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Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

NYC
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Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

I am leaving in a few days for a trip to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California and am concerned about how long it will take for some of the stops en route. I was using an AAA triptik and so based my stops on their travel time estimates. We will be driving from Bandon, OR to Mendocino and want to arrive there around 4:00 pm or so. We would like to drive Rte. 101 and include a drive down the Avenue of the Giants. How long will the trip take, factoring in a meal and rest stops, plus some time to get out of the car and take some photos?

The other question is how long it will take to drive from Mendocino to SF with a stop in Bodega Bay (which I heard can take 4 hours just for that stretch of Highway 1 - don't know if that is accurate)? I was planning to take 1 into the Marin Headlands, but am willing to change my route if it will save a lot of time. We want to arrive in SF around 4:00 pm or a bit later.

San Francisco Bay...
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1. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

I think both trips are about 6 hours of straight driving. I would want to stop a lot for the views and pix. As long as the fog is offshore, this is about as good as it gets.

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

>>The other question is how long it will take to drive from Mendocino to SF with a stop in Bodega Bay (which I heard can take 4 hours just for that stretch of Highway 1 - don't know if that is accurate)? I was planning to take 1 into the Marin Headlands, but am willing to change my route if it will save a lot of time. We want to arrive in SF around 4:00 pm or a bit later.>>

4 hours seems too long from Mendocino to Bodega Bay, although you will be driving on Highway 1. Or did you mean 4 hours total to SF?

The problem is that there are some stops you might want to make....Fort Ross State Park, for instance, and a drive out to Bodega Head in Bodega Bay for great views of the ocean.

After Bodega Bay the highway goes inland and skirts Tomales Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore before coming back out on the way to the Marin Headlands.

You might consider, after Bodega Bay, going over to Hwy 101. Just don't take the right turn after Bodega Bay to coninue on Highway 1 and you will end up in, or near Petaluma on Hwy 101. 45 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge. When you approach it you can then get to the Marin Headlands, but somebody who knows will have to give you the directions for this from there. It might be a time saver......not sure.

There is an 8 mile stretch of coastal driving from Fort Ross to Jenner which rivals the Big Sur coast.

Enjoy.

NYC
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3. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

Do you think it is worth it to head over to 101 after Bodega? Would it save time as opposed to taking 1 down to Muir Beach Overlook? I would be willing to skip the Overlook if it will shorten the trip.

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4. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

We drove on 101 all the way from downtown SF to Mendocino. it took 3 hours. I just visited Muir Beach Overlook two days ago. It is truly a spectacular sight! I have driven on CPH from SF to Big Sur, and on CPH from Pacific City OR to Astoria OR, and I have been to the tallest Volcanoes and Mountains in all four islands in HI, but I found Muir Beach Overlook the most spectacular sight of all. Why don't you take 101 from Bodega Bay and go back on HWY 1 to stop by Muir Beach Overlook? From the Overlook, it's less than 20 minutes to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to SF.

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

Sorry I didn't see this message sooner. Yes it will save you a lot of time to go to 101 after Bodega Bay. The road goes inland from Bodega Bay to past Point Reyes and becomes very winding after that. If it were I, I would skip the overlook at Muir Beach and instead get the view from the Vista Point north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

6. Re: Driving to and from Mendocino, CA

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