San Francisco, California
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clock-o14 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket

Overview

Explore Monterey, Carmel, and the Pacific Coast Highway without the hassle of renting a car during this 14-hour tour from San Francisco. Wind down the coast through Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, the 17 Mile Drive, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Pickup and drop-off at downtown San Francisco hotels included. Small group of 13 passengers or fewer.
  • Complimentary SF hotel pickup & drop off
  • Explore Monterey's renown Cannery Row
  • Enjoy spectacular views on the 17-Mile Drive
  • Famous Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1)
  • See the world-famous Pebble Beach golf course
  • Optional stop in Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz
Be ready for pickup at your San Francisco hotel (downtown or Fisherman's Wharf area) between 8am and 9am. 

Settle back in your seat in the comfortable tour vehicle as the bus winds down scenic CA Highway 1, winding along the coast (fog permitting). Watch the blue expanse of the ocean beyond the beaches and make a brief stop to stretch your legs in Santa Cruz before arriving at Monterey's famous Cannery Row. Learn about the area's significance as a hot spot for Pacific coast biodiversity and its history as a fishing and whaling town. Stroll around the area and find a spot for a seafood lunch (own expense). Or, opt to bring your own lunch and instead squeeze in a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (if option selected). 

Depart after lunchtime, driving through Pacific Grove and down the famous 17 Mile Drive, lined on each side by coastline and multi-million-dollar estates. Snap photos of the Lone Cypress, impossibly growing off the edge of a cliff. Stop at Pebble Beach Village to visit the Pro Shop and see the 18th green.

Arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea and choose to spend time walking the beach or exploring the shops and restaurants on Ocean Avenue. After some time in Carmel, hop back in the bus and relax on the ride back to San Francisco.

Itinerary

8:00 - 8:45 AM - Pick up at hotels in San Francisco - downtown or Fisherman's Wharf area.
9:00-12:00 AM Begin the tour to Monterey, driving along Highway 1 viewing California's rugged coastline with a rest-stop in Davenport.
12:00 - 1:30 PM - Arrive in Monterey where you can promenade the shops and have a meal in one of the many restaurants of the historic Cannery Row. Also, this is your chance to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium (admission not included unless option selected during checkout).
1:30 - 3:00 PM - Drive through Pacific Grove, known for its Monarch butterflies and turn-of-the century Victorian homes. Then follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive through Del Monte Forest, seeing the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course and the Lone Cypress Tree.
3:00 - 4:30 PM - The last portion of this tour will be held at the beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea, where you can shop in small boutiques and visit quaint art and photography galleries.
4:30 - 7:00 PM - Finish the Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour and head to San Francisco.
7:00 - 7:30 PM - Drop off at Downtown San Francisco or Fisherman's Wharf hotels.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.0
14 Reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
r
, Apr 2018

We booked this trip with much anticipation. I have always wanted to drive the PCH and see the sights there. There were four of us on this trip and three other groups joined us. Total people touring was 12. Of the four parties touring, all but one had some issues before the tour ever began. We were the first to board and we noted the van was not handicapped accessible. We had called the tour provider Extranomical Tours prior to booking to confirm that it would be and that there would be a space to store the scooter one of our party uses. We called again two days before the tour to check. Both times we were assured we were on a handicapped bus and there would be adequate storage space. On the day of the tour, the driver refused to allow the scooter to be boarded, saying no one had told him, and we had a full bus. He refused to call the tour provider to try to accommodate us and his attitude was Do it my way or get off. He actually repeated over and over Nothing I can do. Another party on the bus had requested a translator and none was provided. Same response from the driver. A third group had been told and had written confirmation of a specified time and location, but he came very close to leaving them when he was at the appointed place 15 minutes early. He berated them as they boarded.

Once on the road, the PA system I. The bus was not working properly and the people in the back could not hear. He was rude to those passengers, asking if they had a hearing problem. They did not. When he finally conceded the speakers on the bus were not working, he refused to talk louder. He stated, Nothing I can do about it repeatedly.

