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Road Trip from San Francisco - Hwy 1 to Carmel area or Yosemite??

Road Trip from San Francisco - Hwy 1 to Carmel area or Yosemite??

Old Aug 31st, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Road Trip from San Francisco - Hwy 1 to Carmel area or Yosemite??

My husband and I want to do a day trip during our 6 day trip to San Francisco. I'm leaning toward the drive on Hwy 1 toward Carmel area. No destination or stops in mind, just taking in the coastal views. I also considered Yosemite, but wondered if that would be too much for 1 day.

We would have to rent a car, so my first question is from where and recommended rental companies? We are staying on Columbus Ave.

Second question: Which way to go Fodorites? North or South? We would get up early, rent a car, and then head out for the day. We would be coming back to our hotel that night.

We are already planning to see the Muir woods and Sausalito, just in case someone recommends those instead. I'm talking about a road trip and not sure which direction. I know they are totally different. I guess I would go with the one easier to manage in a day.

Thanks in advance,
Gina M
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 03:52 PM
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When are you traveling? If September/October, you are in for some lovely weather in San Francisco and along the coast, so good for you.

Yosemite in one day? No! A four-hour drive EACH WAY, so you'll see very little of Yosemite itself.

A nice day trip from San Francisco if you love the outdoors would be up the coast, beyond Muir Woods and Stinson Beach, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Gorgeous walks, a lighthouse, quaint towns in the area (Bolinas, Olema, Inverness), and easily done in a day.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 05:30 PM
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Highway 1 is definitely the best option. The stretch just south of San Francisco, which goes through Half Moon Bay, is one of our favorites drives.

I suggest lunch at Schooners in Monterey. The service, food, and view are tops.

Carmel is a delightful town, and an entrance to the Seventeen Mile Drive is near there.

HTtY
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 07:20 PM
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I also recommend hwy 1 over Yosemite
I do not necessarily recommend the 17 mike drive. We did not see anything on that drive that was not overshadowed by vistas seen driving south on hwy 1.. I recommend stopping at Nepenthe. If even for coffee or tea, the views are spectacular . Another suggestion is to stop at Pfeiffer beach. Really beautiful. We enjoyed our time on the coast so much more then our time in Yosemite, I don't think you can go wrong on the coast.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 08:21 PM
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Hwy 1 would be my choice too. I love the coastline between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, and then Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel are all great towns. Go at least as far south as Point Lobos, even if you don't drive through Big Sur. Point Lobos is only a few miles south of Carmel and is amazingly beautiful.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 09:59 PM
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The drive down the coast is filled with wonderful eye candy all the way. The drive from San Francisco to Yosemite is not so scenic until you arrive at Yosemite -- whereupon it becomes mind-blowing. If I were you, I would drive the coastal highway, saving a visit to Yosemite until there is enough time to get out and about and into that park, in order to really experience it.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 11:56 PM
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While we have done Yosemite as a day trip it's a LONG one and we are an hour east of SF so I wouldn't really recommend it.

I'm another vote for the section of Hwy 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

Utahtea
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Hwy 1 it is!! Thank you all for your input and suggestions. I'm sure I will have more questions in the months ahead.

aprillilacs: we will be going the first week of June 2015. I'm sorry I forgot to mention that.

Thank you
Gina M
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 11:54 AM
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Expect fog and gray on the coast in June (the infamous June Gloom). The fog can burn off as the day progresses, though. You may get lucky and have a gorgeous day. Or maybe not.

As for one-day car rentals, I've tried a bunch. You try kayak.com, priceline.com, or carrentals.com and look for the best deal. Renting downtown will likely be less than renting at the airport. I've used off-brand rentals that worked out just fine, though do be sure to check carefully for and document any scratches, etc., on the car before you drive off.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 12:39 PM
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June gloom is what they call it in the south land--we call it summer up here.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 07:00 PM
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I get great deals with Thrifty an Dollar. If you join their "clubs," (which is free) you bypass the check-in desk and go directly to your car. Discount promotion codes are often available at retailmenot.com. I have rented from Thrifty in downtown (Union Square) San Francisco.

HTtY
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 08:38 PM
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Yeah, I never heard the term June Gloom until I started reading these boards

But yes, our coast can be foggy in the summer time. It isn't generally pea soup or anything, so it won't disrupt your sightseeing. The coast is beautiful when it is foggy or sunny.
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