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Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

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San Diego...
posts: 4
Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Hi,

I am very new to tripadvisor.

My parents are going to visit California in May,2013. We are 4-5 people travelling with 2-3 people driving.

I am planning to cover Big Sur,Monterey and SFO during Memorial Day weekend.

Here is I am planning for:

Friday, 24,2013: I can leave San Diego around 7PM.

Monday 27,2013: I can return to San Diego around 10-11 PM.

Can any one please suggest me how to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO (Just Golden Gate, and local places)?

I can also fly to SFO or fly from SFO.

Please reply with any suggestions. :)

Thanks,

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,042
reviews: 114
1. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Wow you don't have much time on Friday night. Why not just fly to SFO and then stay the night in SF and spend Saturday in the city. Then on Sunday you can drive south to Monterey and carmel stay the night there and do Big Sur Village on Monday morning and drive back to SFO on Monday afternoon for a flight back

Just to much time will be wasted if you drive up all the way. One day in SF (which is the city and not the airport) is too short but if that is what you want, then that is what you can do

Pacific Grove...
Destination Expert
for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
posts: 5,257
reviews: 25
2. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

I agree that that's too much to cover in such a short time, especially on Memorial Day weekend, when the traffic on the 2-lane Hwy 1 will be heavy. Lodging will also be more difficult, especially in the Monterey/Carmel area, where rates will be higher, and most lodging will require a minimum stay of two nights. I don't mean to be discouraging--just want to be realistic. I think that Belomiser's idea of taking an evening flight to San Francisco on Friday makes a lot of sense. You could drive back down to San Diego, spending Saturday in SF and then a night and a day in Monterey, driving the rest of the way on Monday. If you leave Monterey early on Monday, you can stop in Big Sur to explore before heading home. My feeling is that it would feel pretty rushed, but it you don't mind that, then it's doable. If you'd like help finding lodging in the Monterey area, just let me know how many rooms you'd need and what your upper price limit is per night, and I'll see if I can help. And the sooner you book, the better.

San Diego...
posts: 4
3. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Thanks Belomiser and PGdenizen.

PGdenzine,

As you said I can fly to SFO on Friday night and continue with SFO city tour for a day on Saturday and head towards Monterey.

Now i have to drop Monterery or Big Sur. Which is better to visit?

Right now we are four people including me,my wife and my parents. I think one room with double bed would work for me. Please suggest some hotels.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,042
reviews: 114
4. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Just to clarify. SFO is the airport 13 miles South of SF. SF is the city. You want to stay in SF and fly into SFO. You can drive from Monterey to Big Sur Village in about 2-4 hours with stops and drive back in about an hour. Check the photos in the top questions on the right side and you see what things you can see

PGdenizen is correct. That long weekend my need folks to stay more then one night. Have you done any research looked at the reviews of hotels in Monterey pacific grove to see what is available with your budget. No one can guess you per night budget ?

Edited: 2:25 pm, March 18, 2013
Pacific Grove...
Destination Expert
for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
posts: 5,257
reviews: 25
5. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Hi again. It's hard to say which is better to visit--the Monterey Peninsula or Big Sur. They are both special. I think that it will be easier to find lodging in Monterey than in Big Sur that weekend. The Monterey area has Point Lobos State Reserve, which I highly recommend, wine tasting in Carmel Valley if that appeals to you, a walking tour of Carmel, the Carmel Mission, and the beautiful Monterey Bay Aquarium, so more than enough to do. As I said, if you leave Monterey early on Monday, you can spend several hours in Big Sur exploring (www.bigsurcalifornia.org) and still have plenty of time for your drive home. Once you get south of Big Sur, you can pick up 101 near San Luis Obispo and be on your way south.

Regarding lodging, I need to clarify: Do you mean one room with two double (or queen) beds for that Saturday night? And, again, there's no point in my making suggestion unless I know your upper per-night limit for price. I don't want to waste your time and mine suggesting places that are too pricey.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 9,288
reviews: 1
6. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Chose one of the three options:

San Francisco

Monterry penninsula

Big Sur drive.

They are all very different and can easily take up a 3-day weekend.

Your problem is going to be getting accomodations. Looking at some SF hotel accomodations and they are getting fully booked for the Memorial Day weekend. I assume Monterrey/Carmel and the relatively few accomodations along the Big Sur coast will also.

Pacific Grove...
Destination Expert
for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
posts: 5,257
reviews: 25
7. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

OK, just to give you an idea. Looking at two night (5/25 ad 5/36):

Monterey Bay Lodge: http://www.montereybaylodge.com/#

Not fancy, but clean and comfy, nice pool, near the Wharf and Cannery Row.

They show available rooms ranging from $175 to $209 per night.

Portola Hotel: http://www.portolahotel.com/

Nice, full-service hotel in downtown Monterey in the $250 range

Best Western Monterey Beach Resort--the only lodging directly on the beach

Quite nice is you get an ocean-side room, and the rates are usually reasonable, but they're inflated fot the holiday weekend--in the mid-250s. You may be able to get a AARP (if your parents are seniors) or AAA discount.

posts: 27,182
reviews: 723
8. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

Hotel Pacific is a nice all-suites hotel, we recently had dinner at "the c" @ the Clement Intercontinental which is a beautiful hotel walking distance to the aquarium. The Monterey Plaza is another one of our favorites with beautiful water views and fantastic customer service. Have fun! :).

9. Re: Want to cover Big Sur, Monterey and SFO in 3 Days long week

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