What’s the best route from San Francisco to Monterey?

I live in San Francisco and am thinking about taking a trip to Monterey. I’ve never been and have been told it’s beautiful. What’s the best way to get there?

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Answer provided by
Andrea Barrett
Answered on May 13, 2022
What you’ve been hearing is right—Monterey is a beautiful small town about two hours south of San Francisco that was once the center of the sardine packing industry. The best route from San Francisco to Monterey is the coastal stretch down Highway One for a quick two-hour drive covering 120 miles—although you could likely spend an entire day between the two cities stopping for the views.
While there are faster routes to Monterey, like through Silicon Valley, you’d be missing out on some of the spectacular views the Coast Highway has to offer.
Along the way, check out these spots:
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse
  • Shark Fin Cove (Davenport)
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • 17 Mile Drive
Although Monterey is less than half the size of San Francisco, there are lots of things to see and do. Here are some things to see and do while you’re in Monterey:
  • Go whale watching (mid-December to mid-April)
  • Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Check out the Victorian architecture in the city
  • Wander through Cannery Row
  • Kayak in Monterey Bay
  • Grab an ice cream at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
  • Walk the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
Although Monterey is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from San Francisco, you’ll want to make sure you pack a good car insurance policy that keeps you protected along Highway One. And when you shop with Jerry, you can be confident that you’re getting the best rate for the coverage you need.
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