Drive time & route from Healdsburg to SFO

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Aug 19th, 2007, 11:25 AM
  #1
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Drive time & route from Healdsburg to SFO

I guess I have 2 questions here. 1st--We want to meander to some interesting places on our way up to Healdsburg from the airport. We're renting a house just outside of Healdsburg and can't check in until 4:00 but will be staying the previous night at an airport hotel. Suggestions for an interesting route?

Then, we have to check out by 11:00. If there is a 4:00 flight on a Sunday out of SFO, about how much time will it take with no stops to drive from Healdsburg to the airport? And, is there another intersting drive to take on the way down? I guess the main concern is to make sure we make it to the airport with at least an hour to spare. Only part of the group will be leaving on this early flight so details like returning the rental car don't need to be factored in. Thanks much for your help.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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The drive time when you depart will depend a lot on traffic on the 101 approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, but I'd allow 3 hours.
Northbound you can meander up Highway 101 through Point Reyes, Inverness, etc, and take the Russian River (Highway 12 East) route into Healdsburg, or go inland to Sonoma to take in the history and wine and then follow Route 12 to 101 and Healdsburg.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 08:32 PM
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SFO is a good 2 hrs from Hbg with little traffic. Sunday afternoon people return to the city from their weekends. Alow plenty of time to get over the Golden Gate...if you have extra time, do a drive around SF... I would guess the downtown area would not be busy on a Sunday afternoon.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Thanks much. I knew I'd get some help on this one. And, I'm glad I asked; someone in our group was estimating Healdsburg was about an hour away from the airport.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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We live next to the airport. In best circumstances, it takes us 1 1/2 hrs to/from Healdsburg (we have close friends there) This past weekend we were in Yountville (Napa Valley) with our neighbors. It usually takes us 1 1/2 - 2 hrs to get home in non-rush hour traffic. We returned Monday, but they returned Sunday, & it took them 3 hours to get to their home close to the airport.

If I were you, I would leave Healdsburg at 11, then drive into the City and spend some time at the south end of town - the Noe Valley would be perfect. That way, the unpredictible traffic & construction delays (GG Bridge, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Van Ness Ave, city traffic) won't impact you that much. In the Noe Valley you'll only be 15 - 25 mins from the airport.

Stu Dudley
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Aug 21st, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Thanks Stu. What is there to do in the Noe Valley? I've never heard of it.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 06:45 AM
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In a “nutshell” I think the Noe Valley has more interesting & unique shops, restaurants, and architecture than you will find in most “neighborhoods” in the City – certainly more than you’ll find at the Wharf.

There are many single family dwellings in the Noe Valley – perhaps a higher percentage than in any of the pre-earthquake areas (this excludes outer Sunset & Richmond areas). Many of these houses are Victorians – we lived in one on Jersey St.

I’ve read in both the SF Chronicle and the SF Focus Magazine that the Noe Valley is the best neighborhood in the Bay Area.

There are many very nice ethnic restaurants in the area. One of my two favorite Italian restaurants (Incanto) is located there, along with other more traditional Italian places (Bacco is just one). Just on Church St, there is a “noodles” restaurant that served me the best Paella I’ve had in the US. Across the street is a Italian seafood restaurant, farther down is one of my favorite Chinese places, a sushi restaurant, a middle eastern place, and a Thai restaurant. Also on Church there is Lovejoy’s Tea Room, which is perhaps the best English tearoom in the City – people flock from all over to have high tea there. On 24th St there are another twenty or so restaurants – French, Italian, sushi, Korean (on Castro), Calif cuisine (Firefly), a burger place (Barneys), Thai, Peruvian (Fresca), Chinese, and many “breakfast” spots.

The shops are just as diverse. There is a place that sells very interesting lunch boxes. There are houseware stores, antique shops, cookware shops, clothes, odds & ends, etc.

The Noe Valley is bounded to the south by 30th street, to the east by Dolores, on the west by Grandview and the hills leading up to Diamond Heights Blvd, and to the north by about 21st or 22nd streets. It is just south, and over the hill from the Castro.

Here is a “Walk in the Noe Valley” that I posted some months ago:

From downtown, take the J-Church and get off on 30th Street. Sit on the left side of the car (east side) to get a good view of downtown as you pass Dolores Park. It’s about a 20 min. ride once you are on the street car.

On the corner of 30th and Church, there is a great coffee shop - XO- with internet access, and very nice, clean restrooms. You can get a spot of breakfast or lunch there too.

