Monterey/Carmel itinery

Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 12:04 PM
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Monterey/Carmel itinery

We are going to be spending 2 nights in Carmel and then 4 nights in San Francisco.

We arrive early afternoon at SFO and are renting our car at the airport and then driving to Carmel to check in to our hotel. We should be on the road by 2pm at the latest.

Then I was thinking that maybe we would drive the 17 mile drive at about 6:00 pm from Carmel to Monterey and then go have dinner in Monterery. the second day I was thinking of getting up early and driving to big sur for the day.

I was wondering is this doable? Is is ok driving the 17 mile drive in that direction or should we do the drive as soon as we get into Monterey before we actually check into our hotel in Carmel?

Any other suggestions would be helpful!
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 01:34 PM
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Just returned from a week RV trip to Big Sur and area. Your plan sounds just fine. It took us about 45 mins to drive from Carmel to Big Sur.Thats in a motorhome and not stopping. Doesnt really matter what direction you take 17 mile drive.
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 02:04 PM
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Here's a 17 Mile suggestion: If you enter by the Carmel Gate entrance they will collect your money and big arrows will direct you to go right. If instead you go left, which is legal, you will arrive at the Pebble Beach Lodge sooner and the ocean views sooner as following the arrows take you the full route through some housing. The more impressive mansions are at the end of the trip which you will see first if you disregard the arrows. If you have time you can still do the entire route, but the impressive part is at the end of the arrow route.

Evening should be fine and you should check for the sunset time so you can enjoy that on the ocean. You may want to book dinner at ROYS at Spanish Bay Resort. They have a bagpiper that plays at sunset then go in for dinner, plus Roy pays the $8.00 per car fee to do the 17 Mile Drive. Tell the gate you have reservations.

Beware: They have construction going on on 101 south near Morgan Hill and the traffic will slow and stop. This is normal and after about a 10-15 minute delay you pick up speed and head on south.

San Jose Airport arrival would knock about an hour off your drive down but you are probably flying out of SFO on return. Check for you plane departure on the morning of as SFO experiences many fog delays this time of year.

Great restaurant in Pacific Grove, next to Monterey, is FANDANGO'S. Well known in the area by locals and tourists alike. Quality food and service.
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 02:15 PM
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Stop a Point Lobos State Park - It is just south of Carmel on the way to Big Sur and is just beautiful.
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 05:30 PM
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I agree with BOB about San Jose International Airport, much better airport than San Francisco. I think you shopuld consider spending less time in SF(2 or 3 days) and the rest of the time along the Central Coast. There is lots to see in the Monterey Bay Area and further south along Big Sur. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must. I also highly recommend Hearst. Castle( I would also consider spending time in either Morro Bay or Pismo Beach.
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 07:09 PM
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Since I live in Carmel, I think your itinerary is more than doable with time to spare. Big Sur is 26 miles south of Carmel. The construction in Morgan hill is just about done. It is not a big deal going southbound on 101. When you return to SFO, budget an extra hour because the jam gets really bad at about noon. Big Sur is really beautiful and there are a lot of places to pull over and see the ocean. It is worth it. Keep your receipts for any dinners or souvenirs you buy inside the 17 mile drive. You can get your money back at the end. Or if you have reservations, you should be exempt from paying the $8.00. Hope you enjoy Carmel.
Old Jul 4th, 2002, 10:06 PM
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Re Navyflyer above: I live in San Jose and have second home in PG. Therefore I drive the 101 construction area about 8 times a month. It has about another year or two to completion and it jams up daily. You must be retired and only drive it in the middle of the day. The construction will still be going strong when these people visit.
Old Jul 5th, 2002, 05:22 AM
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Since your visit is short, and you're planning on Big Sur, you might want to skip 17 mile drive. Unless you're into golf, or "mansions", the scenery isn't worth the time.
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate is giving me lots of good ideas.
Also someone suggested to skip 17 mile drive....I was wondering why is that as I thought it was suppose to be beautiful...but then again I do love mansions and architecture.
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 09:25 AM
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The 17 mile drive is well worth the time - beautiful scenery!
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:35 AM
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Time should be sufficient and it does not really matter which way you go. Plus, if you are not driving through Pebble Beach (but instead use the highway), it takes only about 15 minutes to get from PG to Carmel. As for dinner recommendations, I will second Fandango. Great restaurant and if they still have that fish dish on a bed of leeks, definitely try it. Some other recommendations in the area are Fresh Cream and Rio Grill.
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