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2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

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Orlando
posts: 347
reviews: 110
2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

We have 6 days, with one being blown my flying, so I want to maximize our time there. I've never been to either place. BTW, we're traveling in Feb (brrr).

From all I read and researched, Carmel seems quiet and quaint and I think 3 days will be too much. Point Lobos is a definite must on our list and we threw around driving as far as Big Sur, but was advised by friends we'd see just a much stunning scenery at Point Lobos as Big Sur and, with such a short trip, to shift a day to SF. For me, driving to Big Sur was more about driving on the PCH than Big Sur, kwim?

I just get the feeling we'd just be touching the tip of the iceburg of things to see and experience in SF w/ only 2 days...

Any advice would greatly be appreciated!

(cross posting to SF forum)

Nashville
posts: 1,028
reviews: 52
11. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

Each person has his/her own interests, but I would choose 3 days in Carmel and 2 in San Francisco. (For that matter, I would choose 4 days in Carmel and 1 in San Francisco) But then, I don't really like cities and I love to be out in nature. That being said, San Francisco is an incredibly beautiful city. We spent an afternoon, evening and the next morning there. We spent our first afternoon riding cable cars, visiting Fisherman's wharf and walking down Lombard. We took an organized tour the next morning to get an overview of the city highlights. While I know there was much more to see, I was okay with the limited time and was ready to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and get down the coast.

We spent 2 days/nights in Carmel. On the first day, we visited shops, went to see the Pebble Beach Golf Course, ate Seafood in Monterey and walked along Carmel Beach at sunset. The next day included 2 hours at Pt. Lobos (not enough time) and about 5-6 hours driving to McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach and the Big Sur area (not near enough time) and dinner at Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch. When we left Carmel, I wished we could have spent a week in the area and I hope to go back there again in the future.

I would base any decision on what type of area is more attractive to you.

If you like the city lights, architecture, historic buildings, night life, great food and plenty of activities, then spend more time in San Francisco.

If you prefer seeing the the beautiful layout of Pebble Beach, vivid blue ocean waves crashing into the rocky coastline, watching seals and otters frolic on the beach, condors soaring through the air, walks along the beach and seeing the stars light up the night sky, then spend more time in Carmel.

There really is no bad decision. If just depends on your preferences. Just make sure you visit Pt. Lobos. It is more beautiful than words can describe.

San Francisco...
posts: 3,142
reviews: 109
12. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

One option would be to drive round the corner after I land to El Camina Real and Millbrae Avenue for a nice leisurely dinner (you'll still be on EST after all). That will allow you to skip rush hour and you can head down to Carmel and be ready for the day early in the morning!

See http://goo.gl/maps/6qXK0 for your choices. Others can recommend their favorite restaurants in the area.

Orlando
posts: 347
reviews: 110
13. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

I clicked on the map, ALTIpp, and my eye immediately spotted the In and Out Burger LOL. Is it as good as everyone raves about?

I can check out yelp.com for reviews, but would certainly appreciate any recommendations :-)

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,015
reviews: 114
14. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

It is a fast food joint and if you like fast food and freshly cooked burgers and freshly fried fries, then it is a cheap place to eat. One cannot compare it to gourmet burger joints

But I think you may still need to spend more time than to avoid traffic than eating at In N Out LOL. You could order everything from the secret menu and try the shakes as well.

Edited: 11:51 pm, September 24, 2012
Orlando
posts: 347
reviews: 110
15. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

tnt-- I enjoy both and therein lies my dilemma! Wish we had more time, but a week is all we can swing...it's too bad we lose so much time flying there. I'm keeping my eye on the earlier flight that gets in at 1:15 and hope to switch to that one, that way that would give us an extra evening in Carmel.

Orlando
posts: 347
reviews: 110
16. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

Alas, I think my fast food days are behind me ( thank god! Secret menu sounds dangerous Lol). I don't know who flipped the switch, but I can't stomach the McD's, Burger Kings yatta yatta, anymore. I used to love that stuff!

San Francisco...
posts: 3,142
reviews: 109
17. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

SF is known for authentic Chinese food. So if you want to save in-and-out burger for your RETURN flight, you can try the Hong Kong Flower Lounge or the Shanghai Dumpling Shop.

Orlando
posts: 347
reviews: 110
18. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

I've save your recommendations, AL.

Las Vegas
posts: 1
reviews: 26
19. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

@syrahgirl The Tickle Pink Inn is the ONLY place to stay in Carmel! I'd say 0 days San Fran 5 days Carmel.. but thats just me. Can't wait for my week in Carmel @ the tickle pink inn next April.. room #6

20. Re: 2 days in San Fran and 3 in Carmel or vice versa?

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