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Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

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Columbus, Ohio
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Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

My husband and I are thinking about where we'd like to go for our anniversary next February. He thinks San Francisco would be neat but I'm not sure it'd be great for us, as well as at that time of year. We aren't at all into fine dining or wineries. Would Carmel be better for relaxation?

We like looking at interesting architecture and walking and relaxing by the ocean. We live in Ohio so I think Savannah might be nicer for a February trip and save SF for a fall trip the following year.

San Francisco...
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11. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

I live in San Francisco, I don't drink wine, and I avoid expensive restaurants. But you will find very good and reasonably-priced restaurants in places like Japantown, Church Street just south of Market Street, and other residential areas. Just stay away from the pricey downtown restaurants. Ethnic food (Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Thai) tends to be the best buy.

Carmel attracts free-spending tourists, so it's hard to find reasonably-priced restaurants there, except along the highway.

February can be cold and rainy here. September has the best summer weather.

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12. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

You will love San Francisco! It truly is one of the most amazing places in the state of CA. Let us know what you decide on and have fun with your researching. :)

New Jersey
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13. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

I think all three places -- SF, Carmel, and Savannah -- can all be terrific but not so great, depending on the weather and how much time you have. All things being equal, SF is head and shoulders above the other 2 places. However if you are going in February, Savannah may have an advantage due to the weather especially if northern California is experiencing a wet winter. Plus, you can also drive an hour and a half to Charleston and nearby islands.

If you think you'll need a destination for the summer, then I think you can do both San Francisco and Carmel on the same trip. Both have different attractions, and it is a pretty nice contrast to have in a vacation. I wouldn't want to go to Savannah and Charleston in August.

San Jose, California
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14. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

As others have said there is so much more to SF than expensive restuarants. I don't drink wine, and avoid expensive food as much as possible, but I love SF. I like walking the neighborhoods. There is a lot of really good inexpensive food, like burritos, which rules all.

Napa & Carmel are another story. For me Napa has no attraction since it's mostly wine and high end restaurants. Carmel is similar, mostly art galleries, botiques, expensive food. But Carmel has a beautiful coast line, and is worth going to for that reason alone.

You did say "... relaxing by the ocean". I'm not sure what that means to you. It's usually cold by the ocean most of the year. There are the occasional 80 degree days, but they are few and far beween, even in summer. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy the coast, it's just not a lounge chair and Mai-tai kind of place.

Edited: 04 April 2012, 05:31
Charleston, South...
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15. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

I love San Francisco, but you said: "We live in Ohio so I think Savannah might be nicer" in February.

Charleston, SC was recently named the No. 1 Tourist Destination in America by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Sorry, San Francisco -- you dropped one spot to number two.

Charleston and San Francisco are two completely different experiences, although both are gorgeous cities surrounded by water and filled with spectacular architecture and fabulous restaurants. However, the weather in Charleston is almost certain to be nicer in February than San Francisco. Typical daytime highs average between 60 - 70 degrees, with lots of sunshine. That's perfect weather for sightseeing, golfing, boating, exploring the beaches, and visiting the many plantations before the really big tourist crowds arrive in Charleston starting in March.

You said you like to relax by the ocean? So spend a few days at nearby Kiawah Island Resort -- voted the No. 3 Island in North America (behind Maui and Kauai), and then spend a few days in Charleston.

So why not stay in Charleston -- the No. 1 Tourist Destination in America -- and do a day trip to Savannah? I think you will be glad you did.

Like I said, I LOVE San Francisco. I will be going there myself in May for a week. I just think the weather in Charleston will be nicer in February.

Let us know what you decide...and have a great trip!

San Jose, California
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16. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

"Napa & Carmel are another story. For me Napa has no attraction since it's mostly wine and high end restaurants. Carmel is similar, mostly art galleries, botiques, expensive food. But Carmel has a beautiful coast line, and is worth going to for that reason alone."

I just wanted to comment on Simbot's remarks above. I agree with the characterisation of Carmel, but I wanted to add that the Monterey Peninsula also includes Monterey and Pacific Grove - both of which are not nearly as updscale as Carmel. I am not into expensive food and shopping, but I love the Monterey Peninsula and go every chance I get. Pacific Grove has a small-town feel with a very walkable downtown and a gorgeous coastline. There is a terrific walking/biking path there. Monterey is larger (maybe 30-40K people live there) and is more diverse - Canery Row and the aquarium are there, downtown has a lot of historic buildings, and it is generally a very nice small city.

Grover Beach...
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17. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

Another vote here for Pacific Grove. Feels small and relaxed even though it's right between 2 busy tourist areas. And Pacific Grove has lovely Victorian B&B's overlooking Monterey Bay, excellent, easy on the pocketbook dining and lots of charm.

September is a great time to visit. Warmer weather and fewer crowds (for most of the month, anyway).

www.pginns.com

www.greengablesinnpg.com

Berkeley, CA
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18. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

One thing to remember is that while we think of February as a harsh month, if you're coming from Ohio and you have just a little luck the weather in SF will seem downright balmy. Its usually in the 50's or 60's in the daytime, and only a little colder at night. The weather in Savannah is pretty similar, so I wouldn't let the weather be my decider on where to go. One thing to check, however, is the convention schedule for your dates, because a big convention will run up hotel rates and make the city seem as crowded as during the Summer (which is usually a lot colder than in Ohio.)

sf
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19. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

LIke others I like to bring visiting tourists to Carmel for the views, which are beautiful, along with 17 mile drive, but usually always stay in Monterey. I was just there in Feb over the holiday and it was a bit windy but nice.

Carmel is quite expensive, and gets worse whenever a Golf Tourney is happening.

Edited: 06 April 2012, 08:08
Napa, CA
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20. Re: Is SF for us? We're not foodies or wine drinkers. Carmel?

Speaking of golf tournaments, the AT&T Pro-Am is in February. Most years it has glorious weather but rain has cut short a few too.

If you want to relax by a warm beach in February, it's best to go to Hawaii, the Caribbean, or Mexico. Or, somewhere else in the tropics.