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San Francisco & Carmel Itinerary--please review and comment!

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Sep 21st, 2011, 01:41 PM
  #1
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San Francisco & Carmel Itinerary--please review and comment!

I would love to get some feedback on my proposed itinerary for a trip to San Francisco and Carmel. This will be in the fall, just so that is taken into account where it might make any difference. We have been to SF several times but always headed to Sonoma or Napa after meetings. This time we want to do something different and explore the coastal area to the south.

Wednesday: Arrive at SFO early afternoon and take BART or shuttle to Hotel Nikko.
Rest for awhile in the afternoon. 6:30 Sushi/drinks at hotel bar.
Cable car to Embarcadero-walk to Ferry Bldg.
8:45 dinner at The Slanted Door.
Cable car or taxi back to hotel.
(am I allowing enough/too much time for a drink at hotel and getting to dinner on cable car?)

Thursday: Walking tour with Urban Trek 9:30 until 3:30
8:00 Dinner at Incanto. (taxi...I guess? How much time needed from hotel?)

Friday: 9:30 Japanese Tea Garden-free library tour
2:00 Taste the City Tour
late dinner at Flour + Water (alternate suggestion? My reservation is really late! Is it worth it? How long of a taxi ride from Hotel Nikko?) Considering Restaurant Milano instead--love their gnocchi!.

Saturday: pick up rental car at 8:00am at our hotel. Drive to Pacific Grove. (how long does this take? Best route?)
Lunch in Pacific Grove at Passionfish.
Do the famous 17 mile drive. Pt. Lobos. etc.
Arrive in Carmel late afternoon, check into Hotel Tradewinds. (anyone stayed there?)
Dinner at Mission Ranch Restaurant. (or just drinks on the patio and maybe somewhere else in Carmel for dinner?)

Sunday: get up early and spend the day exploring. Drive to Big Sur. Lunch at Nepenthe. Hike at Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park. Drive back to Carmel. Dinner at Ahndre's Bouchee Bistro.

Monday: relaxing breakfast at From Scratch Restaurant, walk around Carmel a bit, maybe take a walk on the beach. Requesting late check out of hotel.
Lunch at Demetra.
Drive back to San Francisco and return rental car.
Taxi to dinner at Betelnut (one of our favs...can't leave town without eating there).
Taxi to hotel by airport for Tuesday morning flight home.

Can't wait to get your critiques! Be gentle!
npiazza is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2011, 02:02 PM
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My only comment is your method of transportation from your hotel to the Ferry Building. It's not a practical route by cable car. You either have to walk from your hotel to California Street and then hop on a cable car, or get on the Powell Street cable car and switch to the California street line? Personally, I'd walk to the Ferry Building, and take a cable car ride another time.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 02:09 PM
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you sure are eating a lot...
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Sep 21st, 2011, 02:20 PM
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www.ventanainn.com

is wonderful from personal experience

booking.com will have honest ratings on hotels
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Sep 21st, 2011, 02:26 PM
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<(how long does this take? Best route?)
The drive from SF to Carmel will take 2-3.5 hours. There are three ways to get there. The most scenic is also the longest. Hwy 1 will take you along the coast and will take about 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on how often you stop. Lots of things to see along the way. In Oct Pumpkin season will be in full swing. This is the way I recommend you go. But it does take longer.

Hwy 280 to Hwy 17 to Hwy 1 maybe the fastest route. Not as much to see and do.
Hwy 101 to Hwy 156 is the other option.

17 mi dr and Point Lobos will take the rest of the day. I would recommend doing just one of these. Point Lobos would be my recommendation. You can squeeze 17 mi in on Sunday or Monday if you want. 17 mi is not life changing if you ask me. Point Lobos is. You should leave yourself 3-4 hours at minimum.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Agree with sf7307 that riding the cable car to the Ferry Bldg. makes no sense. If you don't want to walk or take a taxi, you can take Muni's F-line streetcar on Market St. and it goes directly to the Ferry Bldg. They're very cool - vintage streetcars from all over the world that have been refurbished re-commissioned. I personally love the orange one from Milan.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 03:55 PM
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in terms or driving from SF to Carmel or back, you want to plan it so you on a weekday are not driving any where near rush hour around SF/SAn Jose. this would mean you leave carmel monday at least by noon.

a neat think about mission ranch is the view. so i would get there and eat/drink before dark.

i always like to eat brk or lunch at the carmel highlands informal outdoor cafe for the view.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Looks like you have a GREAT trip planned! Tradewinds in Carmel is fabulous. I would definitely recommend eating dinner at Carmel Mission Ranch or you might want to try out Casanova's. http://www.casanovarestaurant.com/

If you enjoy wine you might want to look into Carmel Valley Village. It's only 15 minutes from Carmel off of Carmel Valley Road. There are several wineries and tasting rooms. http://www.seemonterey.com/carmel-valley-california
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Sep 21st, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Thanks so much everyone! That is exactly the kind of help I needed, especially the tip about not taking cable car to Ferry Bldg. And the routes to Carmel. Cant wait! Now to start my wardrobe planning so it all fits in a carry-on...
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Sep 21st, 2011, 06:13 PM
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First Carmel comments. Passionfish is not open for lunch, its dinner only. I would recommend dinner. I would not do dinner at Mission Ranch, the most interesting part of the restaurant is the bar, so I recommend drinks only. If you want to have dinner in Carmel, I would suggest Christopher's. I am with Chris Brown, re Point Lobos versus 17 mile drive (unless you happen to be golf nuts).

SF: Is Flour+Water worth it? Hard to say, especially since you are going to Incanto. I like it, I liked it a lot when it first opened, but I have a problem with any restaurant that becomes "in". I tend not to like them as much.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 07:37 PM
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I also agree with Chris_Brown, skip the 17 Mile Drive in favor of Point Lobos. If you need to see the golf course, squeeze it in on Monday morning on your way out of town.
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Sep 21st, 2011, 10:24 PM
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I'm not sure why you;d have sushi at 6:30 before a gourmet vietnamese dinner 2 hours later?Why not rest up and get to the resto early and have a drink and some bar snacks or raw oysters?
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 09:22 AM
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I wondered about that, too, but I figured the OP knows her own ability to handle food. If I ate sushi at 6:30 that would BE my dinner, with maybe a snack later in the evening.
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 11:34 AM
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BTW for the cost of taking a taxi from SFO rental return to Betelnut and return taxi to SFO hotel (approx $80) I would keep the car and drive into SF and park in the Union Street Parking Garage or valet park the car.
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 11:56 AM
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I would pick up wine,cheese and bread at the Carmel Cheese Shop (located downstairs in the mall on Ocean Ave) and have that for lunch at Point Lobos... since PAssionfish isnt an option that day! You will want to spend every moment of daylight and watching the sun set there. It is breathtaking.
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 01:37 PM
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<<>>

So would I.
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 02:48 PM
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I would pick up wine,cheese and bread at the Carmel Cheese Shop (located downstairs in the mall on Ocean Ave) and have that for lunch at Point Lobos... We did just that and it was lovely until a seagull swooped in and grabbed our $26/lb truffle cheese right out of hubby's hand!
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Sep 22nd, 2011, 04:33 PM
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The seagulls have good taste, that is for sure. One made off with half a burrito from Tacos Morenos on time.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:48 AM
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lol @ DebitNM... I bet! You need to come back and try it again!
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