Even if your time is limited, you don't want to speed past the Mendocino Coast, where the coastal mountains flatten out and make room for stunning woods and meadows. Oh how I love such idyllic excursion which also includes the Golden Gate Bridge! Gas stations are well placed along the highway and within towns and cities. 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. 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. Many say that the coastal route of Highway 1 between LA and San Francisco to be one of America’s best road trips. This classic California road trip route follows the coastal contours, rising and falling, zig-zagging around coves and curving around hillsides slopes falling to the sea. North of San Francisco, California's Highway 1 clings to the state's western edge, winding north from Sausalito through Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Thanks for input, and your photos were beautiful. My husband and I drove from San Diego to San Francisco during our 'babymoon' trip 11 years ago. This coast-hugging route is one of the most scenic in all of California. On this leg of the trip, there are no gas stations for almost 30 miles between, so prioritize getting gas in Sausalito, Mill Valley, or Point Reyes. Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin headland viewpoint. Anybody?) Nevertheless, the place makes great sandwiches and calzones. This is a look at our Driving Itinerary of California Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Big Sur and Cambria, CA. Re: Highway 1, North or South from San Francisco? Pay close attention to your map or GPS once you hit San Francisco, as Highway 1 first becomes a city street, Junipero Serra Boulevard, before branching off to 19th Avenue, then Park Presidio Boulevard, and finally merging with US-101. Fort Bragg is the perfect stop on the San Francisco to Seattle drive or a Portland to San Francisco road trip. 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. 156 will connect to Highway 1 where you can continue your journey south, to Monterey. Thanks Don. Winding its way along nearly 650 miles (1,040 km) of California coastline, Highway 1 is one of the world's greatest road trips. Unfortunately, many were already closed for the day. I haven't been to Mendocino yet, either. the whole length of Pacific Coast Highway, Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: California, Oregon & Washington (Travel Guide), Highway 1 California: The Dream Road Along the Pacific, Lonely Planet Road Trip California Highway 1 (Road Trip Guides), The Why, How Much, and Other Difficult Questions About Living in A Van Full Time, Classic American Roadtrip: Florida Keys Highlights, A Roadtrip to Melnik, Bulgaria’s Laidback Wine Country, We’re All Strangers Here, A Southwest Roadtrip Story, San Francisco Itinerary: 3 Days in San Francisco, 9 Reasons We'd Move to Boulder (and 1 Reason Why We Won't)Jack and Jill Travel The World, A Independent Travel Guide to Kassala, Sudan, Why and How to Travel Sudan Independently, Gran Cir Hike on Gardena Pass, The Dolomites, 2 Days in Luxor, How Not to Get Templed-Out, $20 Google Fi Credit - pay-as-you-go data plan for 170+ countries, #VanLife, Our Solar Power Setup For Fulltime Van Living, Ultimate Roadtrip! I usually at least double the drive time when taking the coastal road to account for slower speed limit and stops for pictures. Notice how I’m wearing different clothes in certain pictures? Many even do the Highway 1 road trip from San Diego to San Francisco for much longer days than we have taken. Or you can make the drive in just six hours via bland but … Answer 1 of 16: Hello Everybody :) We would like your advice/recommondation about driving on the highway 1. Driving California Highway 1 is a classic road trip. 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? However, most people think of the Pacific Coast Highway drive as the scenic section between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here's an ultimate San Francisco … Now you've got me itching for a trip up highway 1 , It's a gorgeous drive at any time of day, but make sure you're in the passenger seat so you only have to concentrate on not thinking – just see it ALL. This is precisely why your Oakley ski goggles are the single most important bit of kit that you take with you canada goose väst. 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. Explore diverse neighborhoods like Little Italy, the Gaslamp Quarter, the East Village, North Park, and Old Town, head to Balboa Park for a museum-filled day or a trip to see the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. We're not recommending the coast for a day trip because you'll spend most of the day driving to the really scenic spots and back. This is amazing and SF just continue to be one of those great places I would love to see in the future. Take the Highway 116/Lakeville St. exit and head west. The diversity of the state’s terrain is chock-full of interesting … If you find oysters delectable and not slimy molluscs that they are, Tomales Bay is where you need to go. 