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Santa Cruz Mountains Scenic Drive

Road Trip

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flickr/Ian Abbott
34.1 miles: 1 hours, 4 minutes
In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz Mountains Scenic Drive probably wins the award for the road less traveled. Most people take the major highways—US 101 and I-280—to get to points south. SR 1 is the scenic, leisurely coastal route. But if you’re up for adventure, explore this two-lane road that meanders through the Santa Cruz Mountains to the beachside city of the same name.
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34.1 miles: 1 hours, 4 minutes
Head west on SR 9 from Saratoga, on San Jose's southwestern edge. The road is winding in spots but easy to drive, with pretty views and lots of pullouts along the way. At Castle Rock State Park you can hike through forests of coast redwood, Douglas fir and madrone trees. Farther south there are more old-growth redwoods to explore at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.