Most people think of San Francisco, California, as the country’s thriving cultural and commercial center.
When one thinks of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz Island instantly come to mind. San Francisco, on the other hand, is brimming with spectacular natural wonders and gorgeous settings.
Driving through and to these locations is one of the best ways to indulge your adventurous side while immersing yourself in nature. Safe driving is a must during these kinds of scenic trips and focus is crucial. You should not only focus on your driving, but you should also be aware of the other road takers.
Drivers can get distracted for various reasons, e.g., grabbing a bite while driving to save some time, lighting a cigarette, talking on the phone, or texting. Accidents happen anytime and anywhere, and all we can do is drive as safely as much as we can.
Being involved in an accident is no fun. It will be affecting everything from medical bills to vehicle repairs to lost productivity due to downtime. If such things happen, remember that you should not go through the ordeal alone. Remember to get in touch with the best San Francisco injury attorney. Seeking legal assistance can help you get the compensation that you deserve while recovering safely from your injuries.
If you’re thinking about taking a beautiful drive around San Francisco on your next vacation, here are 10 of the most scenic drives in and around San Francisco, California. Check them out before your next vacation to the area, and have a safe trip!
1. The Bohemian Highway In Sonoma County
The Sonoma County Bohemian Highway will take you past areas of redwood woods, down to Freestone, California, and into some desert scenery. This is a less-traveled stretch of road for tourists, but it is still a terrific way to see California’s unique redwood trees.
The Bohemian Highway is now home to a distinct and soulful community of artists and environment enthusiasts. Organic farms and wineries, specialty nurseries, and cutting-edge restaurants and boutiques can all be found here. It’s also a great starting point for great outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, zip line, and more.
This tour of the picturesque communities along this 10-mile stretch begins in the north and ends in the south. Still, you can easily reverse the direction based on your itinerary and nearest starting location.
2. Muir Woods To Mt. Tam via Panoramic Highway
Muir Woods is a national park in California. The Panoramic Highway to Mt. Tam is ideal for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy the vistas of towering Redwood trees as you drive through Muir Woods. Admire the variety of ferns and other creatures that may be seen near Fern Creek. Ascend Mt. Tamalpais, stopping to view the magnificent meadows along the way. Finally, finish your tMuir Woods National Monument tour, a memorial to the famed naturalist and explorer John Muir.
As far as redwoods go, Muir Woods’ trees aren’t very large. The park’s tallest trees are only around 250 feet tall, or roughly two-thirds the height of the tallest North Coast redwoods. The park also lacks the luxuriant appearance of the best old-growth redwood groves. If you have a full day to devote to the redwoods, try visiting Big Basin, a 2-hour, 70-mile trip south of San Francisco. The redwood parks to the north are even more spectacular.
This section includes several treks in Mt. Tamalpais State Park, which encompasses Muir Woods and borders the rich suburbs of Marin County. The park is immensely popular with locals and offers spectacular mountain and ocean views, as well as some of its own old-growth redwoods. While Muir Woods appears to be entirely old growth, most lower Mt. Tam State Park is covered in relatively young second-growth redwoods. Redwoods give place to chaparral and sweeping alpine meadows at higher elevations. In general, the greater the view is, the further north you go within the park.
3. Berkeley Hills (Wildcat Canyon Rd)
There are numerous lovely drives in and around Berkeley Hills. The path along Wildcat Canyon Rd, on the other hand, stands out for being not only easily accessible and relatively shortMuir but also quite scenic. Drive through Tilden Regional Park to see towering redwood trees and trickling streams. Stop at Inspiration Point to take a photo of the gram.
The Berkeley Hills are delimited on the west by the major Hayward Fault and the east by the minor Wildcat Fault. Grizzly Peak and Round Top, both extinct volcanoes, are the highest summits, as is William Rust Summit (1,004 ft) (306 m).
4. Pacifica To Santa Cruz (Highway 1)
The gorgeous route 1 trip from Pacifica to Santa Cruz is highly recommended for a leisurely midnight drive. As you ride along the seemingly unending highway, take in an endless sea of stars in the sky. Santa Cruz is also an excellent driving destination. Soak up the rays while gazing out at the endless stretches of the pure blue sea. Visit the world-famous Santa Cruz Wharf and the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.
If you want breathtaking views, the Pacific Coast Highway is the best route in the United States. Every bend reveals jaw-dropping views of the ocean and rock cliffs. Stop and have a walk with the massive Redwoods.
It is deservedly regarded as one of the world’s best road drives. This is a beautiful journey, especially through Big Sur, where the Santa Lucia mountains plummet into the sea. The surf and wind constantly pound the rocks and shore below, bending the native cypress trees into surreal shapes.
5. Marin To Point Reyes Lighthouse (Sir Francis Drake Blvd)
For the past 91 years, Marin County’s principal east-west route has been known as Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. This old overland road, originally known as the Olema Road or a version thereof, has enabled the journey of Indigenous peoples, missionaries and rancheros, pioneers and dairy ranchers, tourists, and even commuters. This major street begins east at Highway 580 near San Quentin State Prison and ends at the Point Reyes Lighthouse. It is 43 miles long and has two lanes except for Greenbrae, Kentfield, and San Anselmo.
