San Francisco to Carmel - Carmel to Napa

Old Jun 20th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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San Francisco to Carmel - Carmel to Napa

My husband and I are flying into San Fran Aug 23rd and we need to be in Napa by Aug 25th and were planning a bit of a road trip in between. We were thinking of doing a day/night in San Fran and then heading to Carmel. How long will it take us to get there and what is the most amazing route to take? Any restaurant or B&B recommendations (we love hidden gems). Also how long will it take from Carmel to Napa? Thanks so much for your help....!
Danielle_Goreski is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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We just did the same trip a few weeks ago! From SF to Carmel, we took the scenic route (Highway 1). I believe it took us about 3 hours, but we stopped along the way to get out of the car and enjoy the view. We stayed at the Vagabond's Inn and thought it was very nice, but the Seaview Inn is supposed to be fantastic (they were booked up the weekend we were there). I'd take Highway 101 from Carmel to Napa though--that would be a very long trip back north taking the scenic route!
kas238 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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It will probably take you about 4 hours to meander from SF to Carmel along the coast if you don't stop much. Going back to Napa inland will be about 3 hours if you don't hit commute traffic in San Jose or Oakland to Vallejo. Then it's a nightmare. (Go up Hiway 680 and not 80/101 through that area. It's a much nicer drive--the other way is ugly--and there will be better roads and less traffic, although still lots.)

Carmel is nothing but "hidden gems" although not so hidden. Just pick one that is available; this late will be pretty booked as Aug is the High Time there (best weather--normally, which this year hasn't been).

Will you have free time in the Napa valley?
Winesafaris is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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One consideration is to reverse your trip. Fly into San Jose and quicker than SFO. From San Jose airport to Carmel area is about 1.5 hours on Hwy 101 south to 156 west to Hwy 1 south. Book but your departure out of SFO or Oakland. (You can also fly into Monterey but it takes plane changes)

Do your Carmel exploring first THEN head up Hwy 1 to SF to visit there. After time in SF you have an easy drive up to Napa.

This will eliminate a lot of time in your car and you will be able to have more time to actually tour. The SF Bay Area traffic can get bad if you get caught in it.

Check for a place to stay on the Monterey Peninsula. Pacific Grove has more coast line than Carmel and is very close to Carmel. SEVEN GABLE INN is on the water on Monterey Bay and great.

The PINE INN has a great location on Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel if you want to stay there. It makes for an easy walk around town.
traveldawg is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Carmel has several quaint B&B's and small properties. Choose an accommodation on or near Ocean Avenue to be within walking distance of the nearby shopping, art galleries and restaurants. As for restaurants, Casanova's and Anton & Michel are great for a romantic night out. Forge in the Forest and the Village Corner Restaurant are popular lunch spots. If you are looking for gorgeous views head up to Hyatt Carmel Highlands and have breakfast or lunch at the California Market or dinner at Pacific's Edge.
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 05:03 PM
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I second Casanova's and we loved staying at the Carmel Valley Ranch.
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