So for the purpose of this Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary, I’m going to focus on that stretch of road. Bodega Bay is our preferred stop. + The weather changes quite frequently. Mendocino is 169 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1, a 5 hour one way drive. Obvious attractions are the redwoods, but … California has the best scenic coastline in the whole of America. Most of California Highway 1 in Marin County is inland, with a short stretch of ocean views near Stinson Beach, but that doesn't mean the road is straight and flat. Everybody has heard of the Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles (it’s a classic – you should do it!). I had visited San Francisco in last summer vacation with my family and had great experience. Combine it with some wine […]. Tip: It’s better to visit Marin Headlands for the view in the afternoon because of the light. The water of the beach looks quite crystal clear but the sunny day made us to be relaxed in it till the evening. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That being said, it is never dull as the locations and views are majestic at almost every turn. It's less curvy and hilly than in other areas and from Bodega Bay to Gualala, it's about 48 miles. In evening , it's a Good place for the camp fire and roasted chicken. How to Find a Place to Stay in Mendocino, California, The Best Places to Watch Whales in Northern California, How to Find the Best Beach to Visit in Sonoma County, Plan a Weekend LGBT Getaway in Mendocino and Anderson Valley, Jewels of the California Coastline: 16 Stunning Lighthouses to Visit, Spend the Night at Point Cabrillo Light Station, The 9 Best Things to Do in California's Marin County, 64 Places for a Weekend Getaway in California, Los Angeles to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway, California Scenic Drives: 7 Routes That Will Make You Swoon, How to Find a Marin County Beach You Will Love to See, 6 Northern California Spots Where You Can Camp Right on the Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor Guide, Ideas for an Awesome Northern California Getaway You'll Love, Day Trips and Side Trips From San Francisco, Road Trip: North from San Francisco on CA Highway One, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Road Trip from San Diego to San Francisco via Highway 1 California, the Golden State, is one of the best places in the country to go for a road trip. It is such beautiful country. This building has been around since 1860. You'll find gasoline stations and restaurants in Bodega Bay, Jenner, and Gualala, and restaurants at Timber Cove Resort and Sea Ranch Lodge. Don’t bother to go looking for it though -- the location is a fiercely guarded secret. Mendocino is 169 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1, a 5 hour one way drive. Fort Bragg, a 10 minute drive north from Mendocino on Highway 1 provides more budget-friendly accommodation and dining options. A couple of hours. A stop here is mandatory when you’re on a roadtrip north of San Francisco. Highway 1 is the quintessential California road trip, an undulating strip of asphalt that snakes along the coast for 655 miles, from Dana Point in the south to Leggett in the north with countless views of the mighty Pacific along the way. Fort Ross on Highway 1 was a Russian settlement between 1812 to 1842, I never knew that there used to be a Russian settlement in California. This Highway 1 road trip from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is ideal for a day trip or a stopover when driving the entire coast. The 450+ miles along the way have a lot more to offer, though than a speedy drive. I usually at least double the drive time when taking the coastal road to account for slower speed limit and stops for pictures. Great value for Mendocino. Many even do the Highway 1 road trip from San Diego to San Francisco for much longer days than we have taken. Gas stations are well placed along the highway and within towns and cities. Enjoy a day at the water at one of the city’s many beaches, such as Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, or Pacific Beach. Driving from San Francisco to Mendocino is one of the longer drives you can do on Pacific Coast Highway. I've … Discover the best places to eat, beaches to visit, where to take a break and stretch your legs, and top sights to see along the way. I’d get a crab sandwich from Spud Point Crab Company ($13) – it’s filled with crab but not so filling that it ruins my appetite for lunch – perfect for that in-between meal (and what’s a roadtrip without in-between meals?). From Gualala to Leggett, you have about 102 more miles to go on Highway 1. One of these days, I’d drive the whole length of Pacific Coast Highway although it’ll definitely be more than a weekend getaway trip. My husband and I drove from San Diego to San Francisco during our 'babymoon' trip 11 years ago. Despite many years living in California we’d never ventured far on Highway 1 North of San Francisco. This site is a member of Amazon affiliates. There are many coves and beaches where you can pull over and enjoy the view. Here, a guide to one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever take. It’s just over 350 miles from Crescent City to San Francisco. Take