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One day trips out of SF?

Pirkkala, Finland
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15 posts
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One day trips out of SF?

I'm travelling with my wife a long way to San Francisco next March. We'll be staying there (in Chancellor at Union Square) for eight days. I was thinking if I shuold rent a car and drive outside San Francisco to see something else besides the city itself and get back to the hotel for night. Other option is to try to find some agency which arranges that kind on journeys (minibus or something like taht??). What would you suggest? First of all, where to go to and secondly, does the traffic take most of the time or would it be worth to rent a car?

Pirkkala, Finland
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15 posts
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21. Re: One day trips out of SF?

Thank you again. Really.

You guys make this Big Sur sound very attempting! I'd drive down there wihtout any further thinking if it was any closer to S. F. It is something like 150-160 miles drive, is it? So, that makes it 240-260 km in our "language". I don't know the roads, but I guess it would be maybe 4 hr's drive one way or is that even close? I know that in the highway it would be quite fast, but for example I was driving a couple moths ago over Italian and Swiss Alps and there this 240 km distance ment 6hr's drive! I'm just calculating that driving to Big Sur and back means probably 8 hr's in a car. Is that correct? If that's the case, it might be too long if we don't stay overnight there, unless we leave San Francisco really early in the morning.

I think we should take this bus tour to Napa and Sonoma, drive ourselves south (but how far?), then ofcourse visit Alcatraz, Golden Gate, Muir Woods and maybe take a ferry to Sausalito. I also would like to find some nice club where we could sit down to listen some jazz or something and enjoy a few drinks. I have also booked tickets to see Golden State Warriors palying against Dallas Mavericks. That's in Oakland I assume.

Still, all new ideas are more tha welcome.

So, it's the Finland thing huh? Nice! ;)

Pirkkala, Finland
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15 posts
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22. Re: One day trips out of SF?

[quote] I think it's the Finland thing that has us all wanting to make sure you have a good time when you get here. So, you want to talk overnight stays in Yosemite or Big Sur:)? [quote]

Yes. I forgot to put that earlier, but you folks made us just think about that option really hard.

LPC
Nothern California
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75 posts
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23. Re: One day trips out of SF?

>>I think we should take this bus tour to Napa and Sonoma, drive ourselves south (but how far?), then ofcourse visit Alcatraz, Golden Gate, Muir Woods and maybe take a ferry to Sausalito. I also would like to find some nice club where we could sit down to listen some jazz or something and enjoy a few drinks. I have also booked tickets to see Golden State Warriors palying against Dallas Mavericks. That's in Oakland I assume.<<

Your plan sounds good. Yes, the Warriors are in Oakland. Not the world's greatest team but it is definitely NBA basketball. So it sounds like you just need to figure out your drive south down the coast and then find lots of places to eat, drink, and be merry. I would recommend that you look at www.chowhound.com for eating. As the time approaches, if you ask the people on that list for suggestions, even really specific, like I want Szechuan Chinese and Northern Italian and where can we get the best crab, the people will guide you. They live for food.

As for the drive south, the good news is that you only have to decide now if you want to stay overnight. If you stay overnight in Big Sur, take a look at the website for the Post Ranch Inn. If you can afford it it's been voted best hotel in the US and it is a completely unique experience. And they have sod-covered cottages - how cool and organic is that? There are other places there, PSI is the only one I've stayed at. I've been there three times and would go back again tomorrow. The view is surreal, their concept of luxury is really unique. It will take you about 3-3.5 hours to get to Big Sur if you drive straight. www.postranchinn.com.

If you don't want to stay overnight, then you can just get a map and drive down route 1, or take 101 for some of it, or Highway 17. Almost all the towns are good to visit for one reason or another. Making it up as you went along would be fun, IMHO.

Santa Barbara...
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24. Re: One day trips out of SF?

SF TO BIG SUR IN 3 HOURS!

When you average out all but the worst traffic jams, the avg speed of 70-75 miles per hour on the best roads, and the curves of Hwy 1, I think the universal mean is 2 hours to travel 100 miles or 161 km on the highways of California - the Coast Route as well as Interstate 5.

I've never timed the Coast Route or Hwy 1 between SF and Monterey - actually's been 3 years since I've seen that route - but I did measure the route with mapping software. It measures 143 +- miles or 230 km between SF and Big Sur via Hiway 1.

I guess I'm A-R, because I've timed the routes on Hwy 1 between Monterey and Santa Barbara to San Diego. It takes roughly 4 hours (195 miles) to go from Santa Barbara to Big Sur via hwy 1.

So, to answer your question, I estimate that it will take you 2.86 hours to get from San Francisco to Big Sure. Butt really, I bet you can make -

SF TO BIG SUR via hwy 1 IN 3 HOURS!

Big Sur will be worth the drive! Don't miss Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Aquarium. The section between Monterey and Big Sur might be the best. Don't miss 17 mile, Pt Lobos, Garrapata Beach, McWay Falls, Andy Molera Beach, Pt Sur Lighthouse, Pfeiffer Falls. Hungry? Rocky Pt Restarant for the view and Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn, or Cielo at the Ventanna Inn for the best and priciest.

Beyond Big Sur, the next world class spot is perhaps Hearst Castle and Hearst Beach, but that might be farther than you wanna go.

Need a fix of Sierra? I say "Go to Tahoe!" 3.5 hours. . . . I guess.

oBJECts in this post may be closer than they a beer . . . or something like that.

Pirkkala, Finland
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15 posts
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25. Re: One day trips out of SF?

We are seriously thinking over about staying over night in Big Sur or somewhere around there. Doesn't exactly have to be in Big Sur if there are other good options to consider.

We would Love to stay in Post Ranch Inn - only if we could afford it, but we simply can't. Any other suggestions? I found this Glen Oaks Big Sur, but something bothers me in that, I don't know what. Maybe it's that I have to call ther to make a reservation (cannot book online!?) and their pricelist was last updated in May 2003.

LPC
Nothern California
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26. Re: One day trips out of SF?

There are other places, I am just not familiar with them. One is the Ventana Inn but it is also expensive. Then there are some cabins named something like Deentjes. I suggest that you repost on the Tripadvisor forum and ask for Big Sur accomodations that are less stratospheric in price than Post Ranch. Other people can probably help you out.

Pirkkala, Finland
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15 posts
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27. Re: One day trips out of SF?

Thanks for all of you who gave me good valuable advice. We had a wonderful time in San Francisco. We visited Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Sausalito and even took a drive (twice, because at first time it was raining cats and dogs) down the coast line to drive the 17 mile drive.

I would say that 17-mile drive was probably the high point on our trip. Really worth to drive. It was great for a one day trip. We had a delicious lunch in some Italian restaurant at Carmel and it was great.

Everyone who visits SF should go to Alcatraz. That was interesting. Also Muir Woods was something special for a Finn. We went to see Warriors game, which was good to see for a former basketball player, but we didn't exactly enjoy the neigbourhood there in Oakland next to the Arena...

If you look for a hotel, check those reviews about Chancellor Hotel on Union Square. I strongly recommend that hotel.