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SFO to Monterey vs San Diego?

SFO to Monterey vs San Diego?

Old Jul 11, 2023, 2:22 am
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SFO to Monterey vs San Diego?

How safe is it getting a rental car at SFO and driving to and from Monterey?

I have some United credits expiring and also need to make a stay at an Intercontinental. I am thinking of either visiting Monterey or San Diego since both have Intercontinental hotels.

I am more gravitating towards Monterey, but some friends have told me in the past that people get mugged or robbed just walking outside of SFO terminals???

I dont know if San Diego is any safer?
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Old Jul 11, 2023, 5:42 am
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People almost never "get mugged or robbed just walking outside of SFO terminals".

Anyway, you need not step one foot outside the terminal. Follow the signs up to the Air Train, and then take the Blue Line (not the Red Line, which links the terminals through a smaller clockwise oval in the opposite direction) all the way to the Rental Car Center.
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Old Jul 11, 2023, 10:42 am
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No, people don't get robbed just walking out of the SFO terminal. Besides, there is a monorail from the terminal to the rental car center. But come on, it sounds like your friends are either messing with you or have been brainwashed by certain media. Some people like to push the narrative that all the big West Coast cities have burned to the ground and are in total lawless anarchy like in Escape from LA. I see you're from the PNW, that's what folks who've never set foot in Seattle and Portland say about those cities too. It's the same down here as it is up there. Don't try to buy drugs in the Tenderloin at 2am and you'll be fine.
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Last edited by YourSimulation; Jul 11, 2023 at 10:49 am
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Old Jul 12, 2023, 1:20 pm
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Monterey is a much shorter drive compared to San Diego. I would just drive there and enjoy. The intercontinental is in a gorgeous location infested with tourists and it’s purely safe. Even if you don’t want to enjoy the aquarium or bubba gump’s, there are so many nice places to go by foot. You can rent a fun surrey. You can also drive your rental to pacific grove and carmel. You can even drive to Big Sur. You can pay money go go to pebble beach if you’re into golf. I’m a mega fanatic for carmel and monterey. We only stay at the Hyatt in carmel for hyatt reasons - I’ve definitely had a little IC envy while passing it en route to bubba gump’s. :-)

ps in the 1970s, mad magazine had a comic of a guy who traveled to loads of dangerous places on the globe. His buddy asked how it went and the punchline “then I got mugged at the airport”

in 1987 novel Rules of Attraction (Bret Easton Ellis), Victor Johnson (future star of Glamorama) has traveled throughout Europe with lotsa dating action and his chapter ends with getting mugged at AMS.

all my travels and probably tons of other FlyerTalkers traveling and I’m pretty sure I’ve never read about an airport mugging. I’ve never experienced stolen luggage (just delay that resulted in delivery). Zero theft with tsa. Zero mugging for me.
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 11:01 am
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Was in San Fran a year ago and used public transport to get around. As long as you don't make yourself conspicuous, I don't see trouble will find you. Same for any major urban area.
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by gaobest
- ps in the 1970s, mad magazine had a comic of a guy who traveled to loads of dangerous places on the globe. His buddy asked how it went and the punchline “then I got mugged at the airport”

in 1987 novel Rules of Attraction (Bret Easton Ellis), Victor Johnson (future star of Glamorama) has traveled throughout Europe with lotsa dating action and his chapter ends with getting mugged at AMS.

all my travels and probably tons of other FlyerTalkers traveling and I’m pretty sure I’ve never read about an airport mugging. I’ve never experienced stolen luggage (just delay that resulted in delivery). Zero theft with tsa. Zero mugging for me.
No TSA issues with luggage, but the TSA-ready locks I had put on some were gone when I retrieved them on arrival in SFO years ago. Nothing else went missing.

I'm going with MAD magazine on this one.
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by hikouki
I am more gravitating towards Monterey, but some friends have told me in the past that people get mugged or robbed just walking outside of SFO terminals???
Of all the wacky things I've read on FT, this takes the cake.

But if you want to be 100% sure to avoid getting mugged at SFO, note that UA flies into MRY from SFO, LAX, and DEN
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by hikouki
How safe is it getting a rental car at SFO and driving to and from Monterey?

I have some United credits expiring and also need to make a stay at an Intercontinental. I am thinking of either visiting Monterey or San Diego since both have Intercontinental hotels.

I am more gravitating towards Monterey, but some friends have told me in the past that people get mugged or robbed just walking outside of SFO terminals???

