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Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

Jersey City, New...
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Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

I'm planning our first trip to California for 7 days in September 2014. It will me, my husband and our 1 year old son. The only must see thing on our list is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We plan on exploring the area, going on a scenic drive, enjoying good beer and maybe do some hiking.

I was planning to fly into San Francisco, staying there for the entire trip and driving to Monterey and other places around. Now I'm wondering if I should do the opposite. Stay in Monterey or possibly Santa Cruz and travel into San Francisco.

I'm wondering which place would be the best for a home base? Is traffic better in one direction than the other? We will be renting a car for the trip but I'd like to have days where we don't use it.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

My recommendation is to use two different hotels.

For your time in San Francisco, stay *in* San Francisco. You can go back to your hotel for an afternoon rest, can go back for another warm layer if the fog moves in, or whatever.

Then get a rental car and drive to the Monterey Peninsula. Decide where you want to stay for this portion of the vacation, but keep the car. You'll want to drive to Point Lobos and to the Elkhorn Slough. Drive back to SFO, drop the car, and fly home.

San Francisco
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2. Re: Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

It's 2-2 1/2 hours between SF and Monterey. And that does not take into account the considerable about of commute traffic you can anticipate around San Jose and San Francisco.

Find lodging in both places. And don't have a car in SF. It's unnecessary to see the sights yet expensive to park.

Edited: 11 March 2014, 19:12
Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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3. Re: Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

I agree. Have two lodgings, one in San Francisco and one in Monterey.

Santa Cruz is less than an hour north of Monterey, if you want to visit. Here is a traveler article to give you information.


4. Re: Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey

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