the Highway 116/Lakeville St. exit and head west. The points of interest on the first leg of the trip include popular beaches that attract day-trippers and a couple of towns where you can shop or get some seafood for lunch: In Sonoma County, CA Highway 1 sticks to the coastline. If you're heading north instead of south, then a look back at the Golden Gate will be your abiding memory of that city … Thanks for reminding my beautiful memories once again. The best oysters come from Tomales Bay Osyter Company in Marshall (it’s right on Highway 1 – you won’t miss it). Thanks for input, and your photos were beautiful. Headlands Inn – a classic, well-run, romantic B&B. Ahhh – the Pacific Coast Highway – I've ridden it often but never drove it… can't sight see as much if you're driving . I’d say that the stretch of Highway 1 north of San Francisco can safely compete. Mendocino is perched on a cliff over a beach. When you drive from San Francisco to Mendocino via Highway 1, every twist and turn takes you through the towering forests and … Highway 1 in southern Marin County is said to be more twisty than along the famously winding Big Sur Coast, so expect to maintain an average 20 to 25 miles per hour. Getting There If I take PCH all the way to Oregon, how much time should I plan? Road trips are the best! Yet another reminder why I need to live on the Left Coast! Pro tip: Have the sandwich to go and eat it at Bodega Head Trailhead at the end of the road for a meal with a view. We passed Tomales Bay, famous for its oysters. […] There are roads criss crossing the mountain range that offer beautiful views. I am looking at taking a drive from San Fransisco north through Oregon and into Seattle this June. Best Stops On Highway 1 North of San Francisco, How to Hike The Magnificent Tugela Falls, South Africa, The Best of Iran, A Guide to the Best Places to Visit, Visiting Komodo Island and Island Hopping Around Flores, Camping at Darvaza Crater of Fire, Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell. 156 will connect to Highway 1 where you can continue your journey south, to Monterey. Glad you liked it as well! If you are driving from San Francisco or San Jose area you will take the 101 south to Highway 156 through Castroville. I was aiming roughly for Mendocino. , The redwoods are next on my list to see in California. The diversity of the state’s terrain is chock-full of interesting … I'm a San Francisco-based outdoor lover, world traveler, and road trip warrior. United States - Planning trip to San Francisco, Yosemite and Highway 1 drive - We will be in California from June 2 - 6 (unfortunately that is all the time we have!). Hyperion, the world’s tallest tree on record, stands 379.1 feet tall (that’s taller than the Statue of Liberty). Except for the gaps in Route 56 north of San Francisco, these additions completed the coastal highway, with other sections formed by Routes 1, 2, and 71. How does this section of Highway 1 compare to Big Sur? 7 Stops on the Drive From San Francisco to Mendocino via Highway 1 Escape the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area and make the unforgettable journey to breathtaking Northern California. Take notes of the points of interest before you hit the road, but also be sure you know where to stop for gas when your tank starts running low. ... officially designated as State Route 1, runs north-south about 650 miles along the ... about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Right up to Portland is right! By: Andrew Collins*/TRT Travel Columnist— It’s just a 90-minute flight between to of the world’s legendary LGBTQ destinations, San Francisco to Los Angeles. This video follows US 101 North, from San Mateo to San Francisco. From San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, cruise north on Highway 101 to the riverside town of Petaluma. It’s a popular weekend getaway from San Francisco but to be honest, the vibe is definitely more high class than we’re used to. If you plan to follow US-101 to CA-1, which hugs the coastline, navigate carefully around the bends and turns, planning extra driving time for scenic viewing and photo stops. Gas stations and restrooms are few and far between, so make sure your tank is full and your bladder is empty before setting out. And lots of wine. Cellphone signals range from weak to nonexistent along most of the Sonoma Coast, except in the towns. North of Fort Bragg, it veers inland, ending where it connects with U.S. Highway 101 in the town of Leggett. If you find oysters delectable and not slimy molluscs that they are, Tomales Bay is where you need to go. Some of it is still rather 'wild' and isolated. Time on this road because there are many wonderful places worth stopping for along the way. This highway begins in Orange County’s Dana Point, and stretches north to “The City by the Bay,” San Francisco. So you’re probably looking at around 28 hrs? This gave us more time to make a few more stops along the coast on our way to Mendocino, focusing on the stretch north of Jenner where we turned back before. I would like to travel along the coast. A road trip down California’s Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles is an absolute must at some point in your life. California Highway 1 is one of the most scenic drives in the USA - both south and north of SF. This is a look at our Driving Itinerary of California Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Big Sur and Cambria, CA. In retrospect, it’s a much more suitable as a weekend getaway trip destination from San Francisco. