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Mendocino to SF

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posts: 76
Mendocino to SF

We are an active retired couple from San Diego going on a road trip in mid June. We like to explore the scenery, take photos, visit small towns/shops and do some easy hikes along the way. Our already booked itineraries are as follows:

6/15-6/16 2 nights in Sequoia NP

6/17. 1 night in King NP

6/18. 1 night in Oakhurst outside of Yosemite

6/19-20. 2 nights in El Portal at Yosemite

6/21-6/22. 2 nights in Lake Mammoth

6/23-6/24. 2 nights in Lake Tahoe

6/25. 1 night in Mendocino

Our original plan is to drive down from SF on 6/26 to stay with our friend in SF for 4-5 days before driving home to San Diego. Now we find out that another one of our high school friends will be in SF 7/1-7/4 so we think it may be a great idea to make some changes to our plan we we can have a little reunion in SF. So I think we may we can spend more time along the north coastal area since we have never drive from Mendocino to SF before as follows:

6/26. Add one more night in Mendocino to explore the area

6/27. May be 1 night in Jenner or Bodega Bay

6/28. 1 night in Olema or Inverness to explore the Pt. National Seashore

6/29. Drive to SF

6/29-7/3. stay with our friends in SF

7/4. Drive back to San Diego. We have driven this route quite a few times so we may just

drive straight home or stay around Carmel/Big Sur for a day or 2

Any suggestions to the above trip? We could add more time in Mendocino or driving down to SF if needed since the reunion is on 7/1. Should we make reservations driving down from Mendocino during that time of the year or can we leave it open, just drive down and stop wherever we want. Driving down to SF should we take hwy 1 thru Stinson Beach (if we take this route, do you recommend also driving the Panoramic hwy to 101 or from Stinson Beach on 1 to Muir Beach, then back onto 101) or from Olema thru Sir Francis Drake Bl thru the Redwood to 101?

Thank so much

9 replies to this topic
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 26,366
reviews: 131
1. Re: Mendocino to SF

You have done a lot of research and I like your overall plan There is no wrong answer here. Jenner is lovely and if you have time to stay at the Timber Cove Inn, there is nothing like it. Bodega bay is also lovely. You know how it is - one could stay in La Jolla and del mar and Carlsbad and many beach city in the OC. Hard to say which ones to stay in -- they are all nice

Point Reyes does take a full day if you want to explore so good idea there. After that you could continue down 1 and then hit 101. If you have the time and are ok with winding roads that is fine.

If you get a chance do go to Marshall and enjoy oysters.

posts: 76
2. Re: Mendocino to SF

Thanks for the reply so quickly. I also read about Timber Cove in another post and will check it out. Thanks

Fort Bragg...
posts: 157
reviews: 1
3. Re: Mendocino to SF

If you are driving from Lake Tahoe to Mendocino that will take 51/2 hrs at least depending on which way you go. There is plenty to keep you busy on the Mendocino Coast for several days, probably need more than an overnight if you are going to drive that far.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,050
reviews: 831
4. Re: Mendocino to SF

Yes, add another night in Mendocino. That will give you at least one full day to see the area. If you look at the TripAdvisor reviews and photos for the attractions in the area, it will help you plan what to see and do. Look under Fort Bragg as well :-)

Since lodging is somewhat limited along this stretch of the sparsely populated northern coast, and since you'll be travelling in high summer, I would book ahead if I were you.

posts: 76
5. Re: Mendocino to SF

Can I start early and drive from south Lake Tahoe to Mendocino thru 128 in one day. I have two nights in south Lake Tahoe, should I cut the stay in S Lake Tahoe to one day and may be stay one night driving to Mendocino, may be Healdsburg?

posts: 76
6. Re: Mendocino to SF

Should I stay in South Lake Tahoe for one night instead of 2 and stop one night, say at Hearldburg before heading up to Mendocino?

Fort Bragg...
posts: 157
reviews: 1
7. Re: Mendocino to SF

Yes you can go from SLT to Mendocino in one day, the roads are not freeway and 128 through the Anderson Valley is beautiful. Hwy 20 all the way to Fort Bragg is also a nice drive. Healdsburg is 1 1/2 hrs from Mendocino.

posts: 76
8. Re: Mendocino to SF

Thanks so much

posts: 76
9. Re: Mendocino to SF

Do I take 50 to 80' cut across 12 to 101 to 128. Or can I turn into Napa after 12 and take the Silverado trail to 128. I read that Silverado trail is a pretty drive. I would imagine this will take a bit longer to drive. Where should I stop for lunch? Thanks

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