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Thread: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    see the redwoods and hwy 1.. at the very least... the missions will let you shoot outside with a tripod and stuff.. probably not inside though..but who knows..

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    John - I forgot the name of that specific restaurant. My wife was there Saturday and brought home some dishes for me. A noisy spot, but with interesting history. We were there once last year together. Like I said, there are better places to eat in SF; but it's one of the better spots in Chinatown per se, which was built in its present form specifically as a tourist attraction, basically faux. If one want to see what it was like before, the photography of Arnold Genthe is representative. In Monterey, The Fishwife was where I took my dad many times, when he was in assisted living right down the street. There's a good affordable seafood place in Moss Landing too.

  3. #13

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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    There are plenty of good accommodations in Pismo. Our favorite is the Kon Tiki. In Cayucos it's the Shoreline (request the original building, 2nd floor) Both places have balconies with ocean views and leave the slider open all night to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the surf.

    Limekiln State Park in Big Sur is easy to miss---keep an eye out for it S. of Gorda---there are some great short hiking trails through the redwoods to stretch your legs on the long drive as well as photo ops of the creek, beach, waterfall, redwoods and lime kilns. Limited parking for day use though.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #14

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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    The Big Sur Blog is a good reference for Caltrans projects along Hwy 1, along the Monterey-to-Cambria section. http://thebigsurblog.com/

    In addition to The Fishwife in Pacific Grove, a couple of other favorites in town are Red House Café and Peppers Mexicali Café.

  5. #15

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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    If you are an oyster eater go to Tamales Bay, pretty drive and terrific fresh oysters. Bring cash, many of the shacks don’t take cards.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    The oysters were restricted earlier this season due to toxic algae issues. The Park Service denied re-licensing the largest oyster farm in Drake's Bay; but the Hog Island company is still active in Tomales Bay. Those oysters are served around the whole area, including SF. There are quite a few small cheese makers in the area too. Pt Reyes Station and Nicasio are charming places to visit for that kind of thing in Marin County. But adding a trip northward from SF kinda complicates the original question about heading south. One has to pay cash on the bridges; an automated license plate reader will hit you with a massive fine if that specific car is not officially registered. The rules have changed. But running off to Yosemite or Sequoia on the same short trip? - that would be hectic; and it tends to be hot and smoggy that time of the year; active forest fires can make it miserable. The Calif coast by itself has a lot to offer, esp if one wants a bit of quality camera time. Why be just another nerve-jangled tourist stuck in traffic? When Hwy 1 gets backed up due to some slow driver or road work, you at least have the ability to turn out on hundreds of beautiful overlooks along the way, and taking a pleasant walk, rather than just stewing in your own sweat. When my sister lived in Pacific Grove, I'd get up early in the morning and just walk a few houses to the shore, and the sea otters would be right there in the tide pools, just feet away. Nobody likes crowds, including otters. Bring lots of microfiber cloths and lens fluid. Quite a bit of salt spray in some of those spots.

  7. #17

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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    The oysters were restricted earlier this season due to toxic algae issues. The Park Service denied re-licensing the largest oyster farm in Drake's Bay; but the Hog Island company is still active in Tomales Bay. Those oysters are served around the whole area, including SF. There are quite a few small cheese makers in the area too. Pt Reyes Station and Nicasio are charming places to visit for that kind of thing in Marin County. But adding a trip northward from SF kinda complicates the original question about heading south. One has to pay cash on the bridges; an automated license plate reader will hit you with a massive fine if that specific car is not officially registered. The rules have changed. But running off to Yosemite or Sequoia on the same short trip? - that would be hectic; and it tends to be hot and smoggy that time of the year; active forest fires can make it miserable. The Calif coast by itself has a lot to offer, esp if one wants a bit of quality camera time. Why be just another nerve-jangled tourist stuck in traffic? When Hwy 1 gets backed up due to some slow driver or road work, you at least have the ability to turn out on hundreds of beautiful overlooks along the way, and taking a pleasant walk, rather than just stewing in your own sweat. When my sister lived in Pacific Grove, I'd get up early in the morning and just walk a few houses to the shore, and the sea otters would be right there in the tide pools, just feet away. Nobody likes crowds, including otters. Bring lots of microfiber cloths and lens fluid. Quite a bit of salt spray in some of those spots.
    Then great oysters going south at Half Moon Bay especially at Barbara’s, just have cash, otherwise eat across the street.

  8. #18

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    Elk Grove, CA
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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    The oysters were restricted earlier this season due to toxic algae issues. The Park Service denied re-licensing the largest oyster farm in Drake's Bay; but the Hog Island company is still active in Tomales Bay. Those oysters are served around the whole area, including SF. There are quite a few small cheese makers in the area too. Pt Reyes Station and Nicasio are charming places to visit for that kind of thing in Marin County. But adding a trip northward from SF kinda complicates the original question about heading south. One has to pay cash on the bridges; an automated license plate reader will hit you with a massive fine if that specific car is not officially registered. The rules have changed. But running off to Yosemite or Sequoia on the same short trip? - that would be hectic; and it tends to be hot and smoggy that time of the year; active forest fires can make it miserable. The Calif coast by itself has a lot to offer, esp if one wants a bit of quality camera time. Why be just another nerve-jangled tourist stuck in traffic? When Hwy 1 gets backed up due to some slow driver or road work, you at least have the ability to turn out on hundreds of beautiful overlooks along the way, and taking a pleasant walk, rather than just stewing in your own sweat. When my sister lived in Pacific Grove, I'd get up early in the morning and just walk a few houses to the shore, and the sea otters would be right there in the tide pools, just feet away. Nobody likes crowds, including otters. Bring lots of microfiber cloths and lens fluid. Quite a bit of salt spray in some of those spots.
    When traveling in Calif, may I suggest downloading the app QuickMap to your phone. It's a very intuitive free app produced by Caltrans (state DOT) that shows the traffic conditions for all areas in the state. It's a must-have if you want to check the traffic conditions along HWY 1, or any other freeway in the Bay Area.

