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Itinerary Help---

Old Apr 26th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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Itinerary Help---

We have mapped out a tentative itinerary for our San Francisco trip. But never having been there, I would love to run it by someone. One objective is to see alot by car, before we drop it off at the airport to go into the city. I do not want to be bothered with it. Here goes:
1. Arrive SFO around noon
2. Rent car go to Sonoma for 1 night
3. Head on down to Carmel/ Pacific Grove area for two days and nights of sightseeing.
4. We have a family obligation in Sacramento, so drive there for a half day and overnight.
5. Drive to SFO drop off car, take Bart into City and visit the City for 3 days.

Is this backtracking or does it seem fine. Thanks you so much!
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 06:42 AM
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If you put sfo or sonoma in your heading you get a lot more answers
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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If you still are free to change your plan, I would go to Carmel first because it eliminates the need to go through the city on the way to Sonoma and back again down to Carmel. After Carmel go to Sonoma, and your drive to Sacramento is much shorter.

Something else worth checking is that if your rental is with one of the majors, they probably have an in city location where you could drop the car after checking into your San Francisco hotel and eliminate the need to return to the airport. Likely at no additional expense.

If you have not been before, I recommend adding 2 hours to your Carmel-Sonoma drive and visit Muir Woods. Only slightly off route. A wonderful park.
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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I think a lot depends on which days of the week you'll be doing this, and also where in Sonoma Co you'll be staying.

For example, if you arrive at noon, and have checked luggage, you probably won't leave the airport complex till 1:30. You'll get to Healdsburg around 3:00 or the town of Sonoma a little sooner (depending on where you're staying). By the time you check into your hotel, it will be 3:30. If you plan to visit a winery, you'll probably only have time to visit 1 maybe 2 before they close at 5.

The drive next day could be anywhere from 3 1/2 hrs on a Sat or Sun, or 5 hrs during a work day if you time it wrong. If it's a work day, you should probably not leave the Sonoma area till 9 or 10, to avoid heavy commute traffic in Santa Rosa (if you stay in Healdsburg), San Rafael, SF, and the San Jose area. Probably won't have time for a winery visit unless you leave around noon. If you leave at 9, you'll probably get to your hotel in Carmel around 1:30 (maybe sooner if you're lucky). If you leave Sonoma any sooner in the day - you'll still probably get there around 1:30.

If you travel on a Sat or Sun you could leave at 9 & get to Carmel at 12:30 or a tad sooner.

If you're returning to SF on a work day, you should probably leave Carmel around 11:00 to 1:00 to avoid the commute traffic. You'll get to SFO around 1 or 3, and into the City around 2 or 4.

That really gives you 1 or 2 hrs in Sonoma when the wineries are open. You'll have about 1 1/2 days in the Carmel/Monterey region.

If this was my trip, I would forget Sonoma, and just head to Carmel from SFO. Any day of the week you'll miss the commute traffic. With 3 nights & 2 1/2 days in Carmel, you could drive down to Big Sur. You could also get to Carmel by heading over to the cute town of Half Moon Bay (on hwy 92), and then take the coast all the way to Carmel. It's a pretty drive till you get to Santa Cruz.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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I agree w/ Stu - you will be doing all these long drives on some of the most congested roads in CA. SFO > Carmel > Sacramento > SFO is doable in your time frame. The Sonoma loop just doesn't work very well.
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Tweaking and changing your days:

1. Arrive at SFO, drive to Monterey Peninsula, spending two nights.

2. Drive to Sonoma, spend 2 nights.

3. Drive to Sacramento, spend the night.

4. Drive to SF, spend two nights.
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