This route follows a big chunk of Hwy 1 up the California coast heading north out of San Francisco all the way to Jenner. Just before Jenner, you’ll cut inland on the 116 and head through the redwoods and over to the back side of Sonoma Valley wine country. Head south out of Sebastopol to Rohnert Park and pick up the 101 back to San Francisco. Plan on spending a good chunk of your day on this route.
On a clear day, you’ll get sweeping views of the rugged coast, the Pacific ocean will change hues from blue green to steel grey, and small northern California towns like Stinson Beach, Pt. Reyes, and Bodega Bay (Alfred Hitchcock shot The Birds here) will make you want to stop and look around.
But there’s one thing you’ll need to watch out for. Bicyclists! They ride up and down the coast – sometimes solo, sometimes in small packs. Most do a good job of staying as far to the right as they can. But there’s only so much room for cages, motorcycles and bicycles on the narrower parts of Hwy 1. So riding fast is not an option. You’ll be too busy taking in the scenery and the smells of the ocean to want to.