Hearst Castle too far from Monterey?

Old Jul 19th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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Hearst Castle too far from Monterey?

Have heard about Hearst Castle. We will be in Monterey for only a couple of days. Would it be too far down the coast to see Hearst Castle? And how about reservations for the Castle? Please hurry, we leave in only 3 days!
Old Jul 19th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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OK..I'll hurry and give you some useful advice..get on the web and do a Google about Hearst Castle and you'll find out the info you need to make reservations.

Only YOU can decide if it is too far to drive from Monterey.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:09 AM
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I was at a sales meeting in Monterey and a group drove to the Hearst Castle and back one day. It was a good day, but a lot of time on the road. Still, it was one of the most memorable of my travel days. The drive along the coast was wonderful. We went along 17 mile drive and stopped at Pebble Beach. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour at the Hearst Castle. We were back in time for dinner in Monterey.

If there is a lot you want to see in Monterey, then you would be giving up one of your two days. But, we only had one full free day in Monterey and that's how we chose to spend the day.

Ate lunch at a well-known restaurant on the coast, but can't remember the name.

A BIG highlight of my Monterey trip - sea kayaking in the bay - surrounded by otters - one actually slid up the bow of my kayak to check me out! FABULOUS memory!
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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FYI, the Pebble Beach area is north of Carmel, whereas Hearst Castle is south of the Big Sur. So there would be no reason to do the two at the same time.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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My sister and some friends recently did Carmel to Hearst- 2 hours there without stopping to admire the views, longer coming back because they did stop. However they were in Carmel for over a week so not stopping to enjoy Big Sur was not an issue. If I had only a couple of days on the Monterey Penninsula I would not spend one of those two days driving to Hearst.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Oh, but Underhill, it was a fabulous day. I wouldn't change a thing. I suppose we did both because with 5 people in the car we had different expectations. The compromise (although I don't remember any discussions re: compromising) was a fabulous result.

The trip I mentioned was in 1990 so my geography memory may be failing me a bit. But, I ran into two on the trip a couple of years ago in New Orleans (at a conference). The daughter, who was about 14 at the time of the trip, greeted me with a big hug and then started talking about the trip. Her mom said it was one of Beth's favorite memories ever.

According to the Hearst website, Monterrey is 93 or 130 miles away depending on the route you choose. We wandered down on the coast road and then returned on the faster, inland route.

My friend who grew up in San Francisco (actually in Napa) had raved about the 17 Mile Drive, so I'm glad we included it in our day's adventure.

Again, it was a full day on the road, but I'd repeat it in a heartbeat.

PS - the inside joke were the "mer-men" by the pool (as in mermaids - check the sculptures). Be sure to take the tour that includes the pool. Incredible!!!!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Hi Deblynn - Don't do it. You don't have enough time and it's too tough a drive. Enjoy Monterey and the Big Sur and save it for another time. Or better yet, buy a picture book of it.

We just came back from that area 3 weeks ago and had to make the same decidion and we are glad we did not push ourselves. Stop for a beverage at Nepenthe, Post Ranch and Ventana to check-out those spots. Then, that same day, drive to Carmel by the sea and have dinner. Another day definately do the 17-mile drive - you will be stopping along the drive and "look-out" points. You will receive a map when you enter. And then spend the rest of the day, early evening at Pebble Beach. At sunset have a beverage at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach and watch for the Bagpiper. Have lunch or dinner there at one of probably 20 places to choose from. Both experiences/days will be well worth it and not seeing the Castle is a small sacrafice.

Have Fun.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 11:35 AM
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No, it's not too far, but it does depend on what you want to do with your time. If it were me, I would *make* the time. It is unlike anything you've seen before, even if you've seen castles in Europe. I love Big Sur and all the surrounding areas, but with limited time I wouldn't waste my time having a drink or snack at every ocean front place or even stopping at every lookout point. Of course you could, but I wouldn't. As in most places in the world, you can *spend* your time in many ways. IMHO I would spend the time seeing something totally new, different and forever memorable.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 02:49 AM
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I have done the drive several times - easy for the driver, but not great for the back seat passengers.
Hearst is worth a visit - the dining room is my fav.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 08:45 AM
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mikemo - I always find a trip through Big Sur is easier being a passenger than the driver because as a driver you have to watch the road. As a passenger, you are free to watch the scenery
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