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How Long?

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How Long?

Hi, I'm going with my family to San Fran in March 20. What is the typical weather like, tempature, rain?? What I really would like to know is how long does it take to get to Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mapquest said about 2 hours for the 115 mile drive. Is this about right or should I worry about traffic on a tuesday?

San Francisco
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1. Re: How Long?

Weather could be gorgeous or could be rainy, but likely in the low 60s in the day. We dress in layers year round in SF.

Depends on the time of day for travel there. Avoid rush hour travel. If I were going, I'd take highway 280 (Mapquest might direct you to ugly highway 101), which might take just a bit longer, or might be shorter, depending on the time of day (sorry to be so unhelpful!).

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2. Re: How Long?

It is hard to predict the weather, especially in SF where one neighborhood will be foggy and socked in while the sunshines in another and the wind rushes down upon a third. March is still rainy season.

Mapquest is very accurate with travel times. Tuesday may have traffic, depending when you hit the road. In any case avoid the 101 and take the 280.

While at the aquarium you may want to head down Cannery row to the Kayak rental shop and head out to sea for an hour or so. It is very calm out on the kelp beds and you will get to be eye to eye with some impressive wild life.

Los Altos...
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3. Re: How Long?

San Fran is so unpredictable for weather. For the most part, once you get out of the city itself, the weather is pretty typical spring weather, including into Monterey. March 20 should be a little after the rainiest of San Francisco months, though. That is not to say that it might not be quite cold and overcast.

As long as you avoid the late afternoon, you should be fine as far as avoiding traffic going in that direction, although you may experience some traffic in exiting San Francisco and in going through San Jose in the early morning rush hour.

2 hours is pretty realistic in getting to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are in the area for a good amount of time, you might consider staying in Monterey for at least one night. There's some other stuff to see, including specifically the beautiful coastline views of 17-mile drive.

As for the freeway, well ultimately you'll end up on 101. But if you are planning on going during rush hour times, 280 really may be a good bet, until it meets up with 101. At all other times, 101 is definitely a shorter route, distnce-wise, and the correct choice.

Napa, CA
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4. Re: How Long?

I agree with the others about the weather - it's especially unpredictable in the City. With that said, we don't tend to get a lot of rain in March and highs should be in the 60s. We also don't tend to get a lot of fog that time of year. (It's foggy, windy and about 40 as I write this.)

I disagree with the others about time to Monterey. Bay Area traffic has become about as predictable as San Francisco's weather!

You could easily make Monterey in 2 hours, but I'd budget 3. I also recommend avoiding 101 altogether by going Highways 280 to 85 (in Mountain View) to 17 (in San Jose) to 1 (in Santa Cruz). As others have pointed out, 280 is much prettier than 101 and is less prone to serious delays. The 85-to-17-to-1 connection is longer mile-wise, but again is much prettier (highway 17 goes through the redwoods and 1 runs along the coast) and less prone to serious delays.

And by all means avoid rush hour (which starts around 3:00 in San Jose and 4:30 in Santa Cruz).