My wife and I are going to rent a car during our visit (first week of May) to drive down the coast and back. We're going to do this mid-week, likely on the Wednesday, and we plan on returning back to SF that same night. We don't care how late we get back.
From my research it sounds like there are a million things to do and see along this drive, including 17 Mile Drive, lunch at Pebble Beach, stopping at pullouts and beaches, visiting Monterey and its aquarium, visiting Carmel, visiting Point Lobos, visiting Santa Cruz, visiting Half Moon Bay, etc.
My question is whether anyone can suggest a logical way to do as much of this as we can. Is the best plan to drive all the way to Big Sur, taking in the scenery from the car and then making stops on the way back north? Or might we be better off to make all of our stops on the way there and then just drive straight back from Big Sur afterwards?
I'm really stumped at how to best do this drive and to see what should be seen so any advice would be really appreciated.
Also, should traffic from our Nob Hill hotel be a problem in the morning en route to Hwy. 1 southbound?