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Renysmom
02-03-2007, 08:33 PM
I have been trying to talk DH into a trip to Monterey in 2008. We switch off each year with providing three choices and then decide between the three. This year we are going to Nashville.

Anyway.. I would love to do a 8-10 day trip and see Monterey and San Francisco. Is this doable, I can't really tell how far apart they are. We usually stay in one of the Marriott or Holiday Inn suite chains. Can anyone suggest a few I can look into?

What is the best time of year for this trip in regards to weather and crowds?

I am having such a hard time finding info so anything you want to share about both cities would be great!

Thanks

honeymom
02-03-2007, 09:29 PM
Monterey to SF is about a 3 hour drive. It is a very doable to do both as a trip. Google Monterey, there should be a visitors bureau site. There is a huge Marriott on Market Street in San Francisco. It hosts a lot of convention visitors. I think there may be some smaller Marriotts as well including one by Fisherman's Wharf. I'm not sure if there is a Marriott in Monterey, but I think there might be some sort of Holiday Inn. To tell you the truth, there are so many none chains down in the Monterey/Carmel area that we don't usually stay at a chain hotel there. There are some really romantic bed & breakfasts in Pacific Grove (right next to Monterey). There are also some family type motels near the beach in Pacific Grove (Asilomar). We prefer to stay in Pacific Grove (close enough to the Monterey action, but more scenic). I have stayed at the Monterey Plaza (a big hotel) for a wedding. It was okay - great spa, but kind of pricey.

KayR
02-03-2007, 10:21 PM
If you drive the 1 (the scenic route) then allow 3 or more hours to drive. Consider stopping somewhere on the way to play on the beach and have a picnic if the weather is nice. There are some nice rustic beaches that are great to relax on. Half Moon Bay is on the way if you want to stop somewhere on the way overnight, but the drive is not that long.

If you want to just drive quickly, take the 101 North and then I would recommend taking the 85 North and 280 North (usually a nicer drive as the 101 after the 85 junction gets rather messy sometimes). That should take no more than 2 hours (we live in San Jose, so are 1 hour away from San Francisco and Monterey)

Summertime in Monterey and San Francisco can be cool in the mornings (marine layer covering everything) often burns off towards lunchtime, so the afternoons are better.

The best general weather for both areas is usually found in September and October, but obviously I can't guarantee that. I have been to Monterey in January and February and it has been warm enough to play on the beach for a while. Anytime between October - May can be rainy season, so you could have a rainy few days or you could have nice days, it is hard to tell. If you want to definitely avoid the rain go during summer, but be prepared for cooler mornings and warmer afternoons.

If you want a hotel on the beach try The Beach Hotel in monterey (montereybeachresort.com) It is on the outskirts of Monterey, so you will probably want or need a car. If you want to be closer to the attractions of Monterey, look for something near the aquarium and cannery row. I am sure there are a few chain hotels down that way. There are some hotels on Cannery Row, possibly even overlooking the ocean if you wanted somewhere a bit more special.

17 mile drive in Carmel is worth a look, also consider visiting Santa Cruz (surf city round here). Lots to do in San Francisco, also worth a trip is Sausalito and Angel Island (north of San Francisco)

Have fun, both places are neat to visit.

-Kay

Claire L
02-04-2007, 06:13 AM
The Monterey area is lovely, we were there 4 years ago and spent 3 nights in Carmel to see everything we wanted to without rushing. 17 mile drive has fantastic scenery and Pebble Beach is worth a visit.

San Francisco is our favourite city and we went back last year for five nights and had a wonderful time. We found Golden Gate Park a great place to wander around and across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito is a fun drive especially if you go over the Marin Headland.

In SF we have stayed at the Sheraton and Hyatt both in Fisherman's Wharf, we prefer the Hyatt of the two. In Carmel we stayed at a Best Western called the Carmel Mission Inn (I think or similar).

Both visits were mid June 2003 was quite cool in SF but last year it was unusually warm :)

Claire ;)

Dis Ohana
02-05-2007, 12:16 PM
We did the drive from Disneyland to SF along Highway 2 last December. We stayed in Pacific Grove for 2 nights at a cute little motel called Andril's Motel. It was right across the Asilomar grounds. Pacific Grove is very close to Monterey. The drive up to San Francisco was beautiful, allow lots of time for stopping. Have a good trip!

mrypg
02-06-2007, 08:53 PM
I have been trying to talk DH into a trip to Monterey in 2008. We switch off each year with providing three choices and then decide between the three. This year we are going to Nashville.

Anyway.. I would love to do a 8-10 day trip and see Monterey and San Francisco. Is this doable, I can't really tell how far apart they are. We usually stay in one of the Marriott or Holiday Inn suite chains. Can anyone suggest a few I can look into?

