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San Francisco to Carmel w/o hotel reservations

San Francisco to Carmel w/o hotel reservations

Old Jun 24th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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San Francisco to Carmel w/o hotel reservations

My husband and I will be traveling to California on Sept. 7 for a week. We will fly into San Francisco and plan to go to Carmel and stop along the way. The goal is to drive that portion of the PCH and stop at different places along the way. We are considering not booking hotels and just playing it by ear for the week, that way we are not on a time limit if we want to stay one place longer than others. Is that feasible? I am a little nervous about not having a plan for where to stay but would love the freedom of living in the moment. I just don't want to have a night where we can't find a place to stay. All comments appreciated.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 07:23 PM
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That time of year there will still be plenty of tourists. I suspect you could play it as you go but you may very well not have your first choice of places to stay. Since it's only a week and not a great distance I suggest you book ahead if you're at all particular about where you stay.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 08:38 PM
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You know, the distance between SF and Carmel isn't very great at all. I understand wanting to stop once overnight, but more than that seems, to me, to be too many stops.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 10:15 PM
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There is really no reason to stop anywhere between the two . . . unless you wanted to spend a couple of days in Santa Cruz/Capitola.

But anywhere south of Santa Cruz along the coast (Capitols, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, SLO . . . etc) you really should pre-book. Especially in September. That is the best weather of the year along the coast and it definitely still high season - and often there are two night minimums Fri - Sun.

If you don't pre book you could find yourselves having to hunt and settle for something you don't want - or paying more than you planned.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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If you are just looking for a place to sleep, get a shower and maybe cook a meal, you could consider the HI hostel in Monterey.
http://www.montereyhostel.org/
I did stay there for 1 night with my DW. It fit my budget a lot better than many other places within 10 miles.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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As others have mentioned, it only takes a few hours to drive from SF to Carmel on Hwy 1. You could easily base yourselves in any of the towns along the way or in Monterey/PG/Carmel and use it as a base to see the whole area.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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I'd have back-up plans at places that let you to cancel up till 6 pm on the day of your reservation. Just don't forget to call if you stop elsewhere!
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Leah, do you plan to stay in San Francisco and Carmel and, if so, do you plan to book in those places or also play it by ear?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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I always stay at the Candle Light Inn. They have a 3-day cancellation policy to give you an idea. Great area to walk around. They also provide a decent take-out breakfast which is ideal for a walk on the beach or hike. Remember to take your own cooler so on the last day you can take the food with you.

There is more to do in Monterrey, but you can drive there and back if you commit to a hotel room in Carmel.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 07:35 PM
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We do plan to spend a few days in San Francisco and several days more around the Carmel area. Our hope is to go to Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Pfeiffer State Park, and hopefully drive to some of the wine country. We aren't really drinkers but would love to see the wine country and of course check out things in San Francisco. It is our first trip so didn't want to pick too much to do. We want to enjoy it and not be in a rush.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Here's what I would do with a week and your desired "stops" - I'd stay in San Francisco for 4 nights. I'd rent a car and take a day trip to Napa or Sonoma on one of those days. Then I'd drive down to Cambria and spend the night. The next morning I'd go to Hearst Castle and after touring Hearst Castle drive up the coast to Monterey and stay there for 2 nights.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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I'd do sf7307's itinerary . . . w/ every hotel pre-booked.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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Yes, sf's itinerary looks very good.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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If you stay in cambria, check out the sand pebbles inn , good hotel and right next door to my favourite restaurant in the area, the Seachest....
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