HOW TO GET THERE

FROM SAN FRANCISCO/ OAKLAND BAY AREA

FROM SAN FRANCISCO/ OAKLAND BAY AREA

While going up Highway 1 up the coast to Gualala is always a beautiful drive, factors like a long drive time, car sickness and flooding during winter storms can make it a challenging route. if you would like an easier route, here is a local trick to getting to the Mendocino coast without all the challenge.  

Take Highway 101 north to through Novato and Petaluma and on to north end of Santa Rosa. Take the River Road exit by Sutter Health. Stay in the left hand lane on the off ramp. Turn left onto River Road and proceed west. Pay attention to the changing speed limits. You’ll pass through Forest Hills, Rio Nido and Guerneville, (your last grocery store stop until Gualala). After Guerneville, you’ll come to Monte Rio. Take the right fork at the stop sign and continue on through Duncan Mills. A few miles after Duncan Mills, you’ll take the right fork to Jenner, then follow Highway 1 up through Sea Ranch and into Gualala. Julie's Vacation Rentals is located in the heart of downtown Gualala in the Seacliff Center at Sea Ranch Gualala Real Estate next door to Trink's Café. Time from the Golden Gate Bridge is about 3:45.

FROM SACRAMENTO/ CENTRAL VALLEY AREA

Take I-80 West from Sacramento area, or I-580 to I-680 to I-780 to I-80 East from Central Valley. Exit I-80 at the Highway 37 off-ramp at Vallejo. Proceed west on Highway 37 to Lakeville Rd. (about 14 miles). Lakeville Rd. is the first stop light past the Sears Point Raceway. Turn right onto Lakeville Rd. and proceed north into Petaluma. Just past Baywood Drive take the Highway 101 on ramp and north proceed to Santa Rosa, then take the River Road exit. Stay in the left hand lane on the off ramp. Turn left onto River Road and proceed west. Pay attention to the changing speed limits. You’ll pass through Forest Hills, Rio Nido and Guerneville, (a great place to buy gas, snacks and get out & stretch). After Guerneville, you’ll come to Monte Rio. Take the right fork at the stop sign and continue on through Duncan Mills. A few miles after Duncan Mills, you’ll take the right fork to Jenner, then follow Higway 1 up through the Sea Ranch, and into Gualala. Julie's Vacation Rentals is located in the heart of downtown Gualala in the Seacliff Center at Sea Ranch Gualala Real Estate next door to Trink's Café. Travel time from the Sacramento is about 4:30.

NORTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY/ HIGHWAY 101 NORTH

Take Highway 20 west from Williams, passing along the north shore of Clear Lake, to Highway 101, north of Ukiah. Proceed south on Highway 101 toward Ukiah, continuing past town to the Highway 253 (Booneville Rd.) off ramp. Go west on Highway 253 to Booneville. Turn right on Highway 128, go through town (about 1 mile), then turn left on Mountain View Rd. Proceed west on this true mountain road to Highway 1 just south of Manchester. Turn left on Highway 1 and go south about 16 miles through Point Arena, and Anchor Bay and 3 mile further to the town of Gualala. Julie's Vacation Rentals is located in the heart of downtown Gualala in the Seacliff Center at Sea Ranch Gualala Real Estate next door to Trink's Café. Travel time from Williams is about 3:30; from Ukiah, about 2:00.

SCENIC ALTERNATIVES

  • The “I Can’t Get Enough of Highway 1″ Route:From Highway 101 at Corte Madera, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. westbound to Highway 1 at Olema. Turn right on Highway 1 and proceed toward Bodega Bay along the east side of Tomales Bay. Good sports car road, beautiful views, and great oysters. Adds 0:30 travel time. Note: This road tends to flood in Valley Ford past the town of Tomales, so if there have been heavy rains, please take another route. 
  • The “Good Life/Wine & Sports Cars” Route:From Petaluma, continue north on Highway 101 just past Healdsburg (about another 35 miles) to the Dry Creek Rd. off ramp. Turn left and go northwest up Dry Creek Valley toward Warm Springs Dam. Some of the finest California wines are made by wineries in this valley. Stop for a sip. There is a fish hatchery and visitor center at the base of the dam. Nice spots for picnics. Continue past the visitor center up the hill to Skaggs Springs Rd. and proceed west through the mountains a little over 20 miles to the Annapolis Rd. turnoff. Cross the old, steel bridge and continue westward through Annapolis and the Sea Ranch to Highway 1. Turn right and proceed to Gualala. This alternate works in the event of flooding on the Russian River or in southern Sonoma County. Add 20 minutes plus tasting time to travel this route.
  • The “More Wine & More Highway 1″ Route: From Petaluma continue north on Highway 101 about 54 miles to Highway 128, just north of Cloverdale. Catch 128 toward Boonville/Mendocino. Approaching Boonville you will enter the Anderson Valley with many wineries producing a wealth of superior white and sparkling wines. Try some. Continue northwest through magnificent redwoods to the coast. Turn left on Highway 1 at the Navarro River bridge and proceed south 31 miles along a dramatic stretch of coast, through the villages of Elk, Manchester, Pt. Arena, Anchor Bay and on to Julie's Vacation Rentals, located in the heart of downtown Gualala in the Seacliff Center at Sea Ranch Gualala Real Estate next door to Trink's Café. Add about an hour to your travel time.

WEATHER ALTERNATIVES

It is common for there to be local flooding in the bottom lands of Sonoma County during many winter storms. At the same time, a warm fireplace and a dramatic view of the roaring ocean can make this a memorable and romantic time to visit the coast. It is worth the effort to get out here. Don’t forget, our coast is used to getting lots of rain. Our roads are generally open or have good, safe detours. To get around areas that frequently flood we suggest:

  1. “Scenic Alternative #2″ (above) Local residents tend to carry chain saws in their pickup to clear trees that may fall across the road.
  2. “Our Little Secret”: From Petaluma go north on Highway 101 about 10 miles to the Highway 116 West off ramp at Cotati. Go northwest on Highway 116 to downtown Sebastopol. Turn left on Bodega Avenue (Hwy 12 intersection). Go west on Bodega Ave. to Freestone turning right on Bohemian Hwy to the town of Occidental. In the heart of town (known as “spaghetti gulch” for reasons that will be obvious) is a STOP sign. Turn left onto Coleman Valley Rd, climbing the hill. Travel on this one/two lane road though ranches, old farms, and tiny villages, till you come to a hilltop where you can see the ocean and miles of coastline. Pause, take your breath, then proceed down to Highway 1 north of Bodega Bay. Turn right on Highway 1 and continue up through Jenner to Julie's Vacation Rentals about 49 miles north.

Be aware, Caltrans and the Highway Patrol will frequently recommend that you not travel during stormy weather even though safe, alternate routes exist between your home and Julie's Vacation Rentals. We will not waive charges for late cancellations made when safe routes into our area are open on the date you are scheduled to arrive. We suggest that you call us if you are unsure of the best route to take, allow extra time for the trip, drive carefully, and enjoy the adventure.

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