What is the best time of year for this trip in regards to weather and crowds?

I am having such a hard time finding info so anything you want to share about both cities would be great!

Thanks


Hi

Come to Carmel/Monterey anytime we actually live here so ask any question you want. Born and raised!!!

Mazzy
02-23-2007, 06:22 AM
We are visiting San Francisco and Monterey this Summer. In San Francisco we are staying at the holiday inn express & suites at Fishermans Wharf, we have booked a family suite which has two double beds, a sofa bed, fridge, microwave.

In Monterey we have booked the Monterey Bay Inn - www.montereybayinn.com , we needed two rooms here as they only have a king and sofa bed in the room, and I have two teenagers, boy and girl, so one room wouldn't work for us.

I did look at holiday inn express in Monterey, they have rooms with two doubles and a sofa bed, but we decided to go for the Monterey Bay Inn in the end, as it has balconies which are right over the water and you can see the sea otters, they even provide binoculars.

Hope this helps! :)

Dchef
03-09-2007, 09:43 PM
Look for a trip report coming--I am headed to Monterey in 2 weeks. We are spending a week in the condos at Pajaro Dunes so we will have a lot of time to take in the sights. I look forward to it. With a side trip to Disney for 3 days--what a great Spring Break. Also on our trip...San Fran, Muir Woods, San Jose and Big Sur.

bumbershoot
03-10-2007, 05:20 PM
Look for a trip report coming--I am headed to Monterey in 2 weeks. We are spending a week in the condos at Pajaro Dunes so we will have a lot of time to take in the sights. I look forward to it. With a side trip to Disney for 3 days--what a great Spring Break. Also on our trip...San Fran, Muir Woods, San Jose and Big Sur.


I've been to the Pajaro Dunes condos twice (family reunions). They are nice, it's lovely out there. Good bird watching if you're into it (as my crazy family is...I just watch THEM, LOL). :)



Renysmom, that sounds like a really nice trip! I grew up in San Jose (ran to the northwest at 17) so I've been to both cities many, many times. If you're going to do an aquarium on your trip, don't do the SF one (Aquarium by the Bay, or something like that), unless it's changed in the last 10 years, it's an incredible ripoff. Save yourselves for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

MyGirlLovesMickey
03-20-2007, 01:55 PM
I know I'm chiming in pretty late here, but we went to Monterey for 3 days last month, and it was wonderful. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, but we were wishing we had stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. It looks amazing, and seems to be right in the heart of Cannery Row in Monterey. Oh, also, if you want an incredible meal, be sure to visit The Whaling Station. We had dinner there, and it was honestly the BEST food I've ever had. It's pretty expensive, but so memorable!

Dchef
03-20-2007, 04:47 PM
I know I'm chiming in pretty late here, but we went to Monterey for 3 days last month, and it was wonderful. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, but we were wishing we had stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. It looks amazing, and seems to be right in the heart of Cannery Row in Monterey. Oh, also, if you want an incredible meal, be sure to visit The Whaling Station. We had dinner there, and it was honestly the BEST food I've ever had. It's pretty expensive, but so memorable!

Thank you for your input. Do you know if you need to have reservations at the Whaling Station? And would it be okay with 2 8year olds? DH an I are celebrating our 10th anniversary (with kids...of course) and even though we have the kids, we would like to have a nice dinner out that night. Thanks again

MyGirlLovesMickey
03-20-2007, 05:52 PM
Thank you for your input. Do you know if you need to have reservations at the Whaling Station? And would it be okay with 2 8year olds? DH an I are celebrating our 10th anniversary (with kids...of course) and even though we have the kids, we would like to have a nice dinner out that night. Thanks again
We did not have reservations. We actually happened to walk in at a non-busy time. We had just gotten into town, and were actually still in our travel clothes - ie. sweats and jeans, but they were extremely welcoming and told us not to worry about it. :) I'm not sure about the kids - it might just depend on how you think your kids would do there. I don't recall if they had much of a kids' menu or not. But I'm sure they would be extremely welcoming to children. The restaurant is quite nice, but not stuffy if that makes sense. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.

JennCa
03-23-2007, 10:52 PM
My 2 cents...

Very doable and very enjoyable! My favorite park down in that area is called Ano Nuevo State Park, you hike to the ocean and see elephant seals. Also, like Julia Pfeiifer (sp?) State park and Hearst Castle (although out of your way) If you have very young children like 3-4 year olds to 7 year olds Bonfante Gardens is one of my favorite parks, worth looking into. Very beautiful park with great family environment and easy rides/nothing thrilling at all.

Monterey is nice, but Carmel is worth checking out.

I would pick Sept/October also due to the weather and crowds. Summer can get crazy!

Jenn