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Need Help with one special night in Northern CA.

Need Help with one special night in Northern CA.

Oct 3rd, 2003, 10:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,194
Need Help with one special night in Northern CA.

My husband and I missed our 5th Annivesary this year as he was away from home on business.
Now, he's got a business conference in Sacremento coming up. I'm going with him. We will fly into Sac. on a Friday and arrive about noon.
From there, we'll go to the 'office' for an hour or so and pick up a car they have said we can use for the weekend. So, about 2:00 or so, we'll drive to San Jose to spend an evening with an old friend.
First question: How long will this drive be?

Saturday we'll have a night to spend for ourselves.
Second question: Where can we go from San Jose for a romantic evening?
Is Carmel too far to drive? How about Half Moon Bay?
Other sugesstions? We would both like to be close to the ocean.
Keep in mind, wherever we stay on that night, we'll have to drive back to Sacremento, but don't mind getting back there until 8:00 or 9:00pm if need be. Can you help?
Ally is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I just ate a a great restaurant, called "The Kitchen" in Sacramento.

Chef/owner, Randall Selland, prepares and performs throughout the 4+ course "culinary event" which are held 3-4 times per week. There is only one seating per night with a maximum of 48 guests.

Basically this guy, along with his staff creates dinner in a huge open kitchen. Great wines at market prices are available.

I went to this place about a month ago with friends. The food was incredible.

Some of the highlights was two types of seared scallops atop lobster sticky rice, the freshest sashimi ever, a wonderful lamb, apple tarts with ice cream....

Check out their website - thekitchenrestaurant.com - for a sample menu.

The restaurant is lovely with whie linen and candles. It is an event beacuse you get to watch the chef prepare the meal. But it is also romantic--lots of couples the night I was there.

The best thing is, the waiters will bring you seconds if you want--in fact, they encourage it!

It really was the best meal I have ever had!
Alisa is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 11:30 AM
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The drive from Sac to SJ should take you a couple hours.

I have made this drive many times, and there are basically 2 routes - 80 east to 680 south, which will take you over the Benicia bridge and through Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Pleasanton. You may run into traffic on this route.

The other route would be I-5 south to 205 to 580 west to 680 south. This route sounds less direct, but traffic will be going the other direction as most people are heading to their homes in the suburbs or away from the bay area for the weekend.

I would choose Half Moon Bay for Saturday night. Carmel/Monterey are great, but it's about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from San Jose and then quite a drive back to Sacramento on Sunday. That would be too far for me.
J_Correa is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 11:58 AM
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Thanks J...that's what I was thinking too. Half Moon Bay is only about 30 minutes from San Jose, right?
Anyone know a hotel or B&B I might look at?

Alisa, that place sounds fantastic! I'll look into it!
Ally is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 12:14 PM
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Half Moon Bay would be at least an hour, probably more, from San Jose with weekend traffic. Carmel is farther, but it would be my preference (more to do, nice shops). Some other options would be Soquel or Aptos near Santa Cruz (Shadowbrook restaraunt in Soquel has a great location, though it's been a while since I have been there).
curmudgeon is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 12:19 PM
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I'd do Carmel if you can, rather that Half Moon. More to do. More upscale. More restaurants.

Another option is Santa Cruz. It's younger and funkier than Carmel, but it's a gorgeous place with some nice restaurants.
JackOneill is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 01:01 PM
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Carmel and Santa Cruz are great suggestions, it just depends on what you want to do. Personally I prefer Monterey to Carmel just because I am not an "upscale shops and galleries" type of person.

HMB should be about an hour from SJ - the best route is north on 280 to 92 west. 92 west will take you over the mountain to the coast, and it is on this road that you might run into traffic, esspecially if it is a nice day and people are heading over to the coast. But then no matter which place you pick, you are likely to hit some traffic going to the coast. Nothing like what you would see in the summer time though.

HMB has a cool pumpkin festival sometime between now and Halloween.

The only B&B I have stayed at in HMB is the Zaballa House, which is a nice place. It is comfortable, right on Main St in HMB, and has good breakfasts. It's a casual place. A couple of the rooms have whirlpool tubs and I believe they all have fireplaces.

J_Correa is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Hum...even more to think about.
Was thinking of Half Moon Bay because my husband has been a surfer for 30+ years and I know he'd enjoy watching the surfers at Maverics. Notice I said 'watching'. He's too 'old' for those waves himself! HA!
Anyway, as 'old' as we are (mid-late 40's) I like the idea of Santa Cruz being 'younger and funkier' sounds fun...and I guess I'll look into Aptos and Soquesl too. I don't know a thing about those places.
Neither of us are into 'upscale shops and galleries' too much, so maybe we can end up closer to Sac. without going all the way to Carmel. Lot's to research! I'd still like tohear from someone else who has stayed at a moderate but romantic place in these areas. Thanks all, you've been a big help!
Ally is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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My husband & I stayed at the Beach House in Half Moon Bay in June. The rooms are great, with a fireplace, mini-kitchen, small balcony. The hotel is right on the beach. We enjoyed taking long walks along the beach early in the morning before everyone else got up. There's also a spa and fitness center. Very low-key and romantic. Located on Hwy.1 just past Surfer's Beach so it's a short walk to view the surfers during the day. We really enjoyed our stay and found it relaxing and comfortable--a refreshing change from flashy high-rise hotels. Take a look at their website at www.beach-house.com. Their rates seemed reasonable. I think our room was around $165 per night.
antlori is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 04:02 PM
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Hi, Ally!

I would second curmudgeon's suggestion of the SHADOWBROOK restaurant in Capitola (near Santa Cruz). Very romantic!

The restaurant is set in a series of steplike tiers into a small hill and ends on the banks of a small river/stream. You get down via a small cable car/trolley. Very popular restaurant, so reservations are suggested.

As between Half Moon Bay and Carmel, I'd choose Carmel also. Yes, MUCH more to do in Carmel. In addition, if you start out early on Saturday, you have a great many more choices for "romantic" restaurants for your special post-anniversary dinner on Saturday in Carmel, Pacific Grove, or Monterey.

As for a hotel in Carmel, try the website for the Cypress Lodge, co-owned by Doris Day. But there are a lot of others - depends on how much you want to spend!

You COULD leave the Carmel area early, drive up to Half Moon Bay for lunch - or even San Frncisco! That'll break up your long drive back to Sacramento!

Happy Anniversary! And welcome to California!
jason888 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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I'm pretty sure you aren't able to see Mavericks (in HMB) from the shore, but I live in Santa Cruz & there are plenty of places to watch the surfers from the cliffs here.

Shadowbrook in Capitola is a great suggestion. My grandparents used to go their in the early fifties -- and it's been a family favorite ever since:


scurry is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 08:37 AM
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In Half Moon Bay, I will highly recomend the Landis Shores Inn B&B. It is right on the beach and next to the Miramar Restaurant. The Maverick's, if visable, are right before you and you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Be sure to visit Jeff Clark at his Surf Shop and get the 'Men Who Ride Mountains' video.
You are welcome to see my photos of the Beach House & Landis Shores Inn. I love them both for different reasons.

bodi is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Thanks everyone, I'll look into all the places suggested, web sites, etc. and get back to you with more questions!
Ally is offline  

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