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Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

Murcia, Spain
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Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

Sorry if this question is answered in others post but I don't find the specific information that I need. I am going to do a road trip between San Francisco and LA, and then to Las Vegas. I take the car in San Francisco at 11 AM and I pass the night in Lucia (south of Big Sur). I want to stop in Monterey and Camel to walk around Point Lobos, so if I want to arrive not so late to Lucia I have to take the best route between SFO and Monterey (thinking in traffic). In others post I have read a lot of options but almost everebody ask for a scenic route, and I prefer a fast travel to Monterey and then enjoy the view there and in the Big Sur. What would you do?

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

When are you doing this? The reason I ask is because Lucia is pretty far down the Big Sur coast and you might end up driving Big Sur in the dark if you're doing this within the next few months.

The fastest route to Monterey (which only saves you about half an hour, BTW) is I-280 south to Highway 85 south (Gilroy) to Highway 156 West (do NOT confuse with 156 East, which you'll come upon first) to Highway 1 south. About a 2 1/2 hour drive. Lucia is another 1 1/2 hours from Carmel.

If you are doing this soon, you'll need to be on the road for Lucia from Carmel no later 3:30 to avoid driving those cliffs in the dark. There's road work in a few places, too, that may delay you.

Edited: 9:18 am, November 09, 2011
San Francisco...
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2. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

Are you picking up the car in SF the city or SFO the airport ? You mention both.

If Sfo then take highway 380 to 280 south from the airport and follow the directions above. 11am is really cutting it fine to see the coast and get to your hotel before dark. Unless you are flyIng in I suggest you leave early or stay close to Big Sur. If it is raining Check road conditions at caltrans.gov

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

Directions above for fastest route are spot on.

280 is a newer freeway which runs in the foothills of the coast range, away from the industrial peninsula. 85 goes around downtown San Jose traffic. It comes into Hwy 101 18 miles north of Gilroy, and then the turnoff for 156 is 8 miles after that.

Murcia, Spain
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4. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

Fast and good information! I pick up the car in San Francisco Fisherman Warf, not in SFO (it was a mistake), the last sunday of november, so I have to get up early if I don't want to drive into Big Sur in darkness. May be it's better to star the travel at 9 AM. As most of you suggest me in other post, I will visit Point Lobos and before the 15:00 or 15:30 I'll continue the travel.

Thanks you very much.

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

OK, if you are picking up your car at Fisherman's Wharf you want to get to 6th Street. I wold take Mason Street to Market, slight right turn, then left on 6th Street.

Watch for the signs for Hwy 280. It crosses the city and then you will be on your way as before.

6. Re: Fast route San Francisco to Monterey

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