Need help with San Francisco & San Diego.

Old Apr 6th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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Need help with San Francisco & San Diego.


My hubby and I are planning a trip to San F. and San D. We're flying into San F. on a Saturday, and we're flying out of San D. the following Sunday. We're wondering where we should stop in between (we're renting a car). I've heard that Monterey and Santa Barbara are must-sees, is one night sufficient for each place? We were planning on spending 2 nights each in San F. and San D., and have 4 nights to delegate to cities in-between...

Also, can anyone recommend some good hotels or B&B's that are in a SAFE neighborhood and yet relatively close to the main sites? We don't want to spend more than $150 per night. Thanks for any advice!!
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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More questions... How long does it take to get to say, Monterey, from San Fran? Also, is Carmel and the Pebble Beach area close enough to Monterey that we could do them as "day trips"? We're thinking of staying in Monterey two nights, then down to Santa Barbara for two nights. Does this sound reasonable? Please help!
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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Your plan sounds perfect. Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach are next door to each other, literally.
Stay in the Union Square hotels, such as the St. Francis or Kimpton Hotels and you'll be safe. Check their websites for great deals.
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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Two years when we traveled to San Franciso we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express near Fisherman's Wharf. Our rate was under the $150 - however, that was two years ago. I was able to get the Entertainment Rate for them. We found the location excellent for what we needed. Vacationmom
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Your plan sounds really good.

For your 2 nights in the Monterey area, you might consider staying in Pacific Grove. PG is sandwiched between Monterey and Carmel and is a really beautiful place. It has a great coastline with a paved path between the road and the sand. The beaches are great for beach combing. There are quite a few B&Bs there and the whole town is just really charming. And you are convinient to both Monterey and Carmel. A must see while you are there is Point Lobos state park - it is one of the most beautiful places around.

For budget, it looks like you will be travelling mid-week, so you should be able to get some nice prices on lodging.

SF to Monterey - I would plan on an hour and a half to two hours. If it is a weekday, leave SF after 9 am to avoid the bulk of the commute traffic.

You can head down 280 to San Jose and then take 17 over to Santa Cruz and 1 down to Monterey. Or once you get to San Jose, you can take 101 south to about Prunedale and then 156 to 1. You *could* take 101 all the way from SF, but both it and 280 run parallel, and 280 is a MUCH more scenic drive, so I always take 280.

Once you get to San Jose, if you go the Hwy 17 route, I would recommend stopping in Felton and visiting Henry Cowell state park - it is a short detour off Hwy 17 and there is a nice nature trail through the redwoods.

Once you get to San Jose, if you go the Hwy 101 route, there is a town south east of Gilroy called San Juan Bautista which makes a nice stop - it is only a few miles off 101. There is a nice mission and the old town square has been restored/rebuilt. It gives a good view of old California.

Another choice - longer drive, but really scenic is to take Hwy 1 all the way down to Monterey. You might need to take Hwy 280 to 92 to Half Moon Bay and pick up Hwy 1 there - there have been recent slides on hwy 1 north of Half Moon Bay. This drive would take 2 to 2 1/2 hours to Monterey. Since you are driving down the coast south of Monterey, it might be nice to see the comparisson.

Whatever you choose, you really can't go wrong.

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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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J_Correa: Nice! Very nice! Everything I would have said, only said so much better!

Picking up after CArmel/Monterey: You will be driving one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, the Big Sur coastline.

Stop off at Nepenthe. Have lunch on their deck and goggle at the terrific view.

Next stop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and see McWay Falls, the only falls in California to tumble into the Pacific Ocean. Easy hike, maybe 1/2 to an hour at most.

You might want to stop one night in Cambria. There's Hearst Castle on the way.

Then Santa Barbara.

Next stop would be the La Purisma Mission near Lompoc. If there's one California mission that I recommend, it's this one. Gives you a very good idea of what the missions were like.

Next stop perhaps Ojai area.

Then LA.

Have a great trip!
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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britomart: I did priceline for my hotel in San Francisco and got a 4 star hotel in Union Square (Hilton for $79.00) you may want to try that, it may be cheaper. Good luck.
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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Thanks for all the advice! I worry about trying to include too many detours and sidetrips though, especially when are already on limited time. I will research these suggestions though.

As for Priceline, I'm wary of using it... I don't want to end up with someplace that I really don't want to stay. I'm not much of a gambler I guess!

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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The Hotel Chancellor is just a little over the $150 you're willing to pay, and you may get a less expensive rate by calling the hotel. It's in a very safe area. We just got back from San Francisco, and it was $153.00. It's in Union Square, and it was very convenient to the cable cars, which went right past our hotel. It's not fancy, but very clean and comfortable. The staff is friendly and helpful. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. From there, you can walk down to Market Street to take the historic trolleys or go to the Visitor's Center.

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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the hotel tip, but I think we are going to try the Castle Inn since we want to spend $150 with taxes and everything...
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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If you're leery of Priceline, visit; you'll learn how to use Priceline and what are the best areas to bid on in San Francisco.

Lee Ann
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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I've been trying that link for days... It always times out!
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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I've never been timed out of Biddingfortravel. I dont use a link to get into it. Its a very good site
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 11:41 PM
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We have all of our hotels and B&B's booked, except for San Diego. We were hoping to stay at the Keating House, but it's full. Any suggestions for hotels?
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 11:45 PM
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Also, Hotwire is "offering" a 4 star hotel in "Downtown - Harbor Island" area for $109 per night... Anyone ever used hotwire for a 4 star hotel? I still can't load Maybe it's my Mac?
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