Cross Church, and perhaps do a “once around” inside the small produce market across the street from XO. Walk north on Church. You will pass a meat market, Italian seafood restaurant, a Thai place, and a few others. On the corner of Duncan & Church is my favorite Italian restaurant - Incanto. Peruse the menu - it's a lot more creative & interesting than the normal Italian fare you find in the City. Head a block north & you will come to Erics - my favorite Chinese restaurant in this area. Kitty-corner is Amberjack Sushi. Somewhere on the west side of Church, there is an interesting antique shop called Pickled Hutch, and another specialty store selling odds-&-ends. There is also a store selling German specialties.

Cross over the street (towards the Sushi place), and continue to walk north on Church. You will pass an interesting pet store (anyone at home who might enjoy a treat?). On the corner of Church & 26th street is Chloe’s, my favorite place for breakfast or lunch – especially if it’s a nice day & you can sit outside. It’s quite simple, but very popular with the locals. A little further north is Fatouche (sp) – a mid-eastern restaurant. In the same block is Lovejoy’s tea room. It has a very beautiful interior and is quite popular - drawing tea crowds from the entire city. There is a Lovejoy’s antique shop across the street.

Proceed north on Church to 24th St. Head west (turn left) on 24th & walk along the south side. There are lots & lots of shops, cafes, and restaurants – I can’t possibly describe them all. On the south side of 24, there is a Starbucks – perhaps the only chain store in the Noe Valley (other than Walgreens, & a few banks). Fresca is a Peruvian restaurant that opened up a few months ago. Le Zinc is a very nice French restaurant. When you get to Castro, turn left & walk up the block. There is a kitchen store along the way & also a Korean Restaurant. Cross the street at Jersey (1 blk south of 24th), and head back north towards 24th on Castro. There is a Sushi place, and a paint your own ceramics store. On the corner of Castro & 24th is an Deli/Ice Cream store. Turn left from Castro onto 24th, and walk past two restaurants, a mystery bookstore, a bicycle shop, and another very small Chinese restaurant. Continue west till you come to Douglas. Cross the street to the small playground & look around. Head back east along 24th St. You’ll pass Firefly – a very nice restaurant that’s kinda out-of-the-way (We have dinner there quite often).

Continue east on 24th & you’ll encounter more shops, restaurants, café’s etc. Lots of interesting places to stop. When you get to the east side of Diamond St, walk a ½ block north & check out Bacco, an Italian restaurant. On the corner of Diamond & 24th, there’s a café with outside tables – this seems to be a popular meeting place in the morning for moms with strollers. There is a burger place along the way on 24th (between Castro & Diamond St) that has nice outside seating. Continue east on 24th. Between Castro & Noe street, there is a real estate office owned by perhaps the only Republican in the Noe Valley – you’ll know it when you get there. Lots of pictures of Ronald Reagan in the window & other placards proclaiming the “looney-ness” of other Noe Valley residents. I moved to the Noe Valley in ’75, and that real estate office was there then – I guess he likes the “loonies” in the Noe Valley enough to want to stay there. All the artifacts in the window are interesting to read. Someone “defaced” his storefront a few years back, and all the “loonies” were quite outraged that someone would do such a terrible thing, and many pitched in to clean the place up.

Continue east on 24th till you get to Church where you can hop on the J-Church & head back to where you came from.

If you want to see Victorian houses, just stroll the east/west streets between Church & Diamond Streets, and between 23rd & 30th. There is a nice set of matching stick style Victorians about 3/4th the way up the street on 27th to the west of Church – on the south side of the street. Eric’s restaurant on 27th & Church is a Victorian above the restaurant. This will also let you see where the “locals” live. We enjoy wandering in this area after dinner, watching the people come & go or having an evening in front of the TV or guests over for dinner (not a lot of draped windows).

Stu Dudley
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Aug 21st, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Wow, Stu, what a report on Noe Valley - we lived on Sanchez (across from the Rec Center) before we moved to the 'burbs. 24th Street was where we hung out. It's a great neighborhood.
 
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Aug 21st, 2007, 09:58 AM
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We lived on Jersey - directly across from the Library. Our daily jogging route took us by your house on Sanchez. The rec center is currently undergoing a complete overhaul.

You wouldn't believe the number of restaurants on Church between 29th & 30th - it's kind of a "gourmet getto" now. New Indian restaurant is going in where a French Bistro was, and there is also a Sicilian restaurant on 30th where a pizza place was.

Stu Dudley
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Aug 21st, 2007, 12:22 PM
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WOW!!! What a great response about the Noe Valley. It does sound interesting! Now, for one more question. We'll have a car and be coming in from Healdsburg. How do we drive to this area? How do we drive out of this area to get to the airport?

