Where should I drive the Tesla south of San Francisco?
October 27, 2017 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Great advice from everyone on a drive with a Tesla north from SF last year, let's go south this year. Where would you drive a Tesla 90D from 8am-9pm south of San Francisco?

Lots of the time will be driving, which is the point of renting the car. However, I wouldn't mind a few stops for food and/or photography. In the past I drove from SF to Santa Cruz with a stop in Half Moon Bay. Interested in possibly going farther south this time.

Ideally a scenic drive is nicer but I don't object so some highway. Drive to halfmoon bay down the 1 was great a couple years ago. Not sure if the road stays non-scary or not - not a huge fan of roads with huge cliff drop offs 2 feet from the road surface (think of some of the roads around Lake Tahoe). Drop if fine, just not scary close to winding road.

Looks like a good number of Superchargers - anyone especially good? Where I could walk around and check stuff out while car charges?

Lastly - if you think I am nuts and should head east instead of south let me know and tell me why.

posted by UMDirector to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (6 answers total)
In addition to highway 1, Skyline (35, iirc) runs north south along the peninsula and is pretty. Highway 84 west of Skyline is a favorite of mine. Lots of redwoods and quirky towns like La Honda.

If you pick up Skyline in San Francisco, you could take it down to 84, then take 84 out to San Gregorio or Pescadero on the coast. Then head south on highway 1 toward Santa Cruz. That’ll have you skipping the steep drop off sections of highway 1 between SF and half moon bay.
posted by Doc_Sock at 6:48 AM on October 27, 2017

1 south of Santa Cruz is beautiful. It's ordinary for a while (and sometimes very crowded right south of Santa Cruz) but once you get to the dunes around Monterey, and south to Point Lobos, it's wonderful.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:50 AM on October 27, 2017

Heading south you'll be driving into the sun, so big trees are best for heading south, open vistas for heading north. Sooo...
Zip 280 to 92, hop on to Canada road and go to the Pulgas Water Temple for a quick visit. Back north to the 92, exit Skyline, head south to the 84, head west - cool open space preserves here and south of the 84 on Skyline. SkyLonda has provisions. 84 west to Pescadero Creek Road west out of La Honda down to Pescadero - cool parks in this area. In Pescadero take Cloverdale road past Butano State Park. Pescadero has provisions. Cloverdale hits the 1 - head south to Swanton Road which is a horseshoe back to Hwy 1. From there I'd head south to Davenport because I like it - it has provisions too. Then you could head south and up in to the mountains if you like wineries, or you could north on the 1 - definitely hit up San Gregorio and the general store just inland on the 84, and stop at the Crab Shack in Princeton by the Sea. The surf break Mavericks is out beyond the radar dish but for the best view you'll want to approach it from the north. Just driving that's probably 4 hours of car time, but there are tons of places to stop and enjoy nature and cute little towns.

Google says only 3 hours, so you could complete the trek in to Santa Cruz.
posted by mrzz at 10:08 AM on October 27, 2017

Okay- that's the parks and big trees version not going south of Santa Cruz. More farther afield (which is what you asked for - sorry bout that got excited with the possibilities) - I love Hwy 25 out of Hollister, then back across the 198 to the 101, up a bit on the 101 to Greenfield and then up and over through Carmel Valley to the ocean and then back from there. I know much less about the nooks and crannies of this area, but it'd be a beautiful drive - except for the 1.5 hours to get to Hollister.
posted by mrzz at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2017

If the weather is clear, you can get some beautiful East-facing views of the Bay Area by taking Page Mill Rd. starting west off of 280 and going up into the foothills. When I lived in Palo Alto this was one of my favorite drives to do at night—it's quiet and peaceful, and you can see the city lights of the Peninsula below. Following Page Mill will eventually connect you with CA-35/Skyline Blvd. Past CA-35 it turns into Alpine Rd. which you can take to CA-84 or Pescadero Creek Road and then all the way out to the coast. 35 and 84 are both fun, scenic daytime drives—lots of twisty parts but not so many sheer drop-offs like CA-1 by the water.

On weekend days with good weather you will have other recreational drivers as company, but people are generally polite. Watch out for cyclists during the daytime and for deer in the road at night.
posted by 4rtemis at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2017

The only issue with heading south is that SF is at the north end of the 'bay area'. It takes a while to leave the bay area behind if heading south. My first rec above keeps you on the peninsula but in lots of pretty off the beaten track areas on smaller (though good) roads - no super steep drop-offs that I remember. The 1 south of Devils slide is pretty tame all the way until south of Monterey iirc.

Instead of heading west on the 84 right away, you could lengthen your drive by taking skyline further south to Castle Rock state park or some such, and then backtrack and pick up the route--- or continue all the way into santa cruz environs and take my above rec north.

Another interesting option for some would be to head into the delta lands - driving levee roads is pretty neat (for some) and it feels a world away from the city. It takes about an hour of decent driving through Walnut Creek to get to them, but it's a strange, flat, area. Unfortunately I have no real recs of cool little spots.

With the recent fires, I wouldn't head north unless you stuck specifically to the coast (well, maybe take 101 then up through Fairfield to Olema - that'd save you the Stinson beach windy why 1 road that takes forever).
posted by mrzz at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2017

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