Carmel Journals

LA to San Francisco in 2 Days

A May 2006 trip to Carmel by modernist

Quote: Description of highway 1 drive from LA to SF with stops along the way.

LA to San Francisco in 2 Days

Overview

Quote:
To attend a wedding in Berkeley, California, my wife and I decided to drive the famed Coastal Highway 1 from LA to San Francisco. Along the way we took in the sights and at Pismo Beach, Carmel, Monterey, Pebble Beach, and San Francisco with two hotel stops along the way in Monterey and downtown San Francisco. We also found some gems to eat and shop. On our return trip we made a stop in Bakersfield to visit a friend and used the much quicker but less scenic Interstate 5.Quick Tips: If you are starting out from LA, stay on Highway 101 until you pass Santa Barbara. After Santa Barbara Highway 1 becomes much more interesting. You have a better view of the ocean if you are traveling to South ...Read More

Casa Munras Garden Hotel

Hotel | "Casa Munras, a Larkspur Hotel"

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I got this hotel from Hotwire for $86.88. According to Hotwire this was categorized as a 3 and half star hotel. Although my stay was pleasant and the hotel was clean I would not give it more than 2 and half stars. The hotel is supposed to have wireless in your room for free, but the Wi-Fi in my room did not work at all. I had to use the Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby. The breakfast however was quite good. It is included in the hotel price and is complementary and there were even hot items. The location was within working distance of the waterfront. Monterey as a city was a bit disappointing. Parking was free.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 25, 2006

Casa Munras Garden Hotel
700 Munras Avenue
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 375-2411

Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Hotel | "Hilton San Francisco"

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I booked this hotel room through Priceline.com It was a very nice hotel but I ended up paying a bit more for things I did not calculate. The priceline got a rate of $99.37 including taxes and fees, but I did not calculate the parking fee. I self parked at a nearby parking structure. For 24 hour parking, with in and out privileges, it was $28 (California Parking on 400 Taylor Street). Upon checking in, I found a brown stain on the bed, so I asked for a different room which the front desk exchanged right away for us. But it still left us with a queasy feeling to find a brown stain in a four-star hotel. The room was tiny, about half the size of our hotel in Monterey. Also the walls were very ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 25, 2006

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
333 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 771-1400

Quote:
Between San Simeon (25 miles to the south) and Monterey (65 miles to the north), I found a very unique place for lodging. With Hindsight, I would have much preferred to stay at this unusal place rather than a hum drum lodging in Monterey. "Tree Bones was created by owners John and Corinne Handy and their family whose long time dream has been to provide a unique and "close to nature" stay for those visiting the southern part of California's dramatic and breathtaking Big Sur Coast," is how the brochure describes th collection of modern Yurt's that comprises the Tree Bones resort. Yurt is a circular domed tent, originally used by the Mongol nomads of Siberia. However these Yurts have all the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 26, 2006

Tree Bones Resort
71895 Hwy 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(877) 424-4787

Cafe Fina

Restaurant

Quote:
On Fisherman's Wharf, many of the seafood restaurants have people hustling patrons into their restaurants. Cafe Fina, on the other hand, simply showed a video of Rachel Ray's feature of the restaurant in front of their entrance. That is the last time I trust Rachel Ray for a restaurant recommendation.

First the waiter became less than courteous when we did not order wine. With two entrees and a soup our bill came to $35.61.

I found hair in my seafood platter. Yuck!

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 25, 2006

Cafe Fina
47 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 372-5200

Seventeen Mile Drive

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "17 Mile Drive "

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Really well worth the $8.75 per car entrance fee, which must be paid in cash only. I just looked at my receipt and it says, "Refundable with purchase over $25 on PBC rounds and PBC restaurants only". So if you are planning on eating or playing golf at Pebble Beach Compound, you could get 8.75 towards your meal or round of golf.The drive is one of only nine private toll roads in the country, according to the Pebble Beach Company. The brochure you get after paying at the private toll booth has a nice map of the drive with highlights of all the major sightseeing points.I was surprised at how developed it is. There are a lot of private residences along the 17 mile drive. It feels like a ve...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2006

Seventeen Mile Drive
Seventeen Mile Drive
Carmel, California 93950
+1 831 373 3304

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I would say the Aquarium was the highlight in Monterey. It is very well designed and very family friendly. Even though it was quite crowded on the day I visited, I never felt it was overwhelming. First thing to worry about is parking. I parked the car on a meter parking as I knew we would not be able to spend more than 3 hours due to our travel schedule. However, having spent some time there, I wished I had parked the car in a parking structure and spent the entire day at the Aquarium. It is possible for one to buy a ticket and re-enter the park with a stamp on the same day. The Aquarium is open 10am to 6pm and summer hours are 9:30am to 6pm. There are some machines which will give you quarters if ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 26, 2006

Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 648-4888

Quote:
One of the first stops you may get to is an outlet mall. Here are the directions from their website;Camarillo Premium Outlets is located just 45 minutes north of Los Angeles and 40 minutes south of Santa Barbara.Take Highway 101 to Camarillo, exit Las Posas Road. http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/directions.asp?id=20If you don't live near a big outlet mall, this is one of the better ones. But be ready to spend at least half a day, unless you are really fast shopper. We found parking to be more difficult than necessary, mainly due to the sheer number of people. As much as we love shopping, we deci...Read More
Quote:
We stopped in Santa Barbara after a few hours of driving from LA. It seemed like a good idea to stretch our legs and walk around a bit. We found a public parking lot. For less than an hour the parking was free. Since our PT cruiser's radio did not work, we decided to buy a Wireless transmitter so that we could hook up our iPod. This set us back $53.86 at the local Radio Shack. Make sure your rental car radio works before you leave the rental agency. After walking around we found a great shop called Marcel Monsivais [531 State Street] (805) 963-8387. Being from the dark and wintry upstate New York, we were in much needed shading and protection from the sun. I bought a very nice hat for $24.73. The...Read More

Pismo Beach

Story/Tip

Quote:
Our next stop, and actually the first stop that really warranted us to take some pictures, was Pismo Beach. In fact, if we had to do it over, we would have made Pismo Beach our first stop and spent a longer amount of time here. We also switched over to Highway 1 after Pismo Beach. Until Pismo Beach we used Highway 101 to come north. The sand at Pismo Beach was exquisite. It was so fine and white. Even after Waikiki, we found the sand at Pismo Beach to be much more pleasant to be walking around in. There was also next to no one on the Beach. It was quite peaceful. I also saw a RV park at which you can reserve space. There was also a place to reserve a campsite. It is $5 to enter the beach ...Read More