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Driving from SF to Oregon

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Cincinnati
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Driving from SF to Oregon

Driving north along the coast to Oregon.

Is the beauty of the Calif. north coast pretty much equal in scenic beauty or are there "the best areas."

Is driving along HWY 1 the best view or should we also consider HWY 101 as well.

Thanks for any help!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

Is your question specifically about Bodega Bay or the whole North Coast. Well imho some of the part of the Coast which is before Bodega Bay to Fort Bragg rivals the Big Sur coast. and then it joins 101. Have a look at maps.google.com and you will see the route.

It is a gorgeous part of CA and relatively less packed than the Southern Big Sur

Menlo Park...
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2. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

if you have the time, by all means stick to hwy 1 and forget 101. I'd pick up hwy 1 right north of the golden gate so you can go through the Muir Beach area. The hwy is as close as you can get to the water, but of course there are stretches where you are out of sight of water. You could do the entire length of hwy 1 in an easy day, but there are lots of lodging options so you can really get into it. I'd suggest Mendocino or south for a place to stay. If it's not summer or a weekend, you could probably just walk up without a rez.

Cincinnati
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3. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

Not about Bodega Bay at all. I just didn't know where to specifically post.

I am interested in the entire coast.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

I agree that driving Hwy 1 will give you the best scenery. The first part after San Francisco goes over a high, twisty, cliffy section. Then the road turns inland around Point Reyes and skirts Tomales Bay. It is inland from here until it comes out back on the coast at Bodega Bay. I often skip the first part of this and go to Bodega Bay from Petaluma, taking the East Washington exit from 101.

The most spectacular part of this drive is between Jenner and Fort Ross, where the road goes high on the cliffs with spectacular views. Fort Ross was a Russian outpost in the early 1800's where they kept their presence in the western hemisphere and traded otter pelts. Three miles north of that is the Timber Cove Inn, which is architecturally interesting with a soaring beamed lobby. If you are ready for a stop, you can get coffee and admire the views. The next stop for any refreshment or leg stretching is in Gualala, about 30 miles north. You will pass Salt Point State Park, which divers love, and the Kruse Rhododenron Reserve. The latter is not worth a detour unless they are in bloom, which is in the spring.

The 10 miles before Gualala is Sea Ranch, a development of the 1960's which has strict restrictions to make it blend in with nature....architecture, paint color, and houses are grouped with common open space in between. Gualala is a small artist colony. There are galleries in town and an arts center a short distance off the highway and the south end of town.

There are lodgings here and restaurants, of course, and interesting shops.

The next town of any size is Mendocino. I would not plan on finding a place to sleep between Gualala and Mendocino if you plan on an overnight stop. There really are NOT lots of lodgings options on this coast. Nothing between Timber Cove and Gualala, for example, and slim pickings from there to Mendocino.

I think you would enjoy this drive.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

Further north, Patricks Point state park is a worthwhile stop and the national and state redwood parks by Eureka and Crescent City are a must see along the way.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

Patrick's Point is State Park is definitely worth a stop. You can climb down from the redwood forest on a flight of steps to a really lovely beach. My sister is a volunteer at the visitor's entrance.

Edited: 11:28 pm, April 19, 2013
7. Re: Driving from SF to Oregon

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