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Northern CA Wine Country

Road Trip

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Castello di Amorosa/Jim Sullivan
312.0 miles: 8 hours, 44 minutes
This twisting, turning route is full of sights, sounds, smells and tastes found nowhere else in the world. Delighting your senses are mint-infused eucalyptus groves, the sounds of waves and the resplendent beauty of Wine Country’s rolling hills. Here the oenophile (and everyone else) can sip on fine wines and enjoy everything else the region has to offer.
flickr/Bill Williams
San Francisco to Jenner
94.0 miles: 3 hours, 12 minutes
Traversing the majestic Golden Gate Bridge is only the beginning of this picturesque journey. Once in Marin, eucalyptus woodlands hug the narrow, winding highway. SR 1 brings you back to the Pacific, where steep bluffs and ocean views await. Pull off and watch for distant sprays from a whale’s spout. But don’t forget to check the gas tank—stations are few and far between.
flickr/Christina B Castro
Jenner to Mendocino
87.1 miles: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Coastal SR 1, which passes charming coastal towns and over mountaintops, is a photographer’s dream; there’s not a bad spot to snap a picture. The juxtaposition of the craggy coast and expansive ocean creates truly breathtaking views. In Mendocino County, the mountains pull back from the ocean, making the area the perfect place to enjoy an absolutely stunning sunset.
flickr/Scott Loftesness
Mendocino to Cloverdale
67.0 miles: 1 hours, 35 minutes
The road to Wine Country veers away from the ragged coast and enters redwood forests, past towering trees and giant ferns. Out of the redwoods, the route becomes more pastoral, with vineyards, orchards and farms coming on the scene.
Courtesy of Solage Calistoga
Cloverdale to Napa
63.8 miles: 1 hours, 38 minutes
The final leg of the trip winds through the hills to Calistoga, as famous for its charming Victorian architecture as it is for its mineral hot springs. Traveling through the heartland of California’s wine region, vineyards dot the landscape along SR 29, home to some of Napa Valley’s best-known wineries and boutique cellars.