Afternoon excursions from Monterey?

Discussion in 'California & Nevada (Northern)' started by Brian C. Stradale, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    Dallas, TX, USA
    While I have my Ferrari in Monterey, I want to experience the best of California roadways and scenery... and would like to visit some good wineries. I plan to get a lot of the car events done soon after lunch, leaving afternoons and evenings for some fun excursions.

    Highway 1 both north and south from Monterey are clearly on the list.

    But other than that, what's best and doable?

    I assume Napa/Sonoma is too far without investing a full day.
    Where's the best wineries south of SF?

    How about some redwoods? (I need a photo of my Ferrari in front of REDwoods!)
    How about drive-thru redwoods? Are those only way north?

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  3. leftcoastblurr


    Jul 7, 2004
    Left Coast USA
    Highway 1 south to morro bay is one of americas' best drives. Cambria is a nice place for shopping and eats. You can do part of it and turn around if time is an issue. Get gas before you leave Monterey.

    Stay off the guardrails, John
  4. 4i2fly

    4i2fly Formula 3

    Apr 16, 2004
    SF, Bay Area
    There are really no worthwhile wineries south of SF. Most are packed in Sanoma and Nappa. Redwoods are also way up north. But South of Monterey on Hwy 1 you can catch some highspeed twisties. If you go too far the road is too narrow and too windy like an autocross with lots of campers and tourist...becomes frustrating.
    If you travel north of Monterey on Hwy 1 and continue north after Santa Cruz you'll run into great stretch of highway 1 with excellent visibility and smooth roads, turn into 84 east towards La Handa, a nice midium speed twisties with smooth road. After 10 or 15 miles you will hit 35 (Skyline), at the corner is the famous Allice's Restaurant where all the bikers hang out with some large readwoods (donno if this is the same as Arlo Gathries???). Go north on hwy 35 another nice road and fantastic sceneries, ends at hwy 92 after a 10 mile stretch, go east on 92 and south on 280 (s to SJ, N to SF) for the most beautiful freeway in California. Wide, smooth, beautiful and high speed back towards San Jose. Or if yougo north you will be heading towrds SF.
  5. htran

    htran Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2004
    Full Name:
    P Quach
    To Brian, if you want to head up north from Monterery only for a 5-6 hours drive/tour, then Hwy1 N to Santa Cruz area checkout the S.C. boardwalk, then head up to 17N Los Gatos, this stretch of hwy have alot of nice twisste (mountain pass), but beware of CHP. Visit Downtown Los Gatos(3/5 scale of Ocean Blvd in Carmel), formerly Ferrari of Los Gatos and Testarossa Vineyards ( On the way back, take 85N/E to 101S. That will take you back to Monterey. Henry

    PS. Testarossa Vineyard will have a party open for FCA on Fri.8/20 following FCA event. The owner I have meet a few year back @ CI is a Ferraristi himself
  6. ART360

    ART360 Guest


    Make sure you have a V1 onboard and running on those roads.

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  8. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Certainly! V1 is hard-mounted... I don't leave home with out it!
  9. rivee

    rivee F1 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2002
    Nowhere important, USA
    Full Name:
    if you go south of Monterey down hwy 1 you will hit some redwoods in Big Sur. Keep going to Hearst Castle and Cambria. Then you can take Hwy 46 that takes you out to hwy 101 north of Paso Robles to a town called Templeton and lots of great wineries along the way there. Then back on to 101 north up the Salinas Valley
  10. pig4bill

    pig4bill Karting

    Dec 24, 2003
    Jeez, there are redwoods and wineries right there, almost next door to Monterey.

    Carmel Valley has a few wineries that are probably within 20-30 miles of the track. Just south of San Jose is the Almaden area, with several wineries. It's