Sacramento to Sonoma Area Routing

Oct 23rd, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Sacramento to Sonoma Area Routing

Are there any good (fast/scenic) routes between Sacramento and Sonoma/Napa areas?

Would Rt. 80 west to 101 north be the best way? Road construction going on there?

How long would it take to get to Healdsburg from Sacramento, for instance?

We can probably spend part of a day in this area. Which would you choose -- Santa Rosa? Sonoma? Healdsburg, Muir Woods coastline, etc. ? Open for suggestions!

Maybe we need 2 days here instead of part of 1?
Dolores is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 07:37 AM
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Coming from Sacramento, there is no need to go to the 101 to get to Napa/Sonoma. But if you want to go to Healdsburg, that's probably the best way.

If you are coming from Sacramento and are just going for the day, forget about going all the way to Healdsburg. To get to Sonoma from Sac, take I-80 west, exit CA-12 and follow that into Sonoma. It takes around an hour to get there. Healdsburg would take you 2 hours.

Or you can go to St. Helena, Yountwille area by turning onto CA-29 (off CA-12) going through Napa and continuing north. Again, this is closer than Healdsburg.

I see you also mentioned Muir Woods and the coastline. You really can't all that in 1 day. I would make it two days, then I guess you could stay in the Healdsburg area for the night and head over to the coast the second day. But if you are only doing 1 day, go to Napa/Sonoma. I personally like Sonoma better.
paula1470 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Are you looking for winery recommendations? We visited Martin Ray in Santa Rosa. Free tour, free tasing, good wines, really nice people. Very nice property too.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Our main reason for going there is the vineyards scenery, not the wine. A winery in a pretty area with a pleasant restaurant would be a nice plus.
Dolores is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Thank you for that great routing info, just the type of thing I was hoping for. And I've heard others say they prefer Sonoma also.

If we left there about 2 or 3 pm, could we easily get to Lake Tahoe by early evening?

Any interesting/different restaurants on Rt. 50 between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe?
Dolores is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 11:08 AM
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If you left Sonoma around 3 you may end up stuck in commute traffic in Sacramento.

If you left Sonoma at 2 you'd get to Tahoe in time to have a fabu dinner up there. Like Evans which I just enjoyed last month for the 1,000,000th time. Ok not that many but more than just a few!!!

Suzie is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 12:22 PM
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If what you want is vineyard scenery - there are beautiful vineyards much closer to Sacramento than Sonoma.

Amador county just east of Sacramento has amazing wineries and vineyard scenery. And it will be on your route if you are traveling up from Yosemite.

(BTW - Sac to Sonoma will will usually take more than an hour - count on around 90 minutes because traffic on I-80 can be pretty gruesome at any time)
janisj is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 12:48 PM
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There are also beautiful vineyards in the Delta, 20 min. from downtown Sacto.

MichelleY is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Were you also going to Yosemite?

You might consider going through the foothill wine country from Yosemite on your way to Tahoe. This way you'd be able to spend more wine tasting than driving. From Yosemite to Tahoe you will travel through some very nice areas that have great wineries. Just something else to consider if you have limited time.
Suzie is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Yes - MichelleY is definitely right about nice vineyards in the Delta and along the Sacramento River too. (And she is in the know about grape growing and wineries )

My suggestion was for one route up from Yosemite along hwy 49 through the Amador/Calaveras wine regions. But if you take the faster route up hwy 99 - you'd go through a whole 'nother wine region south of Sacramento.
janisj is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 07:21 PM
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If you want a fairly fast and more interesting drive from Sacramento to Healdsburg/Napa you need to take Hway 128 from Winters over to Hwy 29.
jamesr3939 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 07:27 PM
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yes - that is a more interesting route. But it takes a lot longer - especially if you get behind a truck or motor home. It can take forever . . .

But really, Dolores - are you planning this trip over to Sonoma on you way back from Yosemite? If so, there are several winery regions right on your route w/o having to drive all the way to Sonoma.
janisj is online now  
Oct 24th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Ok, with all your great answers, I'd say now Sonoma is out since we can see the sequoias and the pretty vineyard areas on the east side of Sacramento.
We have only 6 or 7 days and we'd like to fit these places in: Lk Tahoe, Yosemite (trees) and the vineyards on our return to Sacramento. We would pick up Rt. 49 just south of San Andreas,right?

Are all the vineyard sights possible from Rt. 49 or should we turn off on Rts. 4 or 88 ? I've read that the town of Arnold is interesting; are there other places like that in that area, too? How can I find out more about that area? Google the individual little towns?

Do you think 2-1/2 days in Yosemite are too much there? We wouldn't be doing any serious hiking, etc.

Thanks for your help. My first trip to California and I'd like to make it a good one.
Dolores is offline  
Oct 24th, 2008, 07:29 AM
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I'd stick to hwy 49 all the way north to Plymouth. There are other vineyard areas but a five mile loop from Plymouth on Shenandoah and Shenandoah School roads will take you past nearly 25 vineyards/wineries. And if you take short jaunts off those two roads there are even more.

Then you can take hwy 16 from Plymouth all the way to eastern Sacramento. Or look for Latrobe rd - it will connect you to hwy 50 at El Dorado Hills and then you'll have freeway into Sacramento.

2.5 days in Yosemite is very nice. You could use more but 2+ days is about right for non-hikers.
janisj is online now  
Oct 24th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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We aren't major hikers either - trust me, there is plenty to keep your attention in Yosemite for 2 days.
november_moon is offline  
Oct 24th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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If you want to do some wine tasting, I really like Healdsburg and the wineries around there. I prefer this area over Napa and Sonoma Valley. My friends and I have listed some of our favorite wineries and restaurants here:

But if you want to do something more nature-y, then hiking in Muir Woods or Mount Tamalpais would be a better bet. It all depends on what you like.

In terms of driving from Sacramento to the Sonoma area, it's pretty hard to make this a scenic drive. If you have time, you can take hwy 128 to Napa/Calistoga, and then take Mark West Springs road over to the Healdsburg area. 80 is your best bet if you want the quickest route.
julieland is offline  
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