  9. #19

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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    To everyone who has replied so far: many thanks, you've all been great! Wanted to make sure you know I have been reading all your posts and have been making notes.
    - Bob: The SS Potomac sounds great, but I think we will have enough to do without adding the trip over to Oakland, it sounds to me like something for our second trip to SF rather than the first. But will definitely visit Chinatown and history!
    -John, you could be a tour guide, will follow your SF urban hike suggestions in particular, and undoubtedly the rest of your suggestions as well.
    - Drew, Leszek, DrTang, you gave me exactly what I hoped for, specific recommendations out of the hundreds of things in my guide books.
    -JP, again good info, altho' my visit to Pt. Lobos will probably be similar to your 1/2 day. My own photographic interests lean towards history & man-made things more than pure landscapes, although I imagine there will be a temptation to hunt for Edward's tripod holes. I already suggested to my wife that if she would lie naked on the sand I could try the Charis thing, but she declined my offer (& I think Charis was about 21 at the time).
    -Louie, MusicalPhotog, thanks much for the info about the Golden Gate tolls, and the QuickMap suggestions, will have my trusty iPhone to handle websites and apps.

  10. #20
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Re: San Francisco - Monterey 10 Days

    A few more thoughts -

    for redwoods, the most famous place is Muir Woods, but it's crowded. I haven't been there in a number of years, and I have heard that you now need to book a visit in advance, especially on weekends. There are less famous/crowded areas - don't recall names, but there are other threads on this board about photo travel in the SF area that mention a few.

    Carmel-by-the-Sea is a nice place to visit. Parking is awful - there is lots of free parking on the streets, but finding a spot can be a challenge. There is a paid lot - finding it will save time. Interesting shops and a pretty town to walk around.

    There are three good photography galleries in Carmel - Weston Gallery is the large/famous place, and because you can step back from the images, it's visually better. They frequently show Weston and Adams, also contemporary photographers like Rolfe Horn, Mark Citret and Michael Kenna. But I prefer Photography West Gallery - Roman Loranc is one of their stable of artists and I really like his work. But it's a tiny little place - more than three people and it feels really crowded. The third gallery is the Center for Photographic Arts at the Sunset Center - a cultural center a few blocks from downtown Carmel. The have their own free parking, and unless there is a performance in the theater, you should be able to get in.

    Someone mentioned Carmel Mission - the last time I was there, there was an admission charge - I think it was $5 but my memory may be wrong. I had my LF and tripod, and there was no problem using it. But it is a working church, so you have to respect the circumstances. There is also Mission Santa Clara - its on the Santa Clara University campus, and is small and not as interesting.

    As others have said, the area is foodie paradise, and the range of prices is pretty extensive. But you don't have to spend a lot. There are lots of really good seafood restaurants, also all varieties of Asian, but don't overlook some of the other ethnic specialties - our son took us to some really good German, Mediterranean, and Afghani places. Prices are higher in San Francisco proper - I suppose its the 'higher nut' issue that you see in most large cities. But be aware that even good places can have a bad night - Phil's Seafood in Moss Landing is supposed to be fabulous - Bobby Flay did one of his 'Showdown' TV shows with them on chioppino, and they won. The night I tried it, it was awful. Aside from that bad experience, be sure to try chioppino while you are in the airea - is a San Francisco version of bouillabaisse and if you like seafood and garlic, it's wonderful!

    Avoid Starbucks in this area - Peet's is better, but for really good coffee, go to Blue Bottle - downtown San Francisco, behind the old Mint building.

    If you get to Marin Headlands, Sausalito is close by and worth a short visit. Lots of boats. For a great lunch, look for Fish. It's a rustic place on a pier - you have to place your order at the counter, and then pickup you food when it's ready and take it to a table. But the seafood is fresh and authentic. If you are looking for a different kind of tourist attraction, try the Bay Model - this is a scale model of San Francisco Bay that was constructed to do marine tidal studies. It's in one of the old WWII Kaiser Shipyard buildings, and is fairly large, but entrance was free when we were last there, and you can wander around to get a sense of what the San Francisco Bay is like.

    San Francisco, and especially Silicon Valley just south of the City is the center of the computer universe. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is not widely publicized, but is really worth a few hours of time. This museum was originally in downtown Boston, but moved to the Bay Area ten or twenty years ago. There are a number of good museums in San Francisco - the DeLong Art Museum and the Museum of Nature and Science, for example. But my preference is for the Kantor Museum at Stanford University in Palo Alto. They have an extensive collection of Rodin sculptures that I really enjoy.

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