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Monterey & Big Sur

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Brandon, FL
posts: 6
reviews: 5
Monterey & Big Sur

Is it worth taking the time to drive both 17 Mile and down to Big Sur and back, or is one of those enough? For a couple of nights, would you stay around Monterey or down the coast someplace(going back to SF and eventually to Napa)? (October timeframe)Thx

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,193
reviews: 3
1. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

The 17 Mile Drive is a toll road through some pretty coastal views, but you'll also drive past lots of McMansions and golf courses. Most of us would steer you to Point Lobos over the 17 Mile Drive and there is NO comparison to the wild, remote beauty of the Big Sur coast. Monterey to Big Sur is about an hour's drive.

Monterey, Carmel by the Sea or Pacific Grove will have greater availability of lodgings. What's your budget in $ and what type of lodging do you prefer: budget, traditional, contemporary, B&B?

Brandon, FL
posts: 6
reviews: 5
2. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Budget probably $175 to $250 a night; usually do somehting traditional but ocasssionally B&B's. Planning to arrive mid week with a couple of nights in Monterey area, then probably 3 nights in SF and another 3 in Napa. Is that reasonable?

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,628
reviews: 74
3. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

I agree - unless you are a big fan of golf or really enjoy mansions, driving 17-Mile drive would pale in comparison to the natural places in Big Sur and Point Lobos.

I would classify the mansions on 17-Mile Drive as honest-to-goodness mansions though rather than McMansions. You have to be seriously rich to have a house on 17-Mile Drive and the rules and regulations around construction there are such that you don't get the developments of giant, poorly-constructed homes like you see in some places, what people usually refer to as McMansions. I don't think there is much new construction at all on 17-Mile Drive, actually. 17-Mile Drive is one of those places where you think "Wow, so THIS is how some people live." :)

menlo park, ca
posts: 3,445
reviews: 62
4. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

I always feel like I'm intruding when I go into the 17 mile drive. I guess I am, which is why there's a toll on the drive. But as KM says there's not much to see that in any way compares to driving even a few miles south of carmel, like into Point Lobos for some otter watching. October is the finest time of year on the central coast, late for fog and early for rain. Staying in the Big Sur area is an incomparable experience. carmel and Monterey are cute but they're just towns. I'd give Monterey a day just to see the Aquarium, a lunch in Carmel, a day down the coast as far as Hearst Castle and another day back up. I like the Lucia Lodge for the view and the food, maybe Post Ranch Inn if you've won the lottery recently. You can do a search on the area lodging. One thing to make sure you have is a good car, a convertible would be best. If you are lucky you may see one or more of the condors that have moved into the area.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,193
reviews: 3
5. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Looks like a good plan to me! 3 nights for each area is sufficient for getting a good feel for the surrounds and keep it relaxed, which is what a vacation is all about.

Monterey lodging: Best Western Beach Resort Monterey (Right on the beach, quick drive into town), Casa Munras, Best Victorian Inn

Pacific Grove B&B's: Green Gables Inn, Gosby House Inn, Centrella Inn, Inn at 213 Seventeen Mile Drive

Brandon, FL
posts: 6
reviews: 5
6. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Thanks for the input; this will definitely help with the planning

San Francisco...
posts: 655
7. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Another vote for the drive to Big Sur and skipping the 17 mile drive. btw, Travelzoo has had some lodging specials lately including Asilomar in Pacific Groce for about 119 including breakfast.

Brandon, FL
posts: 6
reviews: 5
8. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Another Monterey Big Sur question. We are staying in PG. Our anniversary is while we are there. Is there a restaurant for dinner with both a good view and good food that won't leave me wondering how to pay for the rest of our trip? Seems like a lot of the places with the views don't get all that great of reviews for food and/or service.

Thanks

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,628
reviews: 74
9. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

Probably best to start a new thread RSG so that people will see your question - otherwise it will likely get overlooked tacked on to the end of this one. Also, let us know what your budget is and what kind of food you like.

Brandon, FL
posts: 6
reviews: 5
10. Re: Monterey & Big Sur

I'll do that Thx