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Monterey Questions

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago

Monterey Questions


Have a question about the area? Ask it here.


Sardines at the aquarium by Sherri Vokey


Q: First newbie question! How do-able is it to drive from SFO to Monterey? Flying in on Friday and wouldn't mind a leisurely (but not *too* long!) drive. Cheers, Amanda.


A: Looks like a couple of hours?


A2: It's do-able and I recommend doing it. I did it last year - there are 2 routes to choose from. We gave ourselves 4 hours so that we could make pit stops along the way; it's a beautiful drive with some nice little towns to stop at. One warning - last year there was a pumpkin festival along the route that caused a lot of traffic - but even that didn't ruin our drive. Feel free to contact me for more info (Nicole Engard - nengard (at) gmail (dot) com)


A2.5: Don't worry about the pumpkin festival slowing you down if you want to take Hwy 1. It was Oct 13-14 this year, so it's already over.


A3: I drive down every year. It is a nice and easy drive that you can do with a normal Northern California map.


A4: Welcome to Monterey. You have several options for your drive. You can take Highway One all the way from San Francisco to Monterey. On a clear day, you will be met with spectacular ocean vistas. Stop along the way to see the harbor seals and otters! Allow about 3-4 hours for this drive. Another choice is Highway 101 from San Francisco, and then a hop to Highway 156 to take you into Monterey. Not as pretty, but not bad! Allow about 3 hours for this trip. Finally, if you really want to see the countyside, take the San Francisco Bay Bridge to 880 which will lead you to Highway 17, a beautiful forested highway which will take you past Santa Cruz (stop if you can) and into Monterey on Highway 1. Although Highway 17 is spectacular it is also a windy, sometimes narrow road and Highway 880 is no picnic! –

From a blogger who used to live in the East Bay and who now happily works at the Monterey Public Library. Please stop in and see us while you’re here. Free library cards to all California residents! DVD’s, CD’s, Books on Tape, Magazines, Books and more!


Q: For those who know the Monterey area, how much will there be for a family to do in October? Internet Librarian falls during the school holidays here, so the current plan is to ship everyone to California for a week - an eight year old, a newly five year old, their mum and me. They've found the whales, but want convinced that there's plenty more for them to do while I'm inside at the conference. Travel-wise, it looks like we'll fly into SFO, and then drive down...


A: When I was in Monterey on my honeymoon, I actually felt like there was more stuff there for kids than for grownups. The Cannery Row area is full of cheesy shops, restaurants and attractions that are geared towards kids. The Aquarium is (forgive the pun) swimming with children. Kids also might like visiting Big Sur -- there are some amazing beaches, views and hiking trails (for all abilities). And the drive to Big Sur is one of the most stunning in the world.


A2: One of the shopping centers in Cannery Row (I think it's a big red building near the Aquarium) has a carousel. There's also a couple of neat little historical museums in the Old Monterey area right behind the conference center. Adventures by the Sea rents surrey-style bikes: http://www.adventuresbythesea.com/surreys.html and there are boat tours that leave from the wharf, too.


A3: Monterey is a wonderful place to bring children. You might take a look at http://www.montereykids.com. This website includes information on outdoor adventures, sports, museums, fun activities and community resources. Unfortunately the carousel on Cannery Row no longer exists. But there are so many other sights. You might also check out the Monterey Public Library's Local Links page, http://www.monterey.org/library/commconn.html. It lists museums and other sights. The Library offers a weekly storytime on Tuesday for 3-5 year olds at 11:00. The Sports Center offers swimming and other opportunities for sports. Whale watching boats leave from the wharf daily. You can rent bicycles and kayaks. The Rec trail is a perfect place to take a stroll and to see all kinds of marine life. Yes, definitely bring your family. Monterey Public Library


Q: Is it necessary to rent a car in Monterey? Is there any public transportation? Are cabs easy to get? Thanks, Tom Ipri


A: If you are not planning on going to the outer reaches of Monterey, you don't need a car. Lots of places go and restaurants to eat at are right in the downtown area.