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. You'll find gas stations, food, and lodging in Gualala, Point Arena, Mendocino, and Fort Bragg. What is California Highway 1 Like? If you have a lot of time to work with, you may even consider taking a few side trips along the way to places like Muir Woods, the Point Reyes National Seashore, or Dillon Beach. Oh how I love such idyllic excursion which also includes the Golden Gate Bridge! Perfect for an evening stroll. North of Point Reyes on Highway 1 is where the coastline gets crazy. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. Just a few miles after splitting from US 101, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway 1 rejoins the coast for a look at the Marin Headlands, and one last glance at San Francisco. First time around, we were only doing this as a daytrip from San Francisco so we turned inland on Jenner. The drive is much further and takes more time than you expect. All organic and locally sourced if it’s your kind of thing. Spring and fall bring the clearest days. Looks like a great one…. From Los Angeles take the 101 north all the way to the 156. 1) How Tall is Too Tall? At minimum. Day 1: Solvang & Big Sur. The sleepy coastal city of Fort Bragg is located along Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, in Northern California approximately 275 kilometres (170 miles) north of San Francisco. PS: I did the lost coast scenic drive many years ago, I definately reccomend it, it was possibly the most memorable trip I’ve ever taken. If you choose to keep on driving, your trek on Highway 1 will lead you right over the Golden … I realize I’m posting this comment a terribly long time since you made this entry, but I’m curious what is your reason for driving North Inland and then South along the coast? North of Fort Bragg, it veers inland, ending where it connects with U.S. Highway 101 in the town of Leggett. This coast-hugging route is one of the most scenic in all of California. The northern leg of this route has a lot to see from gardens to historical lighthouses. San Francisco. While the miles itself are not overly long, the drive is on a lot of windy roads that will take a while to complete. We curved southward in Russian River Valley passing many vineyards. […] north on Highway 1 from San Francisco for wild coastline and small, quintessential California beach towns. Unfortunately, many were already closed for the day. Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino North of the Golden Gate Bridge, the official highway name of Highway 1 is Shoreline Highway. […]. It’s a hipster-vibe kind of breakfast place serving egg dishes, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos diner style. This is amazing and SF just continue to be one of those great places I would love to see in the future. I anticipate flying from Orlando to San Fran and renting a car. You know how much I love road trips. One of the most exciting things about heading towards Highway 1 north of San Francisco is crossing the Golden Gate bridge. Gorgeous country up there. I can stay whole day here and watching the sun sets on the horizon and still wanting to take in all the beauty. Start your drive on US Highway 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway just North of San Francisco. Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin headland viewpoint. United States - Hwy 1 south of San Francisco - I'm driving south on Hwy 1 from San Francisco for 2 nights on the coast after 5 days in the city. Driving along these coastal cliffs can be anxiety-inducing, but if you drive from south to north you'll be able to stay on the inside of the curves. Stewarts Point Store This historic landmark building now houses a general store and the famous Twofish Bakery. You’ll find wineries, redwood, and miles (and miles) of wild coastline on Highway 1 north of San Francisco. Although, I may get sidetracked by all that wonderful wine on my way there…. These views look very familiar because one of my favorite places to visit is the coast. 17 miles this rugged and desolate coastline broken by long, sweeping beaches is part of Sonoma Coast State Park. It was achingly beautiful and I felt so grateful to be living in this crazy state we’ve called home on and off for the past 12 years. “Where to?” he mumbled with a look of resignation. 1 of 26 Click through this slideshow for some of the best stops on a Highway 1 road trip from San Francisco through Big Sur. For breakfast on the road, we stopped at Shoreline Coffee Shop in Mill Valley, soon after we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Whether you take Highway-1 or Highway-101 south along the Pacific Coast, they both meet just north of the Golden Gate Bridge to take you over that iconic landmark and into San Francisco. You can still visit Carmel and Monterey but you can not drive there from Cambria. The drive will take about 1 -2 days so plan on overnighting somewhere. 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