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Day trip

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new england
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143 posts
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Day trip

My husband and I are staying in San Jose and we're looking for day trip recommendations no more than an hour to an hour and a half drive. We're looking for a cute town or towns to walk around, have lunch, etc maybe even stopping at a winery. The places we've seen on this trip so far are Cambria, Carmel, Morro Bay, Big Sur, Pebble Beach, San Luis Obispo, Palo Alto. We've been to San Francisco on past visits. We're thinking about Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, or Monterey and are open to other suggestions too. We went to Monterey on our last visit and walked around towns little, but it was raining. Is is worth going back there? We heard the aquarium is worth seeing.

Dublin, California
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1. Re: Day trip

Half Moon Bay is another possibility.

new england
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2. Re: Day trip

Thank you. I'll check it out. What about Capitola?

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3. Re: Day trip

I was going to suggest Capitola. Nice place to visit, poke around shops, see the wharf, beach. Very nice.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Day trip

Monterey and Pebble beach are literally next door and you have passed Monterey coming up on 1. Any of the places from Santa Cruz to Monterey. SC, Capitola (toots for coffee), Elkhorn Slough for amazing kayaking would all be great. Plenty to do and see in Monterey.

As mentioned you can go North on 1 (north of SC and see Ano Nuevo, Pescadero and Half Moon Bay as well and come back via 92 and Skyline blvd to the San Jose area.

map it out and you see what I mean

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Day trip

You have a good list so far. Monterey is definitely worth going back to and the aquarium is world-class, so absolutely worth a visit.

For wineries, check out this site:


You see there are lots and lots of choices :-)

Morgan Hill, just south of San Jose has several wineries as well - they aren't as well-covered on the SC Mountain winegrowers site, but here is some more information specific to Morgan Hill:



Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Day trip

RE: Capitola.

Is a very cute very small village with a lot of cute shops and a nice, if small beach. During the summer and on weekends year round it is inundated with tourists. Parking is a REAL problem. Parking spaces near shops and restaurants is metered, and with not very generous time allotments.

Here is a description of Santa Cruz, if you are interested in us.


You could visit both, easily from San Jose, but if you want to sample Capitola, find the parking lot (also metered) on the hill above town and cross you fingers that it is not full.

Richmond, Virginia
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7. Re: Day trip

Morro Bay and its famous rock is a great place to visit if you want to drive that far south. (My avatar has Morro Rock in it). Further north on the coastal highway, the seal rookery at Piedras Blancas; Cambria is a quaint village with lots of nice shops, Ragged Point offers a nice vista and a good restaurant; McWay Falls is gorgeous; Point Sur Lighthouse offers tours and is fun to visit; Point Lobos Reserve is beautiful, then Carmel, Monterey and Santa Cruz. I realize that's too much for a day trip, but the area is so beautiful and full of possibilities that it really is worth a couple of days. I've driven and photographed that route several times and never tire of it.

Edited: 11:32 am, July 04, 2013
Oklahoma City...
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8. Re: Day trip

I would recommend going to Monterrey Bay Aquarium and while there do the behind the scenes tour. The tour was an additional $12 but well worth it. Some of the other tours were much more and less time. Make sure to take a camera with you. Lot of things to photograph. Santa Cruz has a boardwalk area and several places to take pictures. They drive north toward SF is great. I stopped several times to take pictures of the coast, wildlife, flowers etc. Half Moon Bay is great. Our first visit was 2 yrs ago. If anyone is in this area in October be aware of the Pumpkin patch festival. It took us nearly 2.5 hrs to get from Redwood City to Half Moon Bay due to the Pumpkin Patch traffic. Once there we got to walk on the beach before sunset and got to see a beautiful sunset and got some great pictures. I recommend Sam's Chowder and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Everyone we met along the way was nice,friendly and helpful.

9. Re: Day trip

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