A 9 days itinerary through the Northern California on the road.
Why go there? What to do and what to see? What stages do we have to consider? Where to sleep? And above all what do we have to expect?
These are the most frequent questions I was asked after my latest journey to the Golden State: a different path – unusual and very beautiful – among the Northern Coast, the Route 1 and the San Francisco Bay Area.
So, using at best the experience ran up during my previous travels to this state and the deep knowledge of all the places visited, I studied a complete itinerary to allow everyone who wants it to enjoy the best of the Northern California on the road.
All this without renouncing to anything, leaving from and arriving to the San Francisco Int. Airport or – in case of more advantageous flights – even from the San Jose Int. Airport.
A 9 days itinerary and about 1700km – with deepen links to click on to find out more about the single tours – to combine at your arrival or your leaving with at least 3 nights in (or near) San Francisco to be able to visit it extremely calmly, how it deserves.
Arrival at the San Francisco Int. Airport – usually late in the afternoon. Rental car collecting and stay overnight
[You can decide whether starting the on the road from the day after your arrival and delay the two days in San Francisco at the end of the tour or vice versa]
From San Francisco as far as Bodega Bay through the Sonoma County – 200km
From Bodega Bay as far as Mendocino, Mendocino County – 170km
From Mendocino as far as Arcata – 260km
Stages along the Hwy 101:
From Arcata as far as the Lassen Volcanic National Park – 300km
Leaving early in the morning through the Hwy 36 towards Reddings and then along the Hwy 44 to reach the Visitor Center of the Lassen Volcanic National Park to visit and explore the biggest dome-shaped volcano in the world.
Stay overnight in Shingletown.
From Shingletown as far as Oakland – 380km
A full day dedicated to the tour of Oakland. Here you find the complete itinerary.
Stay overnight in Oakland.
From Oakland as far as San Jose – 90km
From San Jose as far as San Francisco Int. Airport – 60 km
Stages through the futuristic and technologic Silicon Valley:
Planning and having this type of itinerary is extremely easy and above all it can be done by everyone, above all since the km – about 1700 for 9 days – are not so many for a road trip in the USA and the stages studied for every single day allow to cut the longest travel’s routes.
My tip: include the tour of San Francisco staying overnight in Oakland (with a remarkable saving about hotel and parking) or at the end of the on the road in order to be able to rest after quite a lot of road and so go around easily on foot and/or by the efficient transits, BART trains first of all.
The roads are all in very good conditions. The only more complicated stretch – because of the passage through the hills and the winding roads of the Shasta Trinity National Forest – is the Hwy 36 one, from Arcata as far as the Lasssen Volcanic National Park.
A (very) useful suggestion.
Always get informed before leaving about the conditions of the Route 1: during the rainy season the road is subjected to landslides. In case this occurs, long detours on the US5 are required (in this case it’s better to plan them in advance).