Coastline on Highway 1 near Big Sur.

©Kan Khampanya /500px

Along Highway 101

Hwy 101 runs north from San Francisco as a freeway, then as a two- or four-lane highway north of Sonoma County, occasionally pausing under the traffic lights of small towns. Although this highway may not look as enticing as the coastal route, it’s faster and less winding, leaving you time along the way to detour into Sonoma and Mendocino counties’ wine regions (Mendocino claims to be the greenest wine region in the country), explore pastoral Anderson Valley, splash about Clear Lake or soak at hot springs resorts outside Ukiah – time well spent indeed! Just south of Willits, Hwy 101 also marks the gateway to the redwoods, providing easy access to a number of state and national parks that are home to some of the oldest and tallest trees in the US and offer hiking trails and campgrounds for those hoping to explore further.


Must-see attractions for your itinerary


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