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How much time should I stay in Monterey, California?

How much time should I stay in Monterey, California?

Old May 13th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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How much time should I stay in Monterey, California?

I am planning a vacation to California. Our first stop is San Francisco for 4 nights. Then we are headed to Yosemite for 2 nights and 3 days. OUr next stop is MOnterey. How long should I stay there and besides the 17 mile drive, what else can we do. We would have already hiked and gone bike riding in San Francisco and Yosemite. Don't think we can spend too much time in Monterey but I don't want to miss out on anything because we are headed to Los Angeles.

DOes anyone have suggestions?

Thanks so much! I greatly appreciate it!
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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There is the aquarium and Cannery Row which you could do in a day. Also, a drive through Carmel--look for the chalets and the storybook homes.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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If you need lunch in Monterey, the red chinese restaurant behind the aquarium has good food and low prices.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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There is a lot more to the Monterey Peninsula than the 17-mile drive, some of my favorite things to do/see are Point Lobos, Carmel Valley wineries, Carmel Beach, Carmel River Beach, Carmel Mission to name a few.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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You could stay for a day or week! Visit the Aquarium (excellent, but small -- you could spend 2 hours or all day), downtown Carmel, Carmel beach, Cannery Row, maybe Pacific Grove, then continue south to Big Sur, stopping along the way at Pt. Lobos St. Park, Pfeiffer Beach, Nepenthe....
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Old May 13th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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It doesn't sound like you have much time. If you have one full day and one night, you'll feel like you saw the area. The views here, however, are different from SF or Yosemite. They are truly breathtaking in their own way. Going on a hike at Point Lobos won't be similar to any other hike you've been on.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Monterey is great. In addition to the things that have been mentioned, you can take a boat trip out on the bay, kayaking is also very popular. If you are interested in CA history, there is the Monterey historic park near the wharf and a few historic houses that you can tour downtown. There is also the mission in Carmel.

We got to Monterey every chance we get (was there on Sunday), but I can't tell you the last time I was on 17-Mile drive.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:30 PM
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Would you recommend to take the 17-mile drive?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:51 PM
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Of all the places I've visited in CA, Monterrey is my least favorite. I'd stay enuf to see the 17 mile drive and walk the beach, do the aquarium.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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Most people would recommend the 17-mile drive, but some find it uninteresting. To me, it's a drive along gorgeous golf courses and oceanside, and beautiful private mansions. Others find that to be a waste of time.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 08:36 PM
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they validate at Roy's if you do go on the 17 mile drive.
go and see the bag pipes while your having cocktails at sunset.
passionfish is one of our favorite restaurants in Pacific Grove.
Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn is a must for lunch and stop at Big Sur Bakery too.

I'm not that big a fan of Monterey..day max is plenty for us.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Unless you are huge golf fan, and consider Pebble Beach
sacred ground, I cannot recommend the 17 mile drive-
save the $10 price to drive on the road and
enjoy the views out at Pt. Lobos via Hwy 1.
Now, the Aquarium, I could spend the better part of
a day in.


R5
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Old May 14th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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We just spent this past Sat. night at The Plaza in Monterey, it was wonderful! I would definitely plan on the aquarium, another thing we love to do in this area is bike ride the Recreation Trail and kayak out on Monterey Bay. You can rent the kayaks from Adventures by the Sea, across from the Plaza. Spend some time in Carmel, we were there this past Sun. and the weather was beautiful! Go down to Ocean Beach, the white sand is gorgeous and the water was a pretty turquoise color. Have fun! ***kim***
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Old May 14th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Tor House in Carmel really impressed me. It was all fascinating: the history, the poetry, the whimsy, the architecture and the views.

You need reservations for the tour, and young children aren't permitted.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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we are going in less than a month and will not miss Point Lobos! We are also taking a Trolley Wine Tour of Carmel Valley (about 5 hours.) Big Sur is on our list too.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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sf's description of 17-mile drive is accurate.

"To me, it's a drive along gorgeous golf courses and oceanside, and beautiful private mansions. Others find that to be a waste of time."

I am not a fan of golf and mansions are sort of an "eh, whatever" thing for me, so the gorgeous coastline is the only draw for for me - and there is plenty of gorgeous coastline in this area. I'd much rather spend my time wandering around Point Lobos or Pacific Grove. When I have gone to 17-mile drive, I usually think "Gosh, this place would be great if it weren't for the golf and all these houses"
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Old May 15th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Of all the places I've visited in CA, Monterrey is my least favorite. I'd stay enuf to see the 17 mile drive and walk the beach, do the aquarium.

I was happy to read this because Monterey's charms are not obvious to me either. I find it a hectic and overpriced place. If you aren't into aquariums, I suggest you spend your time inching your way to LA via Highway 1.

HTTY
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:38 PM
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Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your replies. I forgot to mention that before we head down to Los Angeles we will stop at Carmel, Big Sur for two nights. We will see Hearst Castle, Pfeiffer Park, not sure what Points Lobo is but sounds like a lot of people like to go there too.

Basically I am trying to book a hotel in Monterey and don't know whether to book one night or two nights. Is one night enough?
My interests are: Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17 Mile Drive, maybe a whale watching cruise if it's worth it. But to do those things I have to stay two nights. Is it worth it??
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:25 AM
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Based on your most recent post, I think there is a slight misunderstanding about travel distances... do you have a map of ther area? The "Monterey Bay Area" is comprised of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and Pebble Beach. Some posters, it seems, are writing their impressions of Monterey only and others are giving you their impressions of the entire area.

If you are planning already to stay in Carmel, you would NOT need to rebook for another night in Monterey because you are literally just a short 10 minute drive over the hill from Monterey. Does that make sense?

To me, the charm of Monterey lies in the history. Monterey has a charming historical downtown area with the first theater in California, Colton Hall and other buildings that were used when Monterey was the capitol of CA. If you are not into history or eatly CA history, it may be boring to you, I happen to love it. If you are interested in history (or are Catholic) and havent yet seen Mission San Carlos de Borremeo it is worth an hour or so and right on your way to Point Lobos. It is one of the most beautiful of the California Missions and represents much early CA history in old photos, items of clothing etc.. in the museum.

Point Lobos State Reserve is simply one of the most beautiful places on earth. Easy walking trails provide scenic views of the beautiful coastline with the surf crashing on the rocks and in the cove, as Easytraveler noted, seals to watch and listen to. You will want to bring a picnic lunch and spend several hours. (The Carmel Cheese Shop in the mall on Ocean Ave will have everything you need!)

You mention that one of you days includes Hearst Castle on your way to Los Angeles. That is NOT in the same general area included in the Monterey Bay Area and will be a full day between the driving down, stopping in Big Sur and the tour of the castle. You will probably want to spend a night somewhere on the Central Coast south of Cambria to get you closer to LA.

Day one: Aquarium and 17 mile drive
Day two: Point Lobos and Whale Watching or Kayak in the Bay
Day threerive through Big Sur to Hearst Castle for a late or night tour.

Dont you want to ask about restaurants? Welcome to California!
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Old Jun 4th, 2015, 06:02 PM
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I will traveling from San Francisco To San Diego. I was reading what Onemoneyrgirl wrote and will love if you can help too.We want to go to from San Francisco to Monterey, Big Sur, Hearts Castle and San Luis Obispo.My question will be how much time you recommend to see those places, we don't have a lot of time, so just to have an idea... We have two days, where should we stay and what order you think its best.(I read about Point Lobos, Carmelo, Colton Hall, Dan Carlos Mission, The Acuarium on your comment, will to see all that.
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