San Francisco Bay to the Monterey Peninsula by Train – Itinerary

Follow along on a seven-night trip traveling to San Francisco, Sausalito, Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel-by-the-Sea with a train ride on the Coast Starlight.

Day 1 

Arrive at SFO. Take BART to lodging.

Check in at Clift Royal Sonesta.

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The Clift Hotel/Facebook

The Clift Royal Sonesta is very excited to announce the reopening of their renovated hotel, a reawakening of the hotel’s original craftsmanship fused with modern-day San Francisco.

Lunch at Tratto.

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Tratto/Facebook

Tour the Financial District.

Dinner at Gibson (inside Bijou Hotel)

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Gibson, the property’s refined restaurant with a lively bar, is located on the Bijou hotel’s ground floor and offers a new supper club dining experience.  Gibson is designed to encourage sharing, community, and conviviality as visitors dine family-style, choosing from a menu of expertly prepared yet approachable interpretations of French-inspired cuisine with a minor Italian influence.  Gibson’s celebrated Chef Louis Maldonado has Michelin-starred recognition, was awarded the “Rising Star Chef” distinction by the San Francisco Chronicle and StarChefs and was named a contestant on the 11th season of Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Award-nominated “Top Chef” in 2013.  The restaurant’s inventive beverage program, directed by Adam Chapman, is chef-driven and enlightens diners with innovative and delicate flavor profiles infused with locally forged ingredients.

Day 2
Visit City Lights Books.

Chinatown Tour

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All About Chinatown Tours is the most experienced tour operator in Chinatown, in business since 1957. Our tours offer visitors a rare insight into the culture and history of the people of Chinatown. Visitors will view historic landmarks, enter a secluded Buddhist temple, tour a fortune cookie factory, experience an herbal pharmacy, and stroll through the food markets. Our goal is to make the visit memorable, and a lot of fun.

Ferry to Sausalito
2 p.m. Lunch in Sausalito at Scoma’s.

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Scoma’s Sausalito/Facebook

Tour Sausalito.

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Return Ferry to San Francisco

Dinner at Cioppino’s

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Cioppino’s/Facebook

Day 3

7:20 am Amtrak San Francisco to Monterey on the Coast Starlight train.

12:45 Arrive in Monterey, CA

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Few places on earth can live up to their own mythology, but Monterey is a notable exception. No matter what you’ve heard or seen on TV, nothing can prepare you for the jaw-dropping beauty along Monterey’s fabled coast. Founded on June 3, 1770, the City of Monterey, is celebrating its 250th birthday this year.

1 p.m. Lunch near Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers fast casual meals at their café or relaxing full service dining at their restaurant. All ingredients are as fresh and local as possible and all seafood meets the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program standards. Near the Aquarium there are many tasty lunch options including The C Restaurant at the InterContinental The Clement Hotel where every table has an ocean view, Happy Girl Kitchen Co for vegetarian and vegan fare, or A Taste of Monterey Wine Market + Bistro for Monterey County Wine paired with Californian cuisine.

2 p.m. Aquarium

Explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium 
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to more than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species in nearly 200 exhibits filling 34 major galleries. Please turn off your flash when taking photographs inside the Aquarium. You will get better photos without your flash—and the animals and other visitors will thank you! The Aquarium opens at 10 a.m.

Wine Tasting at A Taste of Monterey
What began as a place to showcase the fine wines of Monterey County’s nine American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) has become the “capital” of Monterey County wine country. Designated as The Official Regional Wine Visitors’ Center, A Taste of Monterey is akin to a wine lover’s museum. This regional Wine Bar, Market and Bistro is Cannery Row’s 2nd largest attraction with Monterey’s Best View and is a must see when in Monterey.

Check-in at Asilomar Conference Grounds

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Located in the scenic historic town of Pacific Grove on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, Asilomar Conference Grounds is situated within 107 acres of protected California State Park beachfront land between Monterey and Pebble Beach. Asilomar is the combination of two Spanish words: “asilo” meaning refuge and “mar” meaning sea. Asilomar has been America’s Refuge by the Sea, an idyllic oceanfront getaway for more than 100 years. Julia Morgan, Hearst Castle architect, designed the original buildings, at the recommendation of Phoebe Apperson Hearst, William Randolph Hearst’s mother. Dining options include Crocker Dining Hall serving California fresh menus and Phoebe’s Café featuring organic beverages, sandwiches, salads and sweet treats.

Evening:
Coastal trails, bicycles at Asilomar.

Day 4
Breakfast at Crocker Dining Hall at Asilomar Conference Grounds.

Monterey Bay Food Tours

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Monterey Bay Food Tours is the first and only walking food tour in Monterey. You will taste your way through Old Monterey through 5-6 different restaurants and food shops. The tour includes local history and stops of some of California’s firsts found in Monterey.

Monterey Path of History Walking Tour
Self-Guided Tour of the Path of History! Take yourself on a tour of the Path of History by following the yellow tiles in the sidewalk or with this informative map and cellphone tour. The map and tour point out important adobes and structures such as Colton Hall, Custom House Plaza, Pacific House and the Golden State Theatre.

Sees Candy
310 Del Monte Ctr Monterey, CA  93940

Pick up eBike at Big Sur Adventures to catch the sunset at Asilomar State Beach, located just a short walk from the hotel.

Day 5
Head to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Check-in at Hofsas House

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With each room decorated differently, this family-owned inn has ocean views and is just three blocks north of Ocean Avenue. Family hospitality makes this tucked-away spot perfect for swimming in a heated pool, watching the gorgeous sunset over the Pacific Ocean, and enjoying the private balconies and wet bars in most of the suites either with or without your fur friends.

Explore Charming Courtyards & Secret Passageways in Carmel-by-the-Sea
If one thing defines Carmel-by-the-Sea, it is the charming courtyards and secret passageways. The courtyards began in the 1920s, when Hugh Comstock’s fairy-tale houses and shops were built. Downtown is peppered with 41 passageways and courtyards, each one different, and many are lined with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants waiting to be discovered.

Dinner at Rise + Roam

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Rise + Roam/Facebook

Day 6
Breakfast at Hosfas House
Continental breakfast is available every morning from 8 to 10 AM in the Lobby. Guests may enjoy talking with our friendly staff or other guests in the Lobby, or take a tray to their room or to the view deck areas. After 9 AM, the continental breakfast can be delivered to your room by request. The breakfast includes: orange juice, French Roast coffee, tea, hot chocolate, a variety of fresh pastries delivered from a local bakery and fresh fruit.

Visit Carmel Beach

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At the foot of Ocean Avenue, Carmel Beach is one of the most iconic spots on California’s Central Coast and is rated “One of America’s Top Beach Towns.” From morning to night Carmel Beach attracts visitors and locals alike to take in the majestic scenery and fun activities.

The Scenic Bluff Path is a well-maintained gravel pathway that parallels Scenic Road just above Carmel Beach. There are eight stairways accessing the white sand beach below. The trail meanders through the shade of Monterey cypress and landscaped gardens to Carmel Point.

Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea

Dinner at Etats-Unis 

Day 7
Breakfast at Hosfas House
11:45 p.m. Monterey Airbusto SFO

Check-in at Grand Hyatt at SFO.

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