|Subject: Re: a trip to San Francisco and surroundings|
Hi Ziners and San Francisco lovers...
We lived in Pacifica and Daly City, just outside San Francisco, for sixteen years, which meant we had to deal with quite a few friends and relatives visiting us. I had a kind of stock tour I took them on in our minivan.
Starting early, first I headed across the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping at the scenic overlook at the north end.
Then I exited US-101 at the next off ramp. At the bottom of the ramp turn left under US-101, then do a left and right onto Conzleman Drive. This takes you up along the hills of the Marine Headlands north of the Bridge. The road climbs higher with incredible views until you are at a point where you can pull over and have a view of San Francisco from OVER the Bridge; this is a calendar quality photo op which is even better if there is some fog which is not higher than the Bridge. and doesn't reach SF.
At the high point of the drive, the road turns one-way. Take the one-way, which is kind of a white-knuckle drive. Then find your way to the bottom of the valley and take the road there eastward to Eight-Minute Tunnel. The tunnel is one way, and the direction changes every eight minutes.
Once through the tunnel find your way back onto US-101, but exit at Mill Valley, following CA-1, the Shoreline Highway. Hopefully it's still early, and you can get to Muir Woods before the day's crowds arrive. If you're very lucky you may find a parking place in the upper parking lot. Spend an hour or so at Muir Woods.
Leaving Muir Woods, drive down the hill to reconnect with CA-1. Follow it to Stinson beach and find a place to have an early lunch, sitting outdoors on a patio.
Continue to drive north to Point Reyes entrance and visitor center at Olema. Take the earthquake loop walk.
Meanwhile, reflect on the fact that the San Andeas Fault created the valley CA-1 passes along as well as Bolinas Lagoon behind Stinson Beach.
Back on CA-1 turn north to Point Reyes Station and turn onto the Petaluma-Pt Reyes Road. This takes you across rolling dairy country and past Lake Nicasia.
Continue on to Petaluma and find CA-116, the road to Sonoma.
Drive to Sonoma; this is just a bit tricky near Sonoma and it would help if you had a map. You want to get on CA-12 north into downtown Sonoma. CA-116 will take you to CA-12 just fine but by a slightly out of the way routing. A map may show you a shortcut.
As you drive north on CA-12 you will see a tourist-trappy place called Traintown. It's actually rather fun in an old fashioned tourist trap way, and worth a visit.
Further north on CA-12 you will reach Sonoma's town square, which is fun to walk around. The ice cream shop may still be there.
Then follow the signs to the Sebastiani Winery. Sebastiani isn't the world's greatest wine, but it's tolerable, and they have a nice winery tour and tasting bar.
>From Sonoma you can drive south on CA-12 and CA-121 to reach CA-37 and take it west to US-101 for the return to SF, taking you back into the city after a long but pleasant day.
Regards, Dave Tucson AZ