Carmel to San Francisco

Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 05:34 AM
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maj
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Carmel to San Francisco

We have chosen the 380-280-85-101-156-1 route from SFO to Carmel area thanks to information we got here. My question is about the route back to the Cow Hollow area.

We are thinking of taking 1 to Santa Cruz to 17 to 85 to 280. We like mountain roads and think this will be a scenic change of pace. Someone described this road as "scary" -- why?


I had previously copied some directions from here (can't find it now) that read: take 280 to 19th avenue to Park Presidio Drive to 101 south to Lombard Street. Is this the best way to take once we get to San Francisco? I can't find Park Presidio Drive on any of the maps I have -- is there another name for that street?

Also, if we leave Carmel around 9am on a weekday, will we miss commuter traffic along our route.

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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Hwy 17 is a perfectly good route, but it is curvey and fast, so it can be unerving to some. Because the road is fast - 2 lanes each way, speed limit 50 mph, but if there isn't much traffic most people go faster, sometimes quite a bit faster - it isn't as scenic as some smaller roads. It goes through the trees though and is fairly scenic for anyone who doesn't need to watch the road

If you want a really scenic route over the mountain and have a little extra time, Hwy 9 is a good alternative. I think Hwy 9 would take you about 30 minutes longer than Hwy 17. Hwy 9 is a 2 lane mountain road between Santa Cruz and Saratoga that goes through some beautiful forests. On the Saratoga end, you can easily pick up Hwy 85 and head north.

Leaving Carmel at 9am on a weekday, you should miss all commuter traffic. You might get the tail end in Santa Cruz, but I doubt it.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 12:50 PM
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I agree with jcorrea - but also to underscore - unless you are a really weak driver, these roads are not that bad. Sometimes when I am feeling lazy I just get in the right lane and stay there all the way (instead of trying to keep up with the fast(er) lane on 17 - and it's so easy. The curves are not sudden - you see them coming - and you can slow down to 40 or whatever feels good to you. Should be no problem. But the fast lane does sometimes get edgy.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:50 PM
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I will refrain from commenting on the weak driver remark, even though I am a driver who avoids 17.

OK now that I got that off my chest, to answer your question about Park Presidio Drive. It actually Park Presidio Blvd and that is what 19th Ave/101 N becomes as it goes through Golden Gate Park. After you come through the Park it runs paralell to 14th Ave and is between 14th Ave and Funston Ave. And yes you will miss commuter traffic.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 02:40 PM
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I didn't mean you, SAB!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. I think we will decide that day which route to take back to San Francisco depending on weather, time, etc. but my husband is leaning toward the Hwy 9 route -- if we want scenery we might as well both be able to see it.

SAB

I found 19th avenue (I was saying avenue, but looking at 19th street -- good thing I'm doing this ahead of time) and everything else you said, but on my maps it says that 19th avenue is 1 and goes through Golden Gate Park, becomes Park Presidio Blvd. and continues through The Presidio as 1 (which looks like a great way to go) where it connects with 101 which eventually becomes Lombard Street. Do we want to get off 280 around Daly City (will it say 19th avenue or 101N at the exit)?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:36 PM
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It looks like I want to take exit 49B where California 1 and I280 split? Is that right?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Coming into SF, 280 splits just before San Francisco, the left branch takes you to 101 through downtown SF. The right branch--the one you take--takes you to 19th Ave. The signage is for 1 and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Yes, 19th Ave and Park Presidio are 1, but 1 is not a freeway in SF, hence the street names.

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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Oops--I'm having L/R problems. R branch goes towards downtown, L branch towards GGBridge. Don't know exit number--never have paid attention to them!!!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Yes, where 280 splits is where I am looking. I do believe I understand it now. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Just follow the signs to the GG bridge and GG park and you will get onto the right street. Even I can get to GG park without a map and I am famous for getting lost in SF - LOL.

Oh and on the exit numbers - I am willing to bet that half the people in California don't even realize the exits HAVE numbers We just go by the names.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Totally understand. I couldn't tell you the exit numbers where I live either. So why did I mention it --it just happened to be on the internet site I was looking at. Once I found all the streets etc. on the maps, it made sense. And, if there are signs for GG bridge and park I think we will be fine.

You all are great!
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