Marin County is rich in natural beauty, walk along the beach or hiking through rivers and streams.
There will be something fun to do outside with your friends and family. Begin your journey in Marin County and travel down the coast past jagged, rocky cliffs to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Finish your journey with stunning photographs of the famed Point Reyes Lighthouse set against the dramatic backdrop of crashing surf.
To reach Interstate 580 just west of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge from the Point Reyes Lighthouse, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard runs for 43.8 miles east-west across Marin County.
6. Stage Road To Pescadero
Stage Road To Pescadero is an excellent bike route surrounding San Francisco. Still, it is also a gorgeous driving route worth exploring while on vacation in San Francisco. As you drive past Memorial County Park and Sam McDonald County Park, take in the breathtaking views of the rolling hills and gorgeous woodlands. This route is less popular with visitors, but it is a well-kept secret among local drivers.
Pescadero is a New England town on the coast. The ancient frame buildings and steepled churches reflect the town’s pioneer Yankee heritage. At the same time, today, Pescadero is home to individuals of numerous cultural backgrounds. A stroll through Pescadero will remind you of little communities all over America. Residents and visitors alike are served by a few eateries, food stores, and a hardware store. But there is a distinction. Instead of a Main Street, Pescadero has a Stage Road that runs through the town. Two miles south of Pescadero, legendary resort hotels and Pebble Beach were accessible by stagecoach.
While riding in either way can be pleasurable, the best route is counterclockwise to get great help while traveling down the coast due to the prevailing breezes. Otherwise, driving north on Highway 1 might be a hassle. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, the vistas from the west side of the highway are nicer.
7. Shoreline Highway To Stinson Beach
The Shoreline Highway to Stinson Seaside trip takes you through small beach settlements, lush green hills, and rolling fog. Inhale the salty sea air while admiring the panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean. On your way, take in significant attractions such as the Live Water Surf Shop, Stinson Beach Market, Village Green Park, and, eventually, Stinson Beach itself. Parkside Cafe serves hearty American fare in a picnic setting on lush green grass.
Stinson Beach (the beach) is a huge public beach located in Stinson Beach, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s a popular weekend hideaway in Marin County, roughly an hour north of San Francisco. Stinson Beach is a fantastic site for beachcombing, especially in the winter and around morning low tides.
8. Skyline Boulevard (State Route 35)
Skyline Boulevard (Route 35) is a forty-minute journey from San Francisco along a mountainous route that connects the San Mateo Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean. You will be treated to magnificent views of the great blue ocean, as well as easy access to hiking and mountain biking trails if that is your thing. Many wayside restaurants, such as Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside, Mountain House, or the Bella Vista, are excellent places to refuel before continuing on your journey.
Turn left onto Skyline Boulevard when you reach the top. You’re now on a winding road that takes you through several spectacular views before passing into a lovely wooded region. As a bonus, it’s only a half-hour commute to downtown San Francisco and just a few minutes from Silicon Valley’s highways, which makes it even more impressive. But let us not dwell on that for the time being.
Keep in aware that Skyline Boulevard is a popular destination for bikers. You’ll be sharing the road with a fair proportion of road warriors, especially on weekends. The region also has numerous excellent bike paths, even on the smallest of roads.
9. Highway 128 To Healdsburg
Highway 128 to Healdsburg is a meandering and scenic road along Sonoma County’s east border. Wander through numerous vineyards and stop at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, or the Locals Tasting Room for a wine tasting session. You can also stop at the Russian River for a swim or a bird-watching excursion.
Highway 128 winds its way from Sonoma County’s eastern boundary with Napa County to its northern border with Mendocino County. It provides a pleasant opportunity to experience Wine Country away from the regular rush and bustle.
This one-of-a-kind length of highway transitions from two-lane country roads on its eastern and northern ends to a four-lane segment connecting to Highway 101, Sonoma County’s main north-south thoroughfare.
10. 49-Mile Scenic Drive Through San Francisco
The 49-mile beautiful trip through San Francisco is ideal for first-time tourists who want to get a taste of the city in just two days. This route was designed in the early twentieth century and has been modified multiple times since then. It will take you through some of San Francisco’s most famous sights, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, and AT&T Park. On your way, you can also visit the San Francisco Zoo, the Asian Art Museum, and Fisherman’s Wharf.
The 49-Mile Picturesque Drive is a scenic road tour that takes in much of San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Downtown Association was established in 1938 to highlight the city’s primary attractions and natural beauty during the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.
This journey will introduce you to significant sections of San Francisco’s history while also allowing you to appreciate some fantastic beautiful vistas and visit the city’s highlights. Even if you have more time in the city (or even if you live there), it’s worth driving at least once to see everything San Francisco is known for, including a few hidden treasures like Mission Dolores.
If you want to see everything San Francisco has to offer while also bringing out your daring side, taking a drive through the city is one of the best ways to do so. Spend time bonding with friends and family while embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When planning your next San Francisco road trip, make sure to check out the top 10 most scenic drives in San Francisco. BeforeMuir you go!