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Northern CA Wine Country

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.


San Francisco to Jenner

94.0 miles: 3 hours, 12 minutes

flickr/Bill Williams

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.

Recommended Stops


Jenner to Mendocino

87.1 miles: 2 hours, 17 minutes

flickr/Christina B Castro

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.


Mendocino to Cloverdale

67.0 miles: 1 hours, 35 minutes

flickr/Scott Loftesness

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.


Cloverdale to Napa

63.8 miles: 1 hours, 38 minutes

Courtesy of Solage Calistoga

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.


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