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Route assistance

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Atlanta, Georgia
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Route assistance

We will be traveling from Calistoga , Napa Valley to Santa Cruz and want to drive the most scenic route ...we would love to see some redwood trees, maybe go through Muir woods ...what advice can you give for a delightful journey to go south of San Francisco from Calistoga .

San Francisco
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1. Re: Route assistance

Take Highway 37 to Highway 101 and over the Golden Gate Bridge, Drive through SF via Park Presidio Blvd./19th Ave to Highway 280S. You have the option of taking Highway 1 all the way to Santa Cruz or staying on I280S (which is also scenic but not coastal) to Highway 17S. Highway 1 will be perhaps 30 minutes longer. But that section of Highway 1 is not winding, it's 2 lane road but the lane and shoulder are wide and the road fairly straight.

Muir Woods. Unless you get there early you will have a parking situation. Either you'll be parked 1-2 miles away on the side of the road (the lots at Muir are small) or you will be forced to park at the freeway and take the shuttle up the hill.

Since you're going to Santa Cruz you might be better to see redwoods at Henry Cowell State Park which is very close to Santa Cruz.

You will be crossing the GG Bridge in the toll direction. Here is info on how to pay the cashless tolling: goldengate.org/tolls/rentalvehicles.php

Edited: 08 July 2014, 15:54
Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
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2. Re: Route assistance

Follow White Dahlia's directions and decide whether you would like to drive down the coast or take the beautiful 280 freeway and come across the coast range on Hwy 17.

If you want the coastal route you can either take the Pacifica exit from Hwy 280, or go further on 280 to the Half Moon Bay exit, Hwy 92.

If you decide to continue on the freeway, watch for the exit to Hwy 85, and then for Hwy 17. This goes over the coastal range for about 10 miles of winding, and then goes into Santa Cruz on freeway.

Here is a traveler article about Santa Cruz, which includes a link to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, among other things. Then let me know if you want other suggestions, like help with references for lodging, etc.

Muir Woods is lovely, but is being loved to death, with tour buses and parking problems and crowds. I, frankly, think that if you have never seen redwoods you would be better off in a quieter environment. As long as you are going to be in Santa Cruz, Henry Cowell fits in for you, I think. Only 7 miles from Santa Cruz and not crowded.

http://tinyurl.com/cy7nl3c

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Route assistance

Thanks so much...I will skip Muir woods. Good info about the toll road.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Route assistance

I certainly will go to Crowell state park...really don't want to deal with tour buses. Great directions given.

5. Re: Route assistance

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