I dont know if San Diego is any safer?
The Flyertalk SFO Mugging Committee will be the one mugging you. Please be sure to be wearing a nice watch... How do people come up with this?
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by hikouki
How safe is it getting a rental car at SFO and driving to and from Monterey?

I have some United credits expiring and also need to make a stay at an Intercontinental. I am thinking of either visiting Monterey or San Diego since both have Intercontinental hotels.

I am more gravitating towards Monterey, but some friends have told me in the past that people get mugged or robbed just walking outside of SFO terminals???

I don’t know if San Diego is any safer?
At first I thought you were talking about the drive being safe. SFO is very busy and very safe.

Monterey is maybe 2 hours. I think United Express even flies there. It's a beautiful drive. I personally couldn't ever find anything to do in Monterey though. San Diego is probably worth flying to unless you want to see more of California, or drive along the coast or something. San Diego is safer than San Francisco, but SFO is not the problem.

Originally Posted by USA_flyer
Was in San Fran a year ago and used public transport to get around. As long as you don't make yourself conspicuous, I don't see trouble will find you. Same for any major urban area.
Yeah, I've never felt threatened on SF public transit, but BART can be interesting at night. Caltrain too, but it's usually drunks after a baseball game. I would imagine pick-pocketing isn't out of the question on or near the F train.

The airport itself isn't even in San Francisco, but an unincorporated part of San Mateo County.
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Old Aug 19, 2023, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
- Monterey is maybe 2 hours. I think United Express even flies there. It's a beautiful drive. I personally couldn't ever find anything to do in Monterey though. –
Monterey Bay Aquarium?
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Old Aug 19, 2023, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by FlitBen
Monterey Bay Aquarium?
Don't even get me started on that one ;-). Thought it HAS to be better than the Aquarium of the Pacific where I just got ripped off in Long Beach (it's anything aside from terrific).

It's a beautiful area, even a bit inland before hitting Salinas. Seems like it's mostly for golfing and a "getaway." I remember enjoying the walk around Carmel. Honestly, San Diego is another destination I don't understand but that everyone seems to love.
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Old Aug 20, 2023, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
Don't even get me started on that one ;-). Thought it HAS to be better than the Aquarium of the Pacific where I just got ripped off in Long Beach (it's anything aside from terrific).

It's a beautiful area, even a bit inland before hitting Salinas. Seems like it's mostly for golfing and a "getaway." I remember enjoying the walk around Carmel. Honestly, San Diego is another destination I don't understand but that everyone seems to love.
Haven't been to Long Beach in ages but I went to Monterey Bay aquarium some years ago and found it both serious and interesting. It hosts marine researchers while the surrounding boardwalk and pretty restaurants help with a day trip to Point Lobos as well.

San Diego has its great wildlife parks but you'd be out in the sun a lot. Legoland Carlsbad is fun but mainly for kids. There is nice outlet shopping nearby and I remember enjoying Barona casino resort .
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Last edited by FlitBen; Aug 20, 2023 at 1:04 pm
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Old Aug 23, 2023, 10:50 pm
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How many aquariums got into Star Trek movies? :-)
monterey is very nice. I live in San Francisco and still enjoy going there when we are in carmel. Good place.
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Old Aug 24, 2023, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by gaobest
How many aquariums got into Star Trek movies? :-)
monterey is very nice. I live in San Francisco and still enjoy going there when we are in carmel. Good place.
Oh yea, my favorite Trekkie retro flick did picture it as located in Sausalito. Carmel is nice, too.

All good
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by FlitBen
Haven't been to Long Beach in ages but I went to Monterey Bay aquarium some years ago and found it both serious and interesting. It hosts marine researchers while the surrounding boardwalk and pretty restaurants help with a day trip to Point Lobos as well.

San Diego has its great wildlife parks but you'd be out in the sun a lot. Legoland Carlsbad is fun but mainly for kids. There is nice outlet shopping nearby and I remember enjoying Barona casino resort .
Yes their aquarium is legit. I had a personal anecdote of why I always sigh when I hear someone mention that aquarium. My dad practically shoved my face into each window and kept saying "look! look!" I got so annoyed I shouted back "I see it! I'm not blind!"

I am actually heading to San Diego in a few hours. We will probably do the same thing we always do. Go to that little seaport shopping center, and then have dinner at that Mexican restaurant in Old Town. One of these days I'll have to look at a travel book and see what I am missing.
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