And, Stu, if you don't mind, since you are comparing this neighborhood to others, can you give me a recommendation for another interesting neighborhood to while away some time? I'm not a huge shopper but prefer interesting residential architecture and parks, ethnic restaurants/shops etc., and I like to walk.

At the start of this trip I'll be landing at SFO at 11:00 am and have an entire day to do as I please. I will be taking BART from the airport to wherever I spend the day and at the end of the day taking BART back to an airport hotel for an overnight before departing for Healdsburg. I think I might like to revisit Chinatown (it's been 15 years) but in addition to that am open for suggestions. Other than thinking I'd like to be back to the hotel by 9:00 or 10:00, I am totally open. Thanks again.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 12:51 PM
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I say you might consider lunch in SF in the Marina or cross the birdge and have lunch in Sausalito or Mill Valley.
Check out A16 for lunch in the Marina or consider Angelos or Buckeye in Mill Valley for lunch. We love the walk out Tennesesse Valley Rd. (check it out on GG National Recreational Site). The walk will be very close to The Buckeye.


After that you might be 1 hour from Healdsburg. Have dinner one night at Ravenous. We love it AND RESERVE!
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Aug 21st, 2007, 12:52 PM
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>>We'll have a car and be coming in from Healdsburg. How do we drive to this area?<<

Easy - as soon as you get off the GG Bridge then on to Lombard (follow the signs to Lombard), look for Divisadero St (1st or 2nd block after you're on Lombard). Turn right in Divisidero & keep goint straight. Divisadero will "flow" into Castro (bear left - follow the traffic). As soon as you cross Market St - wou'll be in the Castro District. Keep going till you hit 24th St & you'll be in the Noe Valley.

>>How do we drive out of this area to get to the airport?<<

Even easier - Take Cesear Chavez St (between 26th & 27th St) east stay in the right lane, and just past a gas station, there is an entrance to the 101 freeway which goes to the airport. About 20 mins from Church St & Caesar Chavez to the airport - but plan on 35 mins in case there is heavy traffic.

>>And, Stu, if you don't mind, since you are comparing this neighborhood to others, can you give me a recommendation for another interesting neighborhood to while away some time?<<

When you're on Divisadero, turn right on Broadway & continue west till it ends. This is Pacific Heights. You'll pass the homes of Larry Ellison (real wierd house), Gordon Getty, and where Broadway dead-ends - Diane Feinstein.

>>At the start of this trip I'll be landing at SFO at 11:00 am and have an entire day to do as I please. I will be taking BART from the airport to wherever I spend the day and at the end of the day taking BART back to an airport hotel for an overnight before departing for Healdsburg. I think I might like to revisit Chinatown (it's been 15 years) but in addition to that am open for suggestions. Other than thinking I'd like to be back to the hotel by 9:00 or 10:00, I am totally open. Thanks again.<<

Take a Free San Francisco City Guides walking tour. City Guides is sponsored by the public library

See www.SFCityguides.org

My wife is one of the volunteers on the two Victorian House walks - but we'll be on vacation for a month later this week, so she won't be one of the guides for a while.

Stu Dudley



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Aug 21st, 2007, 01:16 PM
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When you're on Divisadero, turn right on Broadway & continue west till it ends. This is Pacific Heights. You'll pass the homes of Larry Ellison (real wierd house), Gordon Getty, and where Broadway dead-ends - Diane Feinstein.

As well as the house that was the University High School Designers' Showcase house this year, and is on the market for $55.0 million!
 
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Aug 21st, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Julies, you may want to read this:

<url>http://www.sfgate.com/traveler/guide/sf/neighborhoods/
 
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Aug 21st, 2007, 02:15 PM
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We just ate at Mi Linda Yucatan restaurant on 24th St. last night. It is inexpensive but a cut above the standard Mexican restaurant in terms of quality. I had their mixed appetizer plate for $10, and that was enough as a meal.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 02:23 PM
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For meandering to Healdsburg, I would go to the top of Mt. Tam for a view of the Bay Area. Then I would go back down to the intersection (the Mt. Tam road itself dead-ends at Mt. Tam) and continue north (to the right instead of going toward SF) and then stick to whatever road is on the left. You will eventually find yourself on Highway 1 between Stinson Beach and Bolinas. Go north on Highway 1 to the Russian River and then follow the Russian River to Healdsburg. This will take all day, especially if you decide to walk around the summit of Mt. Tam (45 minutes) and perhaps stop in Bolinas and in Point Reyes Station (you'll have to eat somewhere).
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Aug 21st, 2007, 08:37 PM
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The restaurant is Mi Lindo Yucatan.
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