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rosedr Dec 28th, 2009 07:34 PM

Los Angeles Area to San Francisco
Is this doable? and what suggestions can you make?
Must be in Huntington Beach for 3 1/2 days for conference. The plan is to leave the hotel in Huntington Beach on Sat Jan 16 at noon and drive to San Simeon and stay at the Morgan Hotel. The next morning take an early tour of the Hearst Castle. After the tour drive to Monterey and see the aquarium or tour the city etc. Stay over nite and then drive to San Francisco on Monday morning. Unfortunately, we have to fly out on Wednesday morning. In San Francisco will be staying at the Westin St. Francis, Union Square.

Any restaurant suggestions and things to do and see along the way and in SF will be appreciated. Also, Where should we stay in Monterey?


sf7307 Dec 28th, 2009 08:10 PM

San Francisco is an incredible town for dining out. What kind of food? What price point? Prefer restaurants to be in the same neighborhood as your hotel?

easytraveler Dec 28th, 2009 09:22 PM

There's a part of your trip when you are trying to do too much.

You can do a morning tour of San Simeon, then drive along Highway 1, Big Sur country, to Monterey. Don't hurry this part of your trip. There's too much to see along the way. Plan on having dinner in Carmel/Monterey.

See Monterey Aquarium the next morning and then head on up to San Francisco Monday afternoon.

angelize Dec 29th, 2009 03:13 AM

We drove from LA to SF over the summer and took Hwy 1. It took close to 12 hours and we made stops only for bathroom breaks. It is a LONG drive. It would have been nice to stop at Hearst Castle and Montrey, but those are day trips by themselves. I agree with easytraveler, don't rush.

StuDudley Dec 29th, 2009 07:34 AM

I would not tour Monterey - Carmel, yes - but not Monterey. I would also stay in Carmel instead of Monterey for such a short visit. I'de also skip the aquarium and concentrate on the coast (Pt Lobos) unless the weather is bad. I would wait till about 11am to head to San Francisco, which should avoid the commute mess. It should take 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hrs to get from Carmel to San Francisco.

Stu Dudley

happytrailstoyou Dec 29th, 2009 07:37 AM

Easytraveler gave voice to what I was thinking when I read your post.


rosedr Dec 29th, 2009 05:40 PM

I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful replies. Let me clarify a few things. We are ditching the car as soon as we check into the hotel on Monday as the car rental return is the National Car Rental location in Union Square.

We have not already booked any hotel in San Simeon. We were thinking about the Morgan but are not committed.

We are now thinking in light of everyone's suggestions to play it by ear as to where we stop. Since it is off season do you think we would have trouble in not booking a hotel in advance and find one on the road whether it is in San Simeon, Cambria or even San Luis Opisbo?

As for Hearst Castle do we need to purchase tickets in advance for that Sunday.

How about some dining suggestions in San Francisco. Seafood/Fish and Italian.

Also is there a tour company that we can take to tour San Francisco and then do our own sight seeing.

Thanks again,


sf7307 Dec 29th, 2009 06:02 PM

Excellent Northern Italian (very popular with this Fodor's crowd) at Perbacco on California Street. Others really like Mona Lisa in North Beach (I haven't been, but I walked by the other day and it looks very cute).

easytraveler Dec 29th, 2009 07:14 PM

For San Francisco dining, January is a wonderful time to come. It is the month of the "Dine About Town" introductory program when you can get a lunch for $17.95 and a diner for $34.95 at some of the finest restaurants. Ther are some wonderful Italian restaurants on the list.

Another comment on your itinerary. If you are doing a one-way rental, there could be a drop-off fee of several hundred of dollars. Earlier I had gone on Travelocity for another poster and found that Budget currently is listed as doing a one-way rental (LAX to SFO) with no drop off fee. I'd suggest doing a bit of research online, then call the rental agency itself and make certain there is no drop-off fee and make a reservation immediately. You can always cancel a car reservation if you find something better.

suze Dec 30th, 2009 08:01 AM i love this 'alleyway' full of restaurants in the financial district. they are all very good.

sf7307 Dec 30th, 2009 08:45 AM

If you like mussels, Plouf (on belden alley) specializes in them and they are delicious. You probably won't be able to sit outside due to the weather, but the "all-restaurants" alley is fun.

StuDudley Dec 30th, 2009 08:53 AM

And, of course, Sam's is on the corner of Belden & Bush. Sam's is an "old time" restaurant concentrating on simply prepared seafood & some Italian. Make a reservation & ask for a private booth. We dined there Monday night. Only $10 corkage - which they forgot to charge us for anyway. Belden Alley was quite dead Monday - Sams was packed. We're going to Frascati tonight.

Stu Dudley

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