August 22, 2018 by: Gabi
California Road Tripping! Getting to the Albion River Inn via. Highway 1
They say that life is about the journey, not just the destination, but when it comes to driving up to the Albion River Inn from San Francisco, you can fully enjoy both. Most people choose the ride via Highway 101 because it takes significantly less time than taking Highway 1 the entire way. Using Highway 101 for your visit to the Albion River Inn takes approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes - while Highway 1, along the great coast, averages 5 hours and 9 minutes. So, with that being said, if your priority is making it to the Albion River Inn as fast as possible, then we would recommend the short route via Highway 101 (left image below). This way you will experience a wonderful drive through Anderson Valley Wine County, the Redwoods and a small stretch of the Mendocino Coast.
However, if time is not a concern, we highly recommend driving up Highway 1 for the entire stretch (right image above). It will take you more than 5 hours because you won't be able to resist stopping at one of the many charming coastal towns along the way. So, leave early in the morning and plan on taking the entire day just for the enjoyable drive.
We hope that you try the Highway 1 route at least once when you come up to visit the Albion River Inn. It's definitely worth the extra time. Below are some photos of the journey starting at the Golden Gate Bridge.
The first place we recommend taking a few minutes to stop and enjoy, is the Golden Gate Bridge vista location. If you take the first exit on the right after crossing the bridge, it will take you under the highway and up to the top of a cliff-side where you can park and take in the spectacular view.
Fresh Oysters anyone? Further north, right along the road and next to the bay, is Tomales Bay Oyster Co. You can imagine how fresh and delicious their oysters are, right? Tomales is one of the smaller businesses along the coast that provide fresh oysters. You will find the company's associates to be super helpful and friendly!
There isn't a dull moment during the 5 hour drive! As you can see, the winding roads are narrow and right along the cliff-side so this journey is not for those you have had a bad night's sleep and aren't very alert. Just be sure to be rested and ready to pull over for more experienced drivers. Photo Credit: MotorCyclist
Doesn't this make you want to just jump in the water and go for a swim?
Nothing says "California Road Trip" like a vintage red Dodge Dart loaded with wind-sailing gear.
A little bit more inland, you will drive past the most idyllic farm country with old barns and rolling green hillsides.
There isn't much that is more beautiful than the California Coast. Between the charming towns lining Highway 1 and the breathtaking rock formations, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty.
These cows are as happy as can be, grazing all day under the California sun.
When you start to feel like you aren't actually moving forward, pull over and take a look back at the windy road and the beautiful view and it will make every curve worth it!
The highway goes through stretches of beautiful cypress and pine forest that are simply magical!
This photo is of the Mendocino Coast close to Elk, only 15 minutes south of the Albion River Inn!
To get an idea of the last stretch of your journey to the Albion River Inn, enjoy this aerial video!
We hope that this post inspires you to explore more of California's North Coast. It is truly magical and worth taking the time to experience.
When it comes to driving up to the Albion River Inn from San Francisco, you can fully appreciate both - the journey and the destination.
We can't wait to welcome you! And if you have time-constraints, our next post will be on the best parts of the alternative route, Highway 101. So follow us on Facebook for updates and more!
See you soon,
The Albion River Inn