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SHERI Mar 26th, 2002 04:28 AM

Drive Time from Oakland Airport to Carmel and Monterrey?
How long will it take me to drive from the Oakland airport to Carmel and Monterrey? Are there certain routes that are better than others? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Pamm Mar 26th, 2002 09:07 AM

The drive (without traffic) should take about 2 hours. If traffic is heavy, it could add another 30-60 minutes to your travel time. <BR><BR>Best route is 880 S to 101 S. In Prunedale, cut over on 156 W to Monterey Peninsula. After a few miles, you'll end up on 1 S, which will take you into Monterey and Carmel. <BR><BR>Any other route will take you greatly out of your way.

Dan Mar 26th, 2002 11:30 AM

Sheri,<BR><BR>I think that 2 hours is optimistic. It may take you 1.5 hours just to get to San Jose, especilly on 880(The Nasty Nimitz). From the city it will take another 1.5 - 2 hours, especially during the weekday afternoon commute on 101 since many are leaving the city toward Morgan Hill and Gilroy. And now with the construction on 101 in Morgan Hill, it can really be a mess. Another option would be to keep on 880 which changes to 17 South and continue to Highway 1 South down to Monterey and Carmel. This route is the same distance as 880 to 101 to 156 to 1, but is definitely more scenic as you go through the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coast. Again, as with the previous option, I would not take 17 South from the city to Santa Cruz during the afternoon rush (3-7 PM).

Susan Mar 26th, 2002 11:40 AM

880 South is YUCK! I would avoid driving through some of the worst traffic in the bay area by only driving south on 880 to the San Mateo Bridge (Hw. 92). Take the bridge west to 280 fwy. south, then to 85 fwy. south (toward Gilroy) to 17 fwy. south (toward Santa Cruz). Follow Dan's suggestion to take hwy. 1 south from Santa Cruz to Monterey. This is a much more scenic drive, over the bay, down the 280 - a very scenic highway, over the Santa Cruz mountains and then south along the coast. Plus, you are driving more directly south and west. It could take more than 2 hours, but at least the scenery will be nice! Have you got a good map? What day of the week and time will you be starting?

Jan Mar 26th, 2002 01:39 PM

I do this drive all the time, and 2 hours is *not* optimistic unless you hit a lot of traffic (it's a little over 100 miles). Hwy 1 may be the same number of miles, but you can get stuck for just as long or longer behind tourists and trucks. It can take over 3 hours on Hwy 1, and I don't think it's worth it. I would avoid driving through the Santa Cruz mountains at all cost -- *that* is some bad traffic.<BR><BR>Likewise, taking 880 to 92 to 280 is pretty far out of your way, just look at a map. Unless you really want to linger, I would take the route suggested in the first reply.

Susan Mar 26th, 2002 02:16 PM

Jan, I agree going over the Santa Cruz mountains *can* be bad traffic, but if the weather is clear and it's 2pm on a Wednesday it would probably be smooth sailing. All depends on the day of the week and the time of day. <BR><BR>However, I've never driven south on 880 through Milpitas and by downtown San Jose without getting stuck in traffic. Going south on 280 does take you west but you'll go west when you reach the bottom of the bay anyway, but stuck in traffic, no doubt. <BR><BR>I guess if making the best time was my objective I would drive 880 south to 92 west to 280 south to 85 south to 101 south to 156 west. But, this doesn't take into consideration the construction Dan has mentioned in Morgan Hill. <BR><BR>I think we'd need to know the day and time to best advise. As you can see, Sheri, there are certain routes better than others, the trick will be coming up with a consensus here!

Sheri Mar 31st, 2002 06:14 AM

We are arriving at the Oakland airport at 2:30pm on a Saturday afternoon. By the time we get the rental car and luggage it could be around 4pm or so. Thanks for all your help. I will have a map, I just wanted to get opinions from people who have driven there before. Thanks!

janis Mar 31st, 2002 08:29 AM

Saturday gives you a lot mor flexibility. You miss the UNBELIEVABLE Friday afternoon mess and the almost as bad Sunday Afternoon. Oakland airport is not too large and it probably won't take 90 minutes to get your luggage and pick up the rental car.<BR><BR>Normally I would recommend the VERY scenic route over hwy 17 and down hwy 1. But that route is so scenic that you will be frequently stopping along the way and it will be pretty late by the time you get down to Carmel. Since you arrive in the afternoon, I'd probably take the more direct route down 101 to Carmel. <BR><BR>BUT be sure to leave yourselves enough time at the other end of the trip for a leisurely drive back to Oakland via 1, 17, 280.

