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San Francisco / Monterey Itinerary - Take Two!

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So with the help and advice of everyone, I’ve reworked our itinerary a bit to come up with the following on our agenda. We decided to purchase a SF City Pass since that will include all of the places we wanted to see anyways, and also include a 7-day Muni Pass, which we will use throughout our visit. And to revisit, Mom, Dad, & 2 kids, 7 & 4.5 yrs. old will be making the trip.

Monday – arrive in the a.m. via Amtrak – check into hotel. See the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, Palace of the Fine Arts and Yoda Fountain

Tuesday – Alcatraz, Pier 39, In-N-Out, Lombard Street, Alamo Square

Wednesday – Golden Gate Park (to see as much as we can see), California Academy of the Sciences, Tower of De Young Museum for views

Thursday – Exploratorium, Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market for Lunch, Cable Car Museum and Fortune Cookie Company

Friday – Pick up rental car, spend the day hiking, exploring Mt. Tam, Muir Woods, and Sausalito – will end this day in Half Moon Bay where we will stay the night.

Saturday – tour around HMB, then make a leisurely and scenic drive down Hwy 1 to stop at any point that may interest us, and will end this day in Monterey, and at some point in our Monterey stay take in the fabulous Dennis the Menace Park.

Question: We will definitely be going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium when in Monterey. The question is if we do this on Sunday or Monday. My personal preference is to try to avoid the crowds and go on Monday. If we do this what kind of traffic might we need to account for to have the rental car back in downtown SF by 7pm? Google maps says it’s a 2 hour 9 min. drive (taking the 101), but what would you suggest for a “we should be leaving Monterey by…” time if we do the Aquarium on Monday?

So, that leaves Sunday. Should we take in Monterey and see things like Point Lobos and other beautiful beach trails or should we take a trip down the coast to include Big Sur and a visit to Julia Pfeiffer State Park? The pictures are so captivating! Is this time well spent for an approx. 1-hour one-way trip, or is Monterey and surrounding areas are just as beautiful and stay put?

Either way, Mon. we will return the rental car and board the train late in the evening to make our way up north to home in the Pacific Northwest…

Does it look like I've got things grouped about right? Thanks in advance for your suggestions and critiques!

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