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Junipero Serra Scenic Freeway

30.1 miles: 0 hours, 25 minutes

The Junípero Serra Freeway—more commonly known to Bay Area residents as I-280—is one of several major highways traversing the San Francisco Peninsula. Not only is it a less-traveled commuter route than congested US 101, it’s a prettier drive to boot. The Santa Cruz Mountains form a rolling (rather than rugged), lushly wooded backdrop that makes for a relaxing drive.

Wikimedia Commons/BrokenSphere

Once past the San Francisco city limits, I-280 quickly leaves big-city bustle behind for more bucolic views. You’ll see rolling hills—tawny gold in the summer, exuberantly green following the winter rainy season—punctuated by broad, flat valleys. It’s a peaceful contrast to the heavily industrialized, densely populated eastern side of the peninsula.


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