Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur in April?

Jun 24th, 2019, 12:01 PM
  #1  
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Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur in April?

Inspired by Big Little Lies and Hyatt points burning with their acquisition of Ventana Big Sur: Thinking about 4-5 nights between the following places, all using public transport. Perhaps fly into San Jose then shuttle to Monterey, then bus to Carmel and Big Sur. Seems doable if not a little long.

I can use a Southwest voucher expiring around April 10th, but I'm not sure if early April is really the best weather-wise to visit these towns and places? Would ideally like to get outside around the water, walk around the towns/villages, and do a little walking around Pfeiffer.

Would this be smart, or should I go like in May?
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Jun 24th, 2019, 02:51 PM
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Public transit to Big Sur is extremely limited. There are only 2 buses per day that operate only on Saturdays and Sundays in April. Daily service doesn't start until Memorial Day. Early April is the tail end of the rainy season but can also be very nice. If we have a severe winter, there could still be trail damage but you can still find somewhere to hike. April is great for whale watching and is also our harbor seal pupping season. IMO the best times of year to visit are April/May or September/October, the latter tends to be drier and warmer.

Last edited by Patty; Jun 24th, 2019 at 02:54 PM.
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Jun 24th, 2019, 02:53 PM
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Big Sur without a car is ridiculous. Is there a reason you're not getting a car?
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Jun 24th, 2019, 03:05 PM
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You need a car.
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Jun 24th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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As Patty says - trying this by bus will be very difficult. You could try just staying at Ventana on the weekend and then staying somewhere else for the rest of your time . . .

Originally Posted by AustinTraveler View Post
Big Sur without a car is ridiculous. Is there a reason you're not getting a car?
That may be, but JoeTro has posted about many trips over the years and I never remember him ever talking about driving -- I think he always travels by public transport.
janisj is online now  
Jun 24th, 2019, 03:58 PM
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I would be terrified in a bus going along the Big Sur portion of Highway 1. No thanks!
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Jun 24th, 2019, 04:28 PM
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April is a great time to visit - usually pretty nice weather (can be somewhat rainy, but usually pretty nice) and you will have lots of wildflowers.

I agree with the others though - without a car, that area is difficult. Monterey and Carmel are pretty easy without a car, but the Big Sur portion is tough.
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Jun 24th, 2019, 06:49 PM
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You can hire a driver for the Big Sur part. bigsurtoursandmore.com About $110 an hour.

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Jean is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 07:50 AM
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Seems like I could just take the 22 the morning of the Saturday through afternoon of the Sunday, right? Getting I guess to Pfeiffer might be tough. I agree that Monterrey and Camel are very easy.

I do not like renting a car on vacation for multiple reasons. And I would enjoy looking out the window of the transport, whatever along Route 1 rather than driving along it.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 08:14 AM
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Good for you. Some people actually cannot drive a car, they aren't worthless and don't lose their rights to travel.

I don't see any problem with your plans if it's just to get to some place and hang out, no reason you need a car for that. Only two buses a day is irrelevant if you just need to get there once and leave once. Obviously your choice of bus trips is better after Memorial Day, though.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 08:27 AM
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Christina -- why on earth are you always in attack mode? No one even hinted the OP is worthless.

JoeTro originally wanted to stay several days in Big Sur which really isn't practical by bus at the times he wants to travel. But a weekend at Ventana and the rest of his time elsewhere is totally doable.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 09:35 AM
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Thanks - that's actually very helpful as I did not realize the buses were every day after Memorial Day.

I guess the real question for me was more about the timing of going in April (we got a bit sidetracked by busgate). Sounds like it might be fairly nice weather. Would not want to go in the middle of summer - sounds like it isn't actually very cool there.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 12:15 PM
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April and May are both very nice months generally. Summers are nice also - typically cool, mix of sun and fog, rarely any rain. The average high in Big Sur and along the Monterey Peninsula is in the low 70s throughout the summer. There are sometimes heatwaves where you'll see higher temperatures - it can get into the 80s, and sometimes the 90s, but that isn't normal. The downside of a summer visit is that there are more visitors and there aren't as many wildflowers because things have dried out from the winter/spring rains.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 12:25 PM
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I'd check with Ventana to see if they have a house car that can take you to Pfeiffer Big Sur and also because it's a bit of a climb from the highway up to the resort. I feel like I've seen one around.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Patty View Post
I'd check with Ventana to see if they have a house car that can take you to Pfeiffer Big Sur and also because it's a bit of a climb from the highway up to the resort. I feel like I've seen one around.
That's a good idea - as posh as Ventana is, I'd be surprised if they didn't offer such services.
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Jun 25th, 2019, 01:55 PM
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I'd also look into the Highlands Inn in Carmel Highlands which is now a Hyatt, gorgeous views and the restaurant is very good as well. However it is up on top of a high hill so no idea how you would get up there. Maybe an Uber if there is cell signal in the area.
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Jun 26th, 2019, 05:08 AM
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Thank you. There's Hyatt in Monterey near the golf course that seems doable - the one in Carmel doesn't get great reviews and is a lot of points .
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Jun 26th, 2019, 06:52 AM
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Weather in March-April-May are pretty good, less chance of fog than summertime. A bit more rain in the average March. A bit less in the average May.

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Jun 26th, 2019, 06:53 AM
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Staying at the Monterey Hyatt without a car is possible, but it is away from almost anything you may want to do and see. Not far distance wise, just far enough.
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Jun 26th, 2019, 07:40 AM
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FYI, in addition to not being walkable to anything, the Hyatt in Monterey is pretty “tired”.
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