The distance between San Francisco and Santa Rosa is roughly an hour without traffic. From Mountain View, it is about 2-hours with the drive to SF, the pass-through, and then the drive North.
For this particular trip we left on a Friday, which means lots of traffic… but I love the drive through San Francisco, especially when it’s done along the Skyline Hwy / Great Hwy heading towards Land’s End and with a child (which means I can use the HOV lane).
This particular part of San Francisco is windswept, covered in sand, and simply unique. It doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of a congested, busy, dirty American city; it feels like you are driving through a small seaside town full of charm and character. And, for this journey, we were able to watch hang-gliders float their way along the beach. Fort Funston National Park is a well known international destination for hang gliding.
Once out of San Francisco, the drive to Santa Rosa doesn’t have a lot of fruit stands like the drive South does. Rather, there is a different attraction along these roads: wine. Sonoma is wine country, which means miles and miles of vineyards, unique estates, grapes, Wine Tasting signs, and some of the most beautiful California scenery I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. This certainly makes the drive easier.
Once in Santa Rosa the first thing you notice is the plethora of Peanuts statues everywhere. Charles Schultz (the Peanuts creator) is from this city and for over 4-decades worked in his small workshop at One Snoopy Place.
Note: the photographer in many of these photos is La Niña.