A2: Monterey also has a decent bus system, especially if you're staying a mile or more from the conference center. Routes 4 & 5 run directly to the conference center and nearly all the buses come from/go to the main transit plaza about four blocks up the street (by the grocery store). Website: http://www.mst.org/routes/list.htm


A3: The local cab company is Monterey Yellow Cab and their phone number is 831-899-8921 (Monterey Public Library)


Q: I'm planning to fly directly into Monterey (It's about the same price per orbitz from Tulsa) and stay at one of the official hotels. Do either of the hotels have a shuttle, and if not about how much should I budget for cab fare? I'd rather not mess with a rental car unless neccessary.


A: The Monterey Conference Center is right in between (next door) the Portola and Marriott hotels. No shuttle or taxi necessary.


A2: Last year I took a cab to and from the airport to one of the official hotels, and I don't remember it being more than $20 (possibly less). I do remember them claiming they weren't allowed to take shared rides, which is bogus of course, so pair up inside the airport and tell them confidently that you are in fact a single party :-)


A3: Post your flight info on the Shared Transportation page to find others who might want to share a ride.


A4: The Portola Plaza and Marriott hotels do not offer airport shuttles. According to the Marriott's web site, the cab fare from the airport to downtown Monterey is about $15.00. That corresponds with our anecdotal evidence. (Monterey Public Library)


Q Anybody know of any vegetarian friendly restaurants in the area?


A: Just about all the restaurants in the area offer great veg options. India’s Clay Oven, right across the street from the conference center, is excellent. Check out the restaurant links on this wiki, too!


A2: Tillie Gort's Cafe (http://www.tilliegortscafe.com/) has been voted the best restaurant for vegetarians in the Monterey Peninsula by the local paper, Coast Weekly (now Monterey County Weekly: http://montereycountyweekly.com ). Central Avenue Bakery (http://www.pacificgrove.org/dirpages/diningbakery.htm) is also good for vegetarian and and vegan food. Both are technically in Pacific Grove, but really only a couple minutes drive from downtown Monterey. (Monterey Public Library)


Q: Budget doesn't allow car rental, so my question is: do buses do the 17-Mile Drive? If so, can hotels make reservations?


A: The local bus system is Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) There isn’t a route that follows 17 Mile drive, but route 22 does go from the Conference Center down along the Big Sur coast with scenic stops along the way. For details, see: http://www.mst.org/routes/22/index.html

Monterey Movie Tours provides a three-hour bus tour of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and 17 Mile drive for $49/per adult, see: http://www.montereymovietours.com/ (Monterey Public Library)


Q: I was at IL last year and I ate breakfast as this great little place - they had these amazing omlettes - and I remember a sign saying best breakfast or something to the like. Anyone know what place I'm talking about? It's across the street from the conference center and then to the left -- I'd like to meet someone there, but I don't remember the name or address :) Thanks in advance! Nicole Engard


A: Could it be the Old Monterey Cafe? http://www.cafemonterey.com/ (Monterey Public Library)


A2: - I was just coming back to say I think I found it - and that's what I was going to say it was - thanks!!!


Q: I am one of those heathen pinko non-drivers. Other than an amtrak/greyhound hybrid, is there any easy way to take transport from San Francisco? Can I hitch a ride?


A: From SFO airport (use BART to take you from OAK airport to SFO, if you are arriving in Oakland), you can take the Monterey Airbus http://www.montereyairbus.com/ -- be sure to make a reservation. BTW, their van stops at SJC airport on the way. Their Monterey depot, the Monterey Transit Center, is not far from the Conference Center, but I believe they drop off at the conference hotels.


A2: Another option is to take the Monterey-Salinas Transit bus from the Monterey Transit Center to the San Jose Diridon station and take Caltrain into San Francisco from there. The last bus leaves Monterey at 3:20 P.M., I think, but check their website.


Q: I'm bringing my husband with me this time, and Monday night the Packers are on Monday Night Football. Are there any sports bars in the general vicinity?










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