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Overnight between Mendocino and San Francisco?

Overnight between Mendocino and San Francisco?

Nov 6th, 2015, 03:09 PM
  #1  
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Overnight between Mendocino and San Francisco?

My husband and I are spending March traveling along coastal California from San Diego to the north coast. Skipping ahead to the last leg of the trip - we'll be coming from Sacramento and Sonoma, up as far as Ferndale, then heading south to stay in Mendocino for two nights. Ultimately, we need to end up in San Francisco to return the car and fly home. My question is this: I'm not sure how much time to allot for the drive between Mendocino and San Francisco. I realize it's not a huge distance in miles, but I would like to feel that we are leaving ourselves enough time to see the sights along this stretch of the road (and not end up driving in the dark to SF). We're not avid hikers (especially if there might be scary 'critters' in the woods!), but do love shorter 2-3 mile walks in good weather (which I know isn't guaranteed at this time of year). We're also big lovers of wine, and my husband loves beer. We have been in San Francisco twice before (one week each time), and had planned to spend 5 days there this time (with no particular agenda yet). Alternatively - question part 2 - is it worth taking one of those 'SF' days to overnight somewhere between Mendocino and SF? If so, where? Thank you so much for your help!
alhanson is offline  
Nov 6th, 2015, 03:25 PM
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Just time for a quick comment . . .

For a night between Mendocino and SF I'd stay here - https://www.timbercoveinn.com

I love the setting and the rooms
janisj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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Aside from the fabulous scenery, Fort Ross State Historic Park and Point Reyes National Seashore are the two main attractions between Mendocino and San Francisco.

The drive between the two places is four hours, without stops.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 03:10 AM
  #4  
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Thank you for all that information! Now, I think it will be a good idea to stop between Mendocino and SF. When you're just looking at a map, it's hard to decide that the right thing to do is give up a night/day in SF.
alhanson is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 03:26 AM
  #5  
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But sadly, Timber Cove Inn is already fully booked.
alhanson is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 04:36 AM
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Twenty years ago we gave up a night in San Francisco to spend a night in Bodega Bay. It was a mistake for us, but it might be the ticket for you.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 07:30 AM
  #7  
 
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There are some nice places in Bodega Bay. I'd probably look first at the Inn at the Tides. but there are at least 4 or 5 others.
janisj is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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If you checked on line, be sure to call Timber Cove. Always helps to call.
MichelleY is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 09:33 AM
  #9  
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Thanks. I just had a few things to do today, and then I was planning to call Timber Cove. It seemed strange that several months showed as already being fully booked, though it looks spectacular! One night wouldn't do it justice (and I'm guessing they likely have a minimum night's stay). So - the consensus (in this forum)is that we should give up a night in SF to spend more time in this area? (with the exception of HTtY - why wasn't it right for you?). I just want to avoid the feeling of "shoot - we really could have used an extra day south of Mendocino, insteading of driving right through to SF"
alhanson is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 09:54 AM
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If it is a weekend they likely do have a 2 night minimum . . .
janisj is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 10:24 AM
  #11  
 
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Sounds like you have decided to stay a night somewhere along the way - if you want to go a bit inland and through Anderson Valley Wine Country - I can highly recommend a place called "The Madrones" in Philo... Wonderful place and it is pretty much in the middle of Anderson Valley - some great wineries there - and Anderson Valley Brewery for beer (in Boonville) - lot's of nice restaurants as well.

Of course, this is provided you want to get away from the coast and go inland on 128. From The Madrones it is about a 3 hour drive (give or take? 30 minutes depending upon time of day and traffic) to San Francisco (have made the drive many times - fastest time is 2.5 hours and slowest was 3.75 hours)...
Perigrinator is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 10:49 AM
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We usually stay in Sonoma or Healdsburg when breaking the distance between Mendo and SF. Last year we stayed here and it was very nice, although not as walkable to restaurants as we would have liked:
http://www.gaige.com

In Healdsburg we love the Hotel Healdsburg, although its rates can skyrocket during peak times, and its sister property is the H2--haven;t stayed there, but it looks good. Love Healdsburg for how walkable it is, and its proximity to the Dry Creek AVA.

Everyone else's suggestions look great, too...
NewbE is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 05:11 PM
  #13  
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Thanks so much everyone! We will be coming from Sacramento and Sonoma, and heading north up Hwy 101 to Fernadale, so will see Healdsburg etc on that leg of the trip. Our goal is to stay on Hwy 1, if possible, heading back to San Francisco.
Interestingly, we were just at a dinner party and asked this question of people who had travelled this route. A few of them quickly said "I wouldn't give up a night in San Francisco!" Aargh!
alhanson is offline  
Nov 8th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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If going down the coast, Bodega Bay wold be a logical overnight stop. It has a Michelin recommended restaurant.
Michael is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 03:21 AM
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Thank you! I'll see what might be available there when I'm doing my 'travel research' today.
alhanson is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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I really appreciate all the responses - they have been so helpful for this part of our trip planning. We've decided to stay overnight in Bodega Bay, at the Bodega Bay Lodge (there was a special 30% off through a booking site). The only problem (for me, anyway) is that we have to find another place for breakfast. I have simple breakfast needs, and don't want to pay 'hotel rates' for cereal, toast and tea. Any recommendations?
alhanson is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 10:39 AM
  #17  
 
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I was going to tell you about a travelzoo offer that came out a day or two ago for the same property but it ended in Feb. Sounds like you got a good deal.

As for breakfast . . . Off the top of my head I can't think of another breakfast place other than the Inn at the Tides. . There is a coffee place that has pastries and such. I know a lot of places for lunch.

Here is the Inn at the Tides breakfast menu if it might be more to your liking

http://www.innatthetides.com/bpdocum...KFAST_JULY.pdf
janisj is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 12:39 PM
  #18  
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That sounds perfect! Thank you.
alhanson is offline  
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