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Day Trip: Monterey or Sonoma?

Old Jul 16th, 2003, 10:22 AM
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Day Trip: Monterey or Sonoma?

We are planning a trip to San Francisco in August and only have time for one day trip from there. Should we go to Monterey ( I've heard the coast is beautiful) Or up to Sonoma wine country?
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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If I had to pick I would go with Monterey. The only problem with Monterey is that it is a little far for just a daytrip. Ideally you would want to spend at least one night there. The drive to Monterey from SF will be about 3 hours. Sonoma is about an hour from SF, so much more doable as a daytrip.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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Sonoma is an easier daytrip, as Watson said. We liked Sonoma a lot more than the Monterey Penninsula, possibly it suffered in comparison to Maine.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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If you're used to mountain driving then definitely Monterey, and don't miss the 17 miles drive. If not then Sonoma or Napa. By the way Monterey has wineries if this is the main reason of your Sonoma choice.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 02:55 PM
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You can also enjoy the Sonoma coast as well as the many "world-class" wineries. The city of sonoma is in The Valley of the Moon and is worth an entire day itself. Sonoma County north and west of Santa Rosa also has many famous wineries on is a short drive from the coast. You might consider chopping one day from your SF stay and book a night in the wine country. Truly beautiful and great restaurants..
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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Do you like hot weather? Sonoma will be hot, hot, hot.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 06:36 PM
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Sorry Jean, but the best weather of the year is in late September and early October, just before the rain. Even in the middle of summer the evenings are cool. If you like the cold and fog you can stay along the coast, where one needs to wear a parka all year.
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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 06:09 AM
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Sonoma is a great day trip, but Montery is also an easy day trip...I think that it is drivable in under 2 hours. If you want to see the coast, we have it here in SF, you don't need to go to Montery. You can go out to the beach area under the bridge, Baker Beach. It is beautiful, especially if you live in an area without the ocean...you can go over the bridge to the Marin Headlands area and look at the whole coast from there and it is breathtaking. Both of these excursions would take about an hour to do in the middle of one of your SF days. Mill Valley and the Mt. Tamalpius area are about 30 mins from the city and a drive up there and maybe a hike would reward you with beautiful coastline scenery and is an easy 2-3 hour trip. In case you are not familiar with the ocean out here, it is definately too cold for a swim, both the water temp and the air temp!
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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Sonoma definitely is more realistic as a daytrip than Monterey. To drive to Monterey it will take at least 2.5-3 hours, assuming no traffic problems. So that doesn't give you much time to sightsee.

When it comes to coastal scenery, The coast along SF can't hold a candle to the beautiful coastline of the Monterey Bay area. There's no comparison.

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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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Well, sorry mmr41, but she said August... and it's a day trip, not a night trip.
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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 03:46 PM
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You can't go wrong with either. I have driven down to Monterey numerous times just for the day on business with an average drive time just over 2 hours. However, I'm not taking time to admire the scenery nor is it my only trip to Monterey. If you add in driving down route 1 to see some of the coast south of Monterey, that can add upto quite a bit driving in one day. In other words its doable but only you know your limits. I have friends fron the East Coast who thought nothing of driving 2 + hours to visit Monterey for the day, everyone is different.
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Old Jul 18th, 2003, 01:34 AM
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Monterey is unbelievably breathtaking! Carmel and Monterey - i haven't seen a prettier place in all my travels...blessed are the people who live there!
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Old Jul 18th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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I agree that Monterey is one of the nicest places to visit in California, but doing it as a daytrip from SF is kind of much. It took us about 3 hrs. to get there from SF. So unless you only had one specific thin in mind to see, such as the aquarium for instance, it would be difficult to do Monterey justice on a daytrip. Ideally you should stay at least one night there. in your case Sonoma would be the better choice.
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Old Jul 18th, 2003, 08:44 AM
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I'm not sure how anyone can claim to know what is "better" for someone without knowing them or their preferences. As someone else said, a two or three hour drive that stresses one person is a walk in the park for the next.

Either place is great, but one will be cool and the other will be hot. Depends upon what you prefer.
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Old Jul 18th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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My darling Jean, I apologize. I confused this query with another one regarding staying at McAthur Place in September. August can be a tad warm but the evenings are generally cool. The real choices are coast or inland, and 1 hour vs. 2 1/2 hour drive.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 12:04 PM
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Monterey is too far for a day trip but Santa Cruz is not. It is a beautiful drive down Highway 1. You can stop at
Ano Nuevo State Reserve and walk out to see the elephant seals and the visitor center. The coast is spectacular as are the elephant seals. Lunch a little further south at Davenport Cash Store. Santa Cruz has beautiful sandy beaches and is a great place to browse around until dinner. Then head back up the coast to San Francisco, watching the sun set. It's a great trip and I've done it many times. Unless you want to wine taste, I would skip Napa. It is hotter than heck in August.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:01 AM
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Are there wineries in the Monterey area?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Here's a website with ionformation on wineries in the Monterey Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

http://www.scmwa.com/

http://santacruz.winecountry.com/

http://www.guidedsolutions.net/

http://monterey.winecountry.com/
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