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Thread: California Tour

  1. Default California Tour


    We are planning a California tour mid April. We will start in Reno NV (National Bowling Tourament). We will have 6 days of touring, we want to go through Napa Valley, the tall Redwoods and spend the last 2-3 days in San Francisco before flying out of San Fransico. Would like to get route ideas from Reno to Napa Valley, see the Redwoods in norhtern CA, and then down the coast to San Fransico. Thanks,

  2. #2


    I would highly recomend you head north on hwy 89 cutting thru the sierras. When you get to 36 head west until I-5 and head to Redding. You can stay in Redding or continue on to 299 to Eureka (on the coast). If you can, eat at the Samoa Cookhouse.

    Downtown Eureka is quaint and there is some lodging there in an old hotel-can't remember the name, but a friend always stays there. if you drive the main street it is easy to find.

    Next I would then head south on 101 and take a side trip to Fernbridge, a little town with victorian homes. The movie "The Majestic" with Jim Carry was filmed here.

    Then head down 101 and watch for signs for "The Avenue of the Giants" It is about a 30 mile drive through the redwoods. definitley nice if you have a convertable or at least a sunroof.

    As you jump back on 101 south when you get to Leggett jump onto Hwy 1 to the coast. Stop and visit Ft Bragg. There you can visit the historic Fort, Glass beach, and maybe ride the Skunk train

    After I would head south on Hwy1 to Mendocino. Kind of an Artists Colony. Nice place to stay the night, esp if you rent a beach cottage.

    The next day head south on Hwy 1 and head east on Hwy 128 ( a great road). It will take you right into the wine country and into Napa.

    I've driven all these and I think you will enjoy it. Have fun.
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 03-31-2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: New members may not post offsite links

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default I generally agree...

    But I think you're thinking about Ferndale, not Fernbridge.

    Yeah, a convertible is the best way to do Avenue of the Giants; here's mine sitting by the side of the road on a trip last year about this time; was preparing to lower the lid as the rain had just stopped.

    Photo: Don Casey

    Here's what on section of Avenue of the Giants looks like (shot taken from same spot as prior shot, just rotated a quarter turn to the left in the direction the 'vette is pointing).

    Photo: Don Casey

    That said, there ARE redwoods only 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, at Muir Woods National Monument.

    If you want to spend more time in SF and surrounds (like the Napa Valley and/or Monterey/Carmel), you COULD consider getting your Redwood fix at Muir Woods.

    Napa is an easy day trip from SF, although if you're going wine tasting you should make sure someone in the party either abstains, or only takes occasional sips from someone else's tastes. The wineries are used to this custom, so don't feel shy about saying your 'designated driver' will be sharing with you.

    If you're willing to spend 2-3 or more days on the road before hitting SF, the route in the previous post is a decent option.

    The hotel in Eureka refered to in the earlier post MAY be the Carter House Inn, a collection of old properties run as a B&B. Ferndale has a larger assortment of quaint B&Bs, and my wife and I much prefer Ferndale over Eureka.

    Also, the movie "Outbreak" with Dustin Hoffman was also filmed in Ferndale.

  4. #4


    Thanks for the corrections. Nice vette to cruise in. Someday i'm going to get a vette. I have a 97 viper gts, but it is not an enjoyable car to tour in. I've done 500 mile days in it, but it only gets about 12mpg because of all the mods. I think the vette is a a great all around car.
    Nowadays I cruise in a Lexus. Not the funnest car on backroads, but very comfortable.

    I personally like the idea of doing redwoods in marin if it means seeing Monterey. The OP didn't express any interest in heading south so I didn't plan for it.

    Happy cruising!

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