10 Days in SF area for Seniors?

Jun 11th, 2019, 02:03 PM
  #1  
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10 Days in SF area for Seniors?

Senior couple looking to spend about 10 days or so in the SF area next Spring (late March). Hope to get South to Big Sur, visit SF city, and spend some time North in Sonoma or Napa. Will rent a car though assume its not needed in city. If this seems doable, can you help with some general planning??? Fly into SFO, go South for 3 days, back to SF for 3-4 days and to Sonoma for 3?? Other thoughts on itinerary? Two car rentals? Do SF first then rent, etc.?

Thanks.
Spedprof is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 02:16 PM
  #2  
 
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Totally doable -- I would put the San Francisco stay at the end so you are near the airport to fly out.

So something like: Fly into to SFO (or even easier, SJC if you can get a direct flight). Drive down to Carmel and stay 3 nights. Then drive up to Sonoma = 3 nights, then down to San Francisco, drop the car and stay the remaining 3 or 4 nights. Fly home from SFO.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 02:20 PM
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Since the two trips are in opposite directions I think you could do one or two separate car rentals. I think your overall plan sounds great! Correct you don't need the car in the city. But maybe check out car rental terms to see if there are weekly discounts or like that to consider.
suze is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
Since the two trips are in opposite directions I think you could do one or two separate car rentals. I think your overall plan sounds great! Correct you don't need the car in the city. But maybe check out car rental terms to see if there are weekly discounts or like that to consider.
If you do that, your savings will be eaten up by the cost of hotel parking in SF, except for several motels along Lombard Street that offer free parking. Just be aware - downtown hotels charge upwards of $60 a night to park.
sf7307 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 01:07 PM
  #5  
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Makes sense to me..As a New Yorker (suburbs) I am well aware of city parking costs but I did hope to end the 10 days in a relaxing place in Sonoma, but it just does not make sense to do that.
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Jun 12th, 2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
Since the two trips are in opposite directions I think you could do one or two separate car rentals. I think your overall plan sounds great! Correct you don't need the car in the city. But maybe check out car rental terms to see if there are weekly discounts or like that to consider.

No - sorry, but doing San Francisco in the middle of the trip is bad for several reasons. Car rental being a just one. And the crazy parking charges in the city. And two different short rentals will almost always cost more than one little longer rental period. But a real biggie is you want to be convenient to the airport for the flight out -- not 2+ hours away in Carmel or Sonoma..

Whether is is the Monterey area then wine country, then SF or in the reverse order Sonoma > Carmel > SF isn't that much a difference but me personally would go south first because it is a more manageable drive w/ typically less traffic.
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Jun 12th, 2019, 02:56 PM
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Also they could decide to only go one direction (Napa, Somona) or the other (Big Sur) and have a more leisurely pace. I only suggested they check the various car rental options. I did not recommend a thing.
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Jun 13th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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You might also look into flying in to SFO and then back out of Oakland. That might allow you a way to spend the end of the trip in the Napa/Sonoma area. You could just take BART over to the Oakland airport to pick up the car after you spend time in SF itself. That way you would be picking up and dropping the car at the same airport.
jpie is online now  
Jun 14th, 2019, 08:56 AM
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I like janisj's suggested itinerary.
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Jun 14th, 2019, 10:05 AM
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I did that once, flew into SFO, visited SF, then drove north and spent some time on the coast and then in Napa or Sonoma Valley, then drove down to Oakland for my flight home. It worked great. With your plans including south of SFO, you could easily fly into San Jose first not SFO.

Sure, you don't need a car in SFO, but I used to live in California and drove there several times and stayed a few days, and I had my car with me. It's not impossible at all. I just left it parked a couple days. Parking costs weren't that high, but perhaps that's because I don't stay in real expensive hotels. It was well worth the cost for me to have my car and it was part of my trip. For example, right now, you can find a garage near Union Square that charges only about $33 a day if you prebook with Spothero. Yes, there are no in and out privileges daily, but I didn't want that anyway when I was visiting the city.

I just don't think this is that complicated, fly into San Jose, leave out of OAK. Use Spothero to find reasonable parking and just leave your car there while in the city. First proposed itinerary was fine. No, don't do two car rentals, it wastes time and will cost a lot more. If it doesn't when you check prices, sure, if you want to spend your time turning cars in and getting another back to leave SF. But if you get it in SF, youll still be driving in the city AND you will have much more limited choice of locations and companies, perhaps. Prices are often higher in the city than at the airport.
Christina is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 10:48 AM
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OK -- that doesn't makes sense -- You like having a car in SF . . . but the parking lot doesn't have in/out privileges . . . so how is having a car an advantage? NOW -- if one is driving their own car (which I assume is what you where talking about) then sure -- pay $40+ a day to park it since you aren't paying to rent it. But to pay for a rental and then pay to leave it parked for three days is seriously wasting $$$.

Especially when it is so easy to arrange an itinerary so that one does not have a car while in the city.

You can stay in one of the Lombard Street motels and get free or inexpensive parking -- but they are inconvenient to the main parts of the city most visitors want to see.
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Jun 14th, 2019, 11:41 AM
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Considering the flooding that central/northern CA has experienced this past winter/spring and that of 2017, best to keep this plan flexible. We liked Sonoma more than Napa, centered in Healdsburg, but before reservations are made in those areas, keep tuned into weather come next winter. Best to have car rental once, and take advantage of flying to/fro other airports adjacent to SF as noted above.
aliced is online now  
Jun 16th, 2019, 12:51 PM
  #13  
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Thanks, all.... As a NYer, I agree that having a car in the SF city makes little sense (I avoid driving into NY, except on weekends)... I also appreciate the reminder about the weather, based on the rains the past few years. Hard to plan in advance with that issue, but I never book with a guarantee anyway... life is too unpredictable for that! thanks again
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Jun 16th, 2019, 01:41 PM
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As someone who lived in San Francisco for 45 years, I will say that despite public transportation being fairly extensive, there are many places in the city I found it much easier to drive to (and today might use Uber or Lyft to reach). Parking in SF is hard, but driving is nothing like driving in Manhattan.
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