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Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

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newark, nj
posts: 311
reviews: 5
Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

I am tentatively planning to fly into SFO at 10am Oct 31st and fly back 4pm Nov 5th from SFO.

I :think: I want to see Big Sur area most definitely, Carmel and possibly Monterey. Would be doing the scenic drive down from SFO to Carmel/Big Sur.

Is this a good time of the year to do this?

Should I stay in Carmel/Monterey as a base for Big Sur or should I just stay in Big Sur village?

Probably Nov 4th afternoon I will head to San Fran, spend the evening there so I dont have to drive the next day.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,870
reviews: 114
1. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

Well it will get dark earlier so that can be a factor but it may not be as foggy during the day. We may or may not have rains by then

Monterey and Carmel and Pacific Grove are right next to each other. So you can see them all if you are there for 5 days. Where you want to stay depends on what you want to do. Is hiking the main reason you are there ? Or is it relaxing ? With that much time you could stay in both places for a couple of days. Big Sur Village to Carmel is 30 miles but takes about an hour.

To get to Hwy 1 from SFO, I would suggest starting a bit north of SFO in Pacifica. Take 380 to 280 North towards SF and then the Pacifica Exit and then head down Hwy 1 South all the way to Carmel

newark, nj
posts: 311
reviews: 5
2. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

Thanks for the response.

I want to mostly see the scenic landscapes of the west coast, do alil light hiking, maybe one day spend relaxing, and possibly one day exploring san fran.

Avila Beach...
posts: 935
reviews: 7
3. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

Many people recommend staying in Pacific Grove or surrounds to see Big Sur because it is less expensive. However, I personally think there is nothing like staying in Big Sur - you will only start to feel the true local charm and environment if you spend a little time there. If you can afford it and get a reservation - weekends many places in Big Sur are already sold out for October.

Orlando
posts: 354
reviews: 110
4. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

belomiser---->"To get to Hwy 1 from SFO, I would suggest starting a bit north of SFO in Pacifica. Take 380 to 280 North towards SF and then the Pacifica Exit and then head down Hwy 1 South all the way to Carmel"

Why? More scenic?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,870
reviews: 114
5. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

Well yes and it is a short drive to Hwy 1 instead of going 280 S and 92West and then 1S

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,029
reviews: 53
6. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

I've always stayed in Pacific Grove...Monterey, Carmel and PG are side by side by side, but all 3 have a very different feel...check them all out. Pacific Grove is central...it's in the middle. Accomodations are less expensive than Carmel or Big Sur.

We have stayed here a few times when in PG...very cool.

http://www.oldstangelainn.com/

If you want to stay in Carmel...I recommend this.

http://www.missionranchcarmel.com/

Auckland
posts: 91
reviews: 79
7. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

We stayed in Pacific Grove earlier this month and loved it, were so glad we didn't choose Monterey or Carmel. If you are more interested in the natural beauty of the area I think this would be the best place for you. Make sure you take the boardwalk and walk into Monterey - only about 20 mins walking but we spent much longer lingering and enjoying the views and seals. A short drive around the point gave us a great sunset spot (tip from our hosts at Lovers Point Inn). We also visited Carmel and enjoyed this town as well but both it and Monterey had a much more 'touristy' feel to them than Pacific Grove.

Also Big Sur is very small and more remote from other towns so if you get bad weather or fog, your choices will be limited.

Make sure you visit Point Lobos just south of Carmel too. We spent about 3 hours here enjoying all the natural beauty and did several of the walks. We could easily have spent all day here but had to move on down the coast.

8. Re: Carmel/Big Sur where to stay as base

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