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Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

brisbane
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Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

Hi

We will be visiting SF in November and are trying to decide on the best way to do a drive along the coast line.

If we fly into SF can we hire a car and drive to Carmel and then back through Monterey, Santa Cruz etc into SF in one full day? Allowing for stops to sightsee and lunch etc. I am wondering what would be the best way down (maybe inland) and then coming back up along the coast road.

or

if we decide to drive from LA to SF along the coast is 2 days/1 night enough? and where would the best place be to stop for the overnight stay?

It is very hard to work out the best way to do this drive as we are touring all over the US and only have a certain amount of time. So I am trying to see some of it without taking up too many days extra as we still need to see SF as well.

many thanks

Shell Beach...
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1. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

I recommend driving all the way down to LA, because if you only go as far south as Carmel, you'll miss some of the finest scenery in the US. In particular, Big Sur, the 90 miles of coast between Carmel and Cambria, is stunning, with 5000 foot mountains plunging into the ocean.

You could spend several days along the coast and not run out of things to see, but a single overnight stop will be fine. For a midway point, many people stay in Cambria, or an hour to the south in Pismo Beach or Avila Beach.

I've included 3 links that may be useful. One has suggestions of things to do and see in Big Sur, the second is to my blog's page of driving times and routes along the coast, and the third is to my blog's home page, with more Central Coast travel tips.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14592-Big_Sur_…

thecentralcoasttraveler.com/faqs/#driving-ti…

http://thecentralcoasttraveler.com

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

Scott has given you all the info you need. All I wanted to add is that the sunset in November makes it hard to see much in the evening and driving on Highway 1 after sunset on a narrow and winding road is really not advisable. Hence a day trip is not worth it given you won't have time to see much

Shell Beach...
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3. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

Thanks, Belomiser. I hadn't even considered the length of day. That's critical in a part of the world where many highways lack night illumination and are on cliffs over the Pacific.

On November 1, the sunset is a little after 6PM, then daylight savings time ends on November 4, shifting the sunset to an hour earlier around 5PM. Plan your driving to be at your destination before dark; the scenery is invisible after sunset.

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4. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

If you decide on Pismo, there is a really nice oceanfront resort there called The SeaCrest Oceanfront Resort. We just stayed there this past Tues. night for the second time. Our previous stay was for 3 nights. We were in Room 441 which was so nice, I requested it for our second stay. We found a great rate on American Express for $110/night mid-week.

www.centralcoast.com is a nice website for this area. Enjoy your travels! :)

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

Not that in our country people don't need to make money and more power to them I'm sorry but the site centralcoast.com sounds like a search engine click through advertising site.

Scott H has his personal site and blog which he referred to above. http://thecentralcoasttraveler.com

Amazing photos and personal stories which is what i would highly recommend

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

Thanks Scott, your links were very helpful. We have decided to drive from LA to SF with a overnight stop. Looking forward to the trip.

7. Re: Day trip from SF to Carmel/Monterey and back

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