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. Among the points of interest on this leg, you can find landmarks of filmmaking history and keep your eyes peeled for homes that were built to blend into the coastline: Once you get to Mendocino County, the mountains pull back from the ocean and contours are more rounded, making for the most beautiful views along CA Highway 1 north of San Francisco. Highway One through Marin County: Sausalito to Bodega Bay, Highway One through Sonoma County: Bodega Bay to Gualala, California Coastal Highway One in Mendocino County: Gualala to Leggett. With a city so rich in history and culture such as San Francisco, you’ll understand why some people moved here and simply refused to leave – if you know what I mean. So for the purpose of this Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary, I’m going to focus on that stretch of road. San Francisco. + The weather changes quite frequently. 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. I can't wait to get back to the northern California coast. Start your drive on US Highway 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway just North of San Francisco. There are many coves and beaches where you can pull over and enjoy the view. Marin Headlands on the other side of the bridge provides some of the best viewpoints of the Golden Gate Bridge (find a spot called Battery Spencer on Google Map). Just make sure you plan … Brewery Gulch Inn – a boutique hotels with just 11 rooms, this highly rated hotel has stunning views and serves great food at its restaurant. SR 1 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, and through the Los Angeles metro area, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco metro area, and Leggett is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway … 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. Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino North of the Golden Gate Bridge, the official highway name of Highway 1 is Shoreline Highway. The Pacific Coast Highway, aka California State Route 1 or Highway 1, is the most beautiful road trip in the US. Sonoma Coast State Beach: Coastal Highway 1 North of San Francisco - See 186 traveller reviews, 183 candid photos, and great deals for Sonoma, CA, at Tripadvisor. You should go on a ghost tour! 2) Roots for Days You're so luck to live in a place where you don't need to go far to see beautiful sceneries from the road. California Highway 1 is one of the most scenic drives in the USA - both south and north of SF. I’d say that the stretch of Highway 1 north of San Francisco can safely compete. If you're heading north instead of south, then a look back at the Golden Gate will be your abiding memory of that city … Gas stations and restrooms are few and far between, so make sure your tank is full and your bladder is empty before setting out. , The redwoods are next on my list to see in California. In retrospect, it’s a much more suitable as a weekend getaway trip destination from San Francisco. Point Arena Lighthouse is a short detour from Highway One. I will be making the return journey a couple of days later. My hubby and I are doing a day and a half trip from SF to uh, somehwere North of Fort Bragg in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to plan the route, so hard knowing that there are some many things to see along this piece of coastline!!! Yes, that’s … I had visited San Francisco in last summer vacation with my family and had great experience. Don’t bother to go looking for it though -- the location is a fiercely guarded secret. But when you realise that Highway 1 doesn’t stop at San Francisco but keeps on going – don’t you want to know you can find along this stretch of Highway 1 North of SF? I absolutely love the region north of San Fran right up to Portland. Despite many years living in California we’d never ventured far on Highway 1 North of San Francisco. How far of a drive from San Francisco is it? Sharing adventures since 2009. Try the fish and chips at Sea Pal Cove. A perfect end to the perfect San Francisco weekend getaway. You'll find gas stations, food, and lodging in Gualala, Point Arena, Mendocino, and Fort Bragg. In retrospect, it’s a much more suitable as a weekend getaway trip destination from San Francisco. Some highlights on this stretch of Highway 1 from Jenner to Mendoncino include: Fort Ross, this southernmost Russian settlement in North America in 1800 is now a State Park. Hi Dottie, it’s because we wanted to hit the wineries (located inland) before they’re closed and we’ll be driving along the coast in the late afternoon when the lighting is best. 