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kphillip9 Jun 25th, 2004 03:32 PM

San Fran/Monterey/Sonoma trip for 7 nights
I know this has been beat to death, but as someone who does not know the area, I would love it if someone could offer a sample itinerary. We want to rent a car for Monterey and Sonoma (we will stay one night in each place), but would rather not have one for the city. Please, please help me answer some questions:

1. What form of transportation is advisable - subway, bus, taxi? We want to see all of the usual tourist crap - Alcatraz, Chinatown, etc.

2. Would it make sense to pick up the car at the airport and immediately drive to Monterey, stay a night, go to Sonoma, stay a night, and drop off the car in San Francisco? We would then stay in San Francisco 5 more nights without a car.

3. Any suggestions on places to stay in Sonoma? If we shouldn't do it, I'm fine with that. I am not dead set on staying here if it isn't worth it. We will definitely do wine tours, though.

4. Do we want to do the Highway 1 drive?

Please help!! We will be in the greater San Francisco area for 7 nights.

Any sample itineraries would help a great deal. We can get the Westin St. Francis for $136/night and I think we want to stay in Marina Dunes Resort. We are not into B&Bs.

Thank you so much!!!

jbmonts Jun 25th, 2004 03:38 PM

One thing I'd like to mention is to book your Alcatraz tickets on line asap. Last year we did just that, got there and picked up our tickets and heard others being told they were sold out for a week! So.....
Trolleys are a great way to see the city, if they are "catchable". We only caught a ride once and gave up trying. The buses are great, though, stops are everywhere.

AJPeabody Jun 25th, 2004 04:24 PM

SF to Monterey is about 120 miles, Monterey to Sonoma is more. You will be spending more time driving than seeing things if you try for 1 day each. If you want to see Monterey and Carmel area, you should spend a night there. Sonoma can be done as a day trip from SF but it would be more comfortable to spend a night there also. If you do these things, your 5 days in SF shrinks to 3, which is fine for seeing the tourist attractions, walking and exploring, etc. You do not need or want a car in SF which has very good public transport and is walkable if you don't mind hills.

Highway 1 is at its scenic best south of Monterey and north of SF. It is not a road that allows serious speed.

For too much information, click my name and read my recent trip report, which covers the areas you are interested in, and a bit more.

bodi Jun 25th, 2004 06:01 PM

exactly what is of interest to you, and yours, wine $ food, ocean, landscapes, city, country, shopping or hiking, day or nightlife?

kphillip9 Jun 25th, 2004 06:13 PM

Thanks for the input. On second thought, I think we'll skip Sonoma and stay in Monterey for two nights. I don't think we need to do both.

We will probably hit a few tasting rooms, but we have done this in Oregon before so it's not a huge deal. We want to see the redwoods, also.

We are the type of couple who don't care as much about the lodging, as long as it's clean, in a decent location, and relatively quiet. May use hotwire for the San Francisco hotel. Definitely like to spend more money on food and drinks.

We like art museums, lounges (NOT clubbing), martinis, curious to try to get into Slanted Door, love baseball, like cultural events. Thanks!

Otis_B_Driftwood Jun 26th, 2004 08:03 AM

I'm not sure what you were looking for in Sonoma, but there's another town near Monterey that has a similar feel to Sonoma. It's San Juan Bautista and it's on Hwy 101 between Salinas and Gilroy. If you go down the coast one way and come back 101, you will drive right by it. It's where Vertigo was filmed.

bodi Jun 28th, 2004 12:24 PM

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