Driving from San Fransisco to Chico
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Apr 3, 2012 8:31 PM Last Post By: Hepburnsprings
Mar 31, 2012 8:55 PM
Driving from San Fransisco to ChicoCan anyone advise on whether one can drive direct in one day from San Fransisco to Chico ( looks to be 200 miles or so )
We are Australians and used to driving long distances , but can someone suggest a pleasant place midway or so for us to have an overnight stop en route if we don't feel like a longish drive
Mar 31, 2012 9:00 PM
Mar 31, 2012 9:04 PM
24 hours at the most. unless you run into heavy traffic somewhere.
Two possible places ot stop if you want to break the drive. Sacramento, where you can visit the historic section, hit a museum or two & find a good place for lunch. This would be your best place to stay the night, if that's what you want.
Granzellas in Williams, if you take the route that bypasses Sacramento. There will be plenty of billboards advertising it. They have great olives and I am a sucker for their muffleta mix. They have a deli and a restaurant. It's popular with both tourists and locals. The parking lot will be full of a combination or motor homes and farmer's pickup trucks. I like the deli better than the restaurant. While you are waiting for a sandwich, you can sample the "olive bar." Or just eat olives before deciding what to buy. They also sell just about every beer known to man.
Mar 31, 2012 9:10 PM
Apr 1, 2012 7:34 AM
Apr 1, 2012 8:34 AM
5I'd also vote for Old Sacramento, including the great railroad museum (not just for train fans), especially if you want to spend the night, but it would add some miles and time (if you stop off in Sac, you can take Hwy. 99 from there to Chico; slower traffic than I-5 but you save miles and, according to Google Maps, time). If you just want a place to stop to eat and stretch your legs, the olive place sounds good.
Apr 2, 2012 7:18 AM
6I'm going to suggest a slightly longer, more scenic route. Instead of driving east across the Bay Bridge toward the east, go north and cross the Golden Gate Bridge. This will take you through Marin County, then across the wetlands at the north side of the SF Bay. Among other things, you will drive by a civic center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. If really want to make an all-day drive of it, you can also detour to the towns of Sonoma and/or Napa. I'd recommend Sonoma for the historic plaza, some good restaurants, and a chance to do some wine tasting & pick up some hard-to-find cheese to take to Chico.
SF to Chico, no stop in Sacramento This goes through Williams, where Granzellas is.
SF to Chico, via Sacramento You won't go by Granzellas this way.
Apr 2, 2012 7:35 AM
7I like nutrax's idea for Highway 37. You can also make a much more scenic trip by taking Highway 29 off of 37 in Vallejo, then go north on that through miles of vineyards , up and over the mountains to Highway 53 around the east end of Clear Lake to Highway 20 that cuts east to Williams. You are quite likely to see
Elk along 20 while still in the hills and it is beautiful country especially when still green in the spring. It will take an hour longer but is a much more interesting drive than the freeway.
Her second option is good too, but not nearly as scenic as the Highway 29,53,20 option. The Old Town section and railroad museum in Sacramento is a very good stop but it will take at least a couple of hours or
You could do both, go one way on your outbound trip and the other on the return.
Apr 2, 2012 11:49 AM
8Great tips above! In Chico, be sure to get out to Upper Bidwell Park, an incredible wilderness reserve
with a volcanic gorge that has waterfalls and rushing waters. The 1938 version of Robin Hood was filmed
in the park for using the massive oak trees as background for Nottingham Forest. Bidwell Mansion and the
Sierra Nevada Brewery are great as well. Best hotel in downtown Chico is the Diamond Hotel. Cheers!
Apr 2, 2012 11:54 AM
Apr 2, 2012 1:46 PM
10Great info from all above posters thanks so much , the route through Sonoma , Napa really appeals , Frank Lloyd Wright a great architect , have seen several of his designs here in Australia , I checked out Diamond Hotel in Chico Kenko , looks splendid , will try for a special deal as it looks quite expensive but I'm sure worth the experience , not your usual run of mill accommodation.
Thanks again guys
Apr 3, 2012 6:03 PM
Apr 3, 2012 7:01 PM
12The cheese place to hit in Sonoma is Vella Cheese not the Sonoma Cheese Factory on the Plaza.
Apr 3, 2012 8:31 PM
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