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. Great value for Mendocino. The drive will take about 1 -2 days so plan on overnighting somewhere. We stopped by Stinson Beach and Dillon Beach. But the route’s most iconic section—which passes through Big Sur along the Central … Learning something new every day . Perfect for an evening stroll. It’s just over 350 miles from Crescent City to San Francisco. You know how much I love road trips. […] north on Highway 1 from San Francisco for wild coastline and small, quintessential California beach towns. Work on Highway 1 … The 450+ miles along the way have a lot more to offer, though than a speedy drive. Lots of cute little bed and breakfast inns and small hotels cluster along the highway, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities to rest for the night. It’s a little bit further north from Tomales Bay. Mendocino is perched on a cliff over a beach. Jack grudgingly agreed that this part of California coastline was worth waking up early anyday. Spring and fall bring the clearest days. This site is a member of Amazon affiliates. We got on Highway 116 inland passing tiny communities nestled among groves of redwood trees. In evening , it's a Good place for the camp fire and roasted chicken. It is such beautiful country. The highway north of SF has a variety of landscapes and seascapes with beautiful views. They also have my favorite beer, Deschute’s Fresh Squeeze on tap – yumm! It’s a hipster-vibe kind of breakfast place serving egg dishes, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos diner style. Cellphone signals range from weak to nonexistent along most of the Sonoma Coast, except in the towns. Some of it is very slow due to lots of curves. 17 miles this rugged and desolate coastline broken by long, sweeping beaches is part of Sonoma Coast State Park. Stewarts Point Store. 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. Stewarts Point Store This historic landmark building now houses a general store and the famous Twofish Bakery. If you choose to keep on driving, your trek on Highway 1 will lead you right over the Golden … These views look very familiar because one of my favorite places to visit is the coast. The following is our account, including favorite stops, from the 2 roadtrips we took from San Francisco to Mendocino along Highway 1. Surf & Sand Lodge – beachfront accommodation. North of Point Reyes on Highway 1 is where the coastline gets crazy. The drive doesn’t just connect California’s charismatic coastal cities, from San Diego past Santa Barbara all the way to San Francisco, but it also takes you past the stunning scenery of coastal mountains, crashing Paficic … Combine it with some wine […]. 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!). I think San Francisco is most amazing place on the earth. Tony and I drove up Highway 1 this past November from San Fran to Seattle and it was unforgettable- such gorgeous scenery and cute beach-side towns. 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. We love suggesting that people head to California and make the drive all the way to Vancouver, B.C. San Fran to Seattle via highway is 14 hours. They run out by late morning. Thanks for reminding my beautiful memories once again. Leave San Francisco early in the morning to not feel so rushed and get the most out of your day. The northern leg of this route has a lot to see from gardens to historical lighthouses. Consider breaking up the trip into three parts: from Sausalito to Bodega Bay; from Bodega Bay to Gualala; and from Gualala to Leggett. If you have the time, you should do it! The drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco up Highway 1 takes about 10 hours, straight through. Yet another reminder why I need to live on the Left Coast! Hmmm, wine. The landscape changes when you get into Mendocino county. If you're driving the whole Los Angeles to San Francisco route, we really think you should take a few days and really enjoy this northern part. That being said, it is never dull as the locations and views are majestic at almost every turn. Fort Bragg, a 10 minute drive north from Mendocino on Highway 1 provides more budget-friendly accommodation and dining options. For breakfast on the road, we stopped at Shoreline Coffee Shop in Mill Valley, soon after we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. It contains the oldest windmill in California as well as an original structure from 1800’s, Rotchev House. A road trip down California’s Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles is an absolute must at some point in your life. Obvious attractions are the redwoods, but … It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it, when those orange arches pass by overhead I still think, “Wow, I can’t believe I live here.”. We've driven the Pacific Coast highway from LA to Oregon and it was just one stunning view after another. ... officially designated as State Route 1, runs north-south about 650 miles along the ... about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Looking for something different to do in San Francisco itself? try their tuna sandwich – they make it sans mayo. While the miles itself are not overly long, the drive is on a lot of windy roads that will take a while to complete. San Fran to Los Angeles and its beauty and grandness as evidenced by a road trip via Highway 1 in California. Both were packed with visitors and we didn’t stay long.