver...
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9. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

"A state or city map or road atlas?" Really? A map of which ever area you will be traveling in. Chuck.

Shreveport, LA
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405 posts
11 reviews
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10. Re: GPS or Iphone for directions

Apologies-have too many thoughts going on-of course I would need an area map!