Monterrey/Carmel/PG Itinerary

Old Jun 19th, 2002, 07:47 AM
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Monterrey/Carmel/PG Itinerary

My wife and I are spending a Sunday and Monday night in PG (Gosby House) after flying into SFO at 10 am, then driving directly to the area. Can someone help with an itinerary/what to do list in those 2 days? We are leaving sometime monday to drive to wine country. Is it best to do the scenic driving on the way to PG? or on the way out on Monday? We're already making plans to go to the aquarium in Monterrey and also Pt. Lobos Park. Any other must do's or must see's while we're not strolling the beaches or enjoying the scenery? Hope 2 days is enough. Thanks
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 09:35 AM
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I would not miss the Big Sur area--truly one of the most spectacular places I've seen--which, as you know, is a bit south of carmel on rte 1--if you are a golfer, you may want to look at the famous courses around carmel---I would encourage you to have lunch or dinner (before sunset) at the highlands Inn --they have a posh restaurant and a cheap one. just walking along the beach in carmel is majestic --
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 10:53 AM
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Tom is right - it would be a shame to miss seeing at least some of the Big Sur. You can drive from PG down as far as the Nepenthe restaurant in an hour or so. Stop for a drink or coffee at Nepenthe and enjoy the fantastic view (the food isn't that great). There are at least a couple of good scenic routes to PG. You could do one on the way down and the other heading back up. I assume by the wine country you mean Napa/Sonoma? To take the scenic ocean route, take 101 south from the airport to California Highway 92, take 92 down to US 1 at Half Moon Bay, take US 1 to Monterey. This is very scenic until you get to the Santa Cruz area. Going back up north, an option is to take US 1 to Santa Cruz, take California Highway 9 north until it connects with Skyline Boulevard, take Skyline Boulevard north and re-connect with US 1 once you get into San Francisco, connect with US 101 near the Presidio and take it over the GG Bridge and north toward the wine country. You could also reverse the order of these routes. The Highway 9 route out of Santa Cruz takes you through the largest redwood forest south of SF and is really a beautiful trip.
Get a good map and good luck!
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 11:26 AM
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Sounds like a lot of driving and not much time enjoying the Monterey area. I would take the most direct route to Pacific Grove from SFO---101 south to 92 west to 280 south to 85 south (this will by pass San Jose) then back over to 101 and west on 156 (marked Monterey Penninsula) This will take you over to hwy 1 and Pacific Grove. Maybe a 2 hour drive depending on traffic. Spend the remainder of the day enjoying the aquarium (call for "will call" tickets because the lines will be long on a Sunday. Monday I would visit Pt. Lobos after breakfast at one of the bakeries in Carmel, and then drive down hwy 1 through Big Sur. Agree with stopping at Nepenthe but you could also go all the way to Ragged Point if you have the time.Pt. Lobos can easily take 3 hours to walk around and hwy 1 while only 90 miles can easily take 3-4 with stops. You need to stop so the driver can see the views---you can't drive that road and look at the ocean at the same time. There is a very good winery Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley and a tasting room of Monterey Co. wines on the second floor of a building just north of the aquarium on Cannery Row on the ocean side. The Carmel Mission is a very pretty one if that's of interest. A word of caution---while the drive over the Santa Cruz mtns. is beautiful redwood country, if anyone is prone to carsickness it's not for you on hwy 9!! Big Basin State Park is at the top of the mountain---beautiful redwoods and not as touristy as Muir Woods. The best way to reach it is on hwy 17 to the summit and then north (can't remember the number) From there you could take Skyline Drive to Woodside (84) Road over to 280 and follow signs to 101 to the wine country. You've got to like to drive a lot though. If you are saying you're spending Sunday and Monday nights in PG, then you'll have enough time. Later in your post you say you're leaving Monday to go to the wine country and that's not enough time--hoping you meant Tuesday.
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 12:15 PM
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My mistake... we are arriving into SFO at 10am on Saturday morning and then driving there directly. We are staying at the Grandview Inn Saturday and Sunday nights.
Sorry for the confusion!
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 04:17 PM
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Jay, then I strongly advise you to follow my most direct route to Monterey Peninsula. It will slow dramatically just south of the 85/101 merge, but they are doing road work to alleviate that problem. If it's a beautiful day, many souls who live in the Silicon Valley will be clogging the hwy 17 route over to Santa Cruz and you don't want to get into that mess. I would wish you could have one more day given you'll be in the Monterey area over a weekend.
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 05:44 PM
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Jay: I think you can find your way to PG with the above suggestions.

Once there, what to do? I live in PG.

Aquarium is a must, but may be crowded. Save for a Monday if possible. Weekends are bad this time of year.

17 Mile Drive if you have never done it. Good scenery and you can see Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay. Two world class resorts.

Downtown Carmel and the beach.

Just kick back and enjoy the ocean.

Drive down Big Sur. Nepenthe is far down but good view once there.

Don't spend all your time in a car. This is a great walking area with plenty of walking paths along the beach (especially in PG) and bike areas.

Eating: Fandangos in PG is outstanding. Not cheap, but very, very good. Roys at Spanish Bay has a bagpiper play each night at sunset on the golf course then its in to eat at another great place.

Two days is not enough.
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 03:28 PM
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Rather than drive all the way down to Nepenthe (can you spell "carsick?"), walk around Pt. Lobos State Park and eat at Rocky Point, just a few miles south of Ocean Ave. on Hwy. 1.
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 04:56 PM
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Zorro has a good suggestion. If you are running out of time, spend it in Pt. Lobos and then only drive hwy 1 as far as the town of Big Sur (which is actually inland) You'll get to drive the Bixby Bridge which you see in all the photos and Pt. Lobos will give you a great feel for the coast there. I'm concerned that you only have two days and they are weekend day. I'm assuming you mean Napa when you say "wine country". Napa is not as pretty as the part of California on the Monterey Peninsula. Your choice whether you more enjoy the wine or the waves. To be in Pacific Grove on a Monday gives you a totally different feel for the area.
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