It was apparent to all on board that he was rushed and impatient with everyone. He drove 75-80 miles an hour, even though it was a rainy day. He hurried people and lectured them at each stop. He took several , shortcuts, and never gave enough time for us to explore in Monterrey or Carmel. Originally, he said we would have about 2 hours in Monterrey, but we only had about an hour and 15 minutes, He parked far away from the eating establishments on Cannery Row, and refused to let us out by them. By the time we walked our mobility impaired friend down the street, we didnt have enough time to eat and get back to the bus. He shrugged when we told him. At the Same stop, he chased a family down and fussed at them for going to the bathroom as he was ready to leave. He rushed and lectured constantly, urging people to hurry.

His commentary on the sights was repetitive and boring. He seemed to take no joy in his subject as the best tour operators do. As stated,
Much of what he said could not be heard by half of the passengers.

On the actual coast, not including Monterrey and Carmel, we only stopped twice: Once at a small restaurant for a bathroom break, and once at Bird Rock. The rest of the PCH went by fast, given his speed.

Of the whole trip, we were on the coast for less than half the time. The rest of the time, we were inland among farming communities, or on the freeway coming home. The trip lasted about 9-10 hours advertised at the time we booked as 12 hours, and we spent 2 hours in near standstill traffic on the way home and in SF dropping people off.

The scenery was beautiful, just wish I could have really enjoyed it.

R
, Mar 2018

Great Scenery all along the way! Ocean views were amazing! Monterey Cannery Row was great for lunch and shopping. Carmel is such a quaint, lovely town to take a stroll, while enjoying the shops and eateries.

J
, Jan 2018

Worth doing it but we did not see the bridge as shown in the tour picture.

P
, Aug 2017

A thoroughly enjoyable day. Our driver/guide was full of knowledge and kept us continually updated with information. And his choice of music certainly added to the experience.

M
, Aug 2017

Guide was terrific Steve. Very knowledgeable and willing to readily share info. Tour could have been longer......not quite enough time at each spot. Great photos of a Pebble Beach sea lions. We enjoyed the coffee shop stop on the way there.

FYI, watch your water intake in the afternoon...it's a long, non stop 2.5 to 3 HR ride home.

S
, Jun 2017

This tour was amazing!

H
, Oct 2016

The Guide was Terrific. The Tour was a bit long for my taste as we spent more time driving that in Monterey and Carmel.

L
, Sep 2016

Should have spent more time in Carmel and skipped coffee stop. Driver should have asked group if they wanted to listen to his music and if they wanted it so loud.

E
, Sep 2016

The planned tour was great - however - the van was not terribly comfortable. Our driver was fun, but he decided to cut our time in Monterey short to give us more time in Pebble Beach without polling the group. He got very flustered when we got to Pebble Beach as he could not park in the usual lot, thought he had lost the keys to the van, didn't close the windows on the van leaving our belongings unlocked, then got annoyed when we took the allotted time in Carmel. Not sure I would do this again!

D
, Sep 2016

Out of the three tours we took during our week in San Francisco, this was the longest, and frankly, poorest one.

Maybe they are trying to cram too much into one day. Our visits at each stop were too brief. NOTE: This tour was advertised as being 14 hours. Even with an extra hour of traffic due to brush fires, it was only 11. Most disappointing was Carmel, where we only had enough time to be seated and served lunch at a restaurant before we had to leave again, giving us no time to shop, etc. The stop at the convenience store/bakery reeked of I get a perk for bringing tourists here.

Perhaps the tour would have been different with a different driver/tour director. Frank, Im sorry, but your driving and your narration was horrible. I was riding in the front passenger seat, and counted at least four near-miss accidents due to the driving. He missed sideswiping an SUV by inches on the freeway. He cut off another car when Frank clearly ran the stop sign. Two close to rear-ending the cars in front of us. Between fiddling with the microphone connection, the radio, and his playlists on his phone, he had his eyes off the road a lot. It was a very tense ride, and the passengers in the back felt the same way, with an added bonus of motion sickness.

The first part of the day consisted of lots of brief stops, then there was the three hour drive back where were all just in the bus driving. Our return was four hours due to traffic jams/brush fires, but I know thats out of anyones control.

Frank clearly likes exotic automobiles. Lots of commentary consisted of theres a nice car over and over. Adding some personal flair to the narration can be nice, but there was too much talk about what Frank and his buddies did decades ago.

By the end of the day, we were queasy and felt lucky to have avoided a collision.

Sorry, but we cant recommend this tour.


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