Native Mar 31st, 2002 12:35 PM

Janis,<BR><BR>What is so senic about Hgw. 17 to Santa Cruz????<BR><BR>You are lucky to find a place to pull off if your car overheats.<BR><BR>Absolutely nothing to see. Your hands will be glued to the steering wheel. Don't speed, because any corner you could bang someone from behind on a traffic tie-up.<BR><BR>I used to commute on that road from Santa Cruz to San Jose, it is a CONCENTRATION drive.<BR><BR>Native<BR>

janis Mar 31st, 2002 03:45 PM

Native: I'm a native too (5 generations native) <BR><BR>By scenic I meant taking 17 over to Hwy 1. You HAVE to admit hwy 1 is scenic - especially in comaprison to 101.

mt-x Mar 31st, 2002 03:47 PM

To follow up on Sheri's question, which is the closest major airport(s) to Monterey and Carmel?<BR>

Native Mar 31st, 2002 04:17 PM

Janis,<BR><BR>Highway 1 is senic. 17 sucks, and as you very well know, is very dangerous if you don't pay attention.<BR><BR>Native<BR>

Mary Mar 31st, 2002 04:34 PM

Late afternoon on a Saturday? You'd have to be nuts *not* to take 880-101-156-1 (first poster's recommendation). It's by far the most direct and fastest route.<BR><BR>I also think its a waste of time to go out of your way on the way back as a previous poster suggested (unless you needed to stop somewhere on the way). You really don't need to be crossing any bridges for this trip. Spend the extra time in Carmel/Monterey. Have fun!

Bob Mar 31st, 2002 06:53 PM

If you are going to Carmel the best airport to use is San Jose. This will cut a tremendous amount of time out of your commute. SFO and Oakland are the last choices. I am in Carmel now as I write this and do the drive weekly.<BR><BR>Routes: 101 probably quicker but nothing to look at and the traffic always jams in Morgan Hill because the freeway shrinks to two lanes and there is now construction going on to correct this. Hwy 17 is much more scenic and a tourist would probably enjoy this route much better if not driven during normal commute traffic. Saturday arrival would be okay.<BR><BR>Oakland Airport to go to Carmel? Who was your travel agent? Bad advice.

E. Apr 1st, 2002 07:04 AM

mt-x, San Jose is definitely the closest major airport to Monterey/Carmel, and a straight shot along not-scenic 101. SFO and Oakland add another hour to the drive time, which for me has always been about 1/ 1/2-2 hours from San Jose and 2-3 hours from SFO. <BR>There's an airport in Monterey, too, but you can only get there via connecting flights from SFO and other CA airports, which adds about $100-150 to the fare. It's also frequently fogged in, making it an unattractive alternative to driving.

Sam Apr 1st, 2002 08:08 AM

Oakland is not a bad choice of airports. Depending on where you're going, they may have more direct nonstops than San Jose (which is pretty rinky-dink). Go 880 to 101 to 156 to 1. Avoid 17 entirely and 1 as much as possible.

David Apr 1st, 2002 10:47 AM

Sam,<BR>Actually if you look at the Oakland and San Jose International Airport websites, San Jose in fact offers more nonstop flights than Oakland. Have you been to SJC's terminal A? I would not say that the airport is riky- dink. Of course it is in the midst of a $1.5 bilion expansion, but so far there have not been too many inconveniences. <BR><BR>As far as Bob and E's recommendaton on flying into San Jose, I would have to agree that makes alot more sense for Sheri being that she will be heading to the Central Coast.

sam Apr 1st, 2002 02:17 PM

David,<BR><BR>Yes, I've been to all three airports many times (as well as the Monterey airport). I was simply making the point that it depends on what airline/route you're flying. One aiport may have a better fare than another as well.<BR><BR>I live in Marin County and greatly prefer Oakland to SFO. When I lived in Carmel, I also preferred Oakland to SJ (I thought it was more professional, and had more on-time departures).<BR><BR>Also, from Sheri's messages, it sounds as if she is already planning on flying into Oakland.

Duke Apr 3rd, 2002 01:54 PM

I too question Sam's advice. I don't think he has been out of Marin lately plus anyone and I mean anyone who would drive all the way to Oakland Airport, passing San Jose in route, from living in Carmel just to get "professional" treatment is crazy. <BR><BR>Hwy 880 is about the worst commute in the Bay Area. The grief and agony someone had to go through to get all the way from Carmel to Oakland is terrible. <BR><BR>I think ole Sam is quoting from some experience he had in the 80s. San Jose is not rinky dink and is the best choice if you are going straight to Carmel. <BR><BR>Plus the advice about Hwy 17 is not correct. It is a very pretty drive and much prettier than 101. If you hit the 17 route in non-commute traffic it is worth the drive. If you have to drive all the way from Oakland and hit 17 in commute it is a toss up as 101 ain't that great either. They have major construction going on to widen 101 and it bogs down in the same spot every day. I drive it twice a week so my info is current. <BR><BR>Sam: go hug a tree in Marin.

sam Apr 3rd, 2002 07:51 PM

Try not to blow a gasket, Duke. Guess your crummy commute has made you rather ungracious. By the way, I was in my teens for most of the 80's. <BR><BR>No one ever said 101 was pretty, but Hwy 17 blows big-time, and is a poor alternative unless you're actually planning on a stop in Santa Cruz. <BR><BR>Bye!

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