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San Francisco and Central Coast-Suggestions for our 25th Anniversary Trip

San Francisco and Central Coast-Suggestions for our 25th Anniversary Trip

Jul 13th, 2010, 07:47 PM
  #1  
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San Francisco and Central Coast-Suggestions for our 25th Anniversary Trip

My wife and I are planning our first trip to the San Francisco area for our 25th anniversary during the 2nd week in October. We will be flying into SFO arriving on Saturday morning and departing the following Saturday. We would like to spend time in San Francisco, about 3 days from Monterey to San Simeon (or possibly as far as San Luis Obispo), and a day visiting Muir Woods and a Sonoma Winery. We would enjoy seeing as many highlights as possible without cramming in so much that we don't have some time to relax and enjoy and would be interested in fun walks and easy hikes but somewhat limited if too strenuous. We are traveling on a moderate budget (but willing to occasionally upgrade) and would appreciate any suggestions and feedback on our planned itinerary( days at each location, weekend or weekdays in San Francisco,etc.), traffic considerations, hotel and B&B recommendations, and restaurants. Thanks in advance for your help.
4drums is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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I would highly recommend including a walk in the Point Lobos State Reserve (just south of Monterey) and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Carmel is filled with wonderful restaurants. The most beautiful scenery is between Monterey and San Simeon so no need to go to San Luis Obispo unless you just have the extra time. For a real treat (and splurge), you might want to consider spending the night at the Ventana Inn in Big Sur. Also don't forget to drive along the ocean in Pacific Grove.

Have fun!
montereybob is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Thanks. No extra time so we will spend our time between Monterey and San Simeon. Ventana Inn looks very nice...definitely a splurge. Thoughts on San Francisco... weekend or weekdays??
4drums is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Any day in SF is great. If you are staying in downtown, it's best not to have a car -----it will cost 40-50 dollars a night to park it. And during the day driving is congested, confusing and very hard to find parking at your destinations. It's best to take a taxi into the city and use public transportation to get around to the sights. Then rent a car through your hotel concierge to drive out of the city when you are leaving for Monterey or the wine country.
montereybob is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 08:38 PM
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<<>>

This is a shocker - the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero now charges $62.50 to park your car! (so I definitely agree with bob's advice!)
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 07:27 AM
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This is a shocker - the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero now charges $62.50 to park your car! (so I definitely agree with bob's advice!)
__________________________________________________ _____________
that is good advice and ridiculous! You guys must really be short on revenue.
SOCALOC is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 07:40 AM
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Apparently the Hyatt is short on revenue!~
mlgb is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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There is a lot to see between San Simeon and Sonoma!
My favorites along that route are :
- Hearst Castle
- Big Sur Coast
- Carmel, 17 mile drive, Carmel Valley Wine Tasting
- San Francisco (North Beach, Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown)
- Sausalito
- Sonoma (Town Square, Ravenswood Winery, BR Cohn Winery)
mae6022 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Current itinerary is shaping up as Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco, Monday in Big Sur, Tuesday in San Simeon, Wednesday in Pacific Grove, Thursday in Healdsburg, Friday in Mill Creek. Additional thoughts and comments are welcomed and appreciated.
4drums is offline  
Jul 24th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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With the distances you are traveling in such a short period of time, you will be spending most of your time driving and very little time enjoying the places your going to. Is that OK for you?
montereybob is offline  
Jul 24th, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Well, not really. I realized that this itinerary would involve some driving (and this would be part of the sightseeing) but did not realize that it would leave little time to enjoy each place. In addition to San Francisco, I am most interested in seeing the coast from Monterey southward and my wife is most interested in wine country and the redwoods so we are trying to blend a little of everything into the trip but do not want to overload.
4drums is offline  
Jul 24th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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I would choose either the wine country or the Monterey southward trip. Doing both is too much unless you have two full weeks. If you enter your daily trips in MapQuest, it will give you the driving times.
montereybob is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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I would recommend staying in Pacific Grove or Carmel for 2 - 3 nights and driving down to Hearst Castle as a day trip. Ventana Inn is wonderful, but sounds like your wife might enjoy Carmel/PG better. You will see lots of scenery on a drive down to San Simeon, and you can stop for brunch there on the way down. Also, some hotels will give you a free night (2 for the price of 3). You could still do a week with 2 nights SF, 2-3 nights Carmel area, and then 2 nights in Sonoma. En route to Sonoma/Napa, stop in Muir Woods, and you will see redwoods.

Another idea ... have you thought about doing 1 night SF on each end of the trip ... arrive and spend 1 night and then head either north or south. That way, you would be in SF the Friday night before your trip home on Sat. and be able to celebrate at a great SF restaurant that night.
kathy_from_texas is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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Hearst Castle as a day trip from Carmel would be a very long day. Highway 1 from Carmel to San Simeon is a very twisty road and can be very slow if there are a lot of drivers unfamiliar with this type of driving. There are lots of turn outs and since this is a place you want to see, you will probably want to stop and take pictures along the way. Caveat: few restrooms along this road.
Some tours of Hearst Castle are a over an hour long and there is a good museum there too. Spending a half day at Hearst Castle is easy.
SanCrz is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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You can get your redwood fix on the way to Monterey - and there are wineries in Carmel Valley. I agree that a drive from Monterey to Healdsburg is too long - especially on a work day when you are likely to hit commute traffic both north & south of San Francisaco. The drive could easily take 5-6 hours.

Here are my suggestions for the SF & the bay area.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35129049

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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I'll go against the grain here.

Arrive in SF Sat am. Get your rental car.
Head south for your Highway 1 itinerary. Stay Sat. Sun. Mon.nights
Tues. drive back inland route to Sonoma. Stay Tues. Wed.nights
Wed. see Muir Woods en route San Francisco. Drop your rental car off.
San Francisco Wed. Thurs. Fri. nights.
Depart Saturday.

And IMO, your wife will not be happy wine tasting in Carmel Valley instead of Sonoma. You'll never live that one down. You can + or - nights anywhere. Good luck! Keep Sonoma on the list for sure.
SOCALOC is offline  
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