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Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

Memphis
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19 posts
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Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

I'm looking for suggestions on what route to take from San Francisco to Monterey. Saving time would be really nice (which leans toward Hwy. 101, if I'm correct) but if there is some scenery we shouldn't miss between SF and Monterey, we would be okay to take Hwy. 1. Any suggestions?? Also, we plan on driving the coast to Big Sur from Monterey. So maybe that will be good for spectacular scenery??

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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1. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

Since you want to save time, you can skip Hwy 1, As you said, you'll get some of the best scenery between Monterey and Big Sur anyway. One route you can take that gives you the speed of 101 with some nice scenery thrown in is to take 280 S from SF instead of 101. 280 is a beautiful highway and much nicer to drive than 101. When you get to the area around Cupertino, you'll pick up 85 S toward Gilroy. 85 deposits you onto 101 near Morgan Hill. Then you'll stay on 101 until you come to the exit for the Monterey Peninsula/156 West. Just be careful that you don't accidentally take 156 East, which you'll pass about 10 miles before you come to 156W. 156W goes for about 5 miles and then deposits you directly onto 1 South, which takes you into Monterey. Enjoy the trip! Need any suggestions for hotels, restaurants, etc. in Monterey?

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

Yes, follow PGDenizen's route. Hwy 280 goes through beautiful country, is 8 lane divided, with much less traffic that 101.

Monterey, California
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3. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

...ps.........hwy 1 is closed between sanfran and half moon bay until at least sept.

CA
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4. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

San Fran to Monterey is pretty on hwy 1, but I agree with the others: if you are pressed for time, Monterey to Big Sur is a better bet. Depending on the weather you might get some fog/marine layer but the further south you go, the less this is an issue. Recommend a stop at Carmel Mission off of Rio Road on the way out of Monterey/Carmel. Garrapata State Park/Beach is a particularly pretty spot to stop on the way as is the Bixby bridge which takes great photos. Have fun!

Memphis
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5. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

You guys are so great and helpful! It's so good to get suggestions from people who know!!

As far as suggestions for hotels, restaurants, etc...This will be a day trip from SF, so we won't need a hotel. We'll have our two little girls with us, (five years and 7 months) who are pretty well behaved, but kids, nonetheless. If anyone can think of a good restaurant in that area that has good food where kids are the norm, that would be nice. We plan to go to the aquarium and whatever time we have left over, we wanted to drive the scenery.

I'm glad to get a suggestion to see the Carmel Mission. I thought it looked lovely on the web. I guess we can see if the girls are up for it once we're there.

Thnaks again for all the great ideas!!! That sounds like a perfect route to drive!

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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6. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

The cafe in the aquarium has quite good food and nice water views, of course, and will save you time if you don't want to look for a restaurant. If you'd rather eat somewhere else, the Trailside Cafe on Wave Street (one street up from Cannery Row) is good and has outdoor seating with a beautiful view--I see kids there all the time--and it's much less crowded than all the restaurants right on Cannery Row. Have a lovely day.

Salinas, CA
7 posts
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7. Re: Suggested route from San Francisco to Monterey

Hello..

As regards a fun restaurant to take the kids, think "Bubba Gumps" on Cannery Row in Monterey. This restaurant is down the street from the aquarium and many folks consider the food good.

-- "Bubba Gumps"... as in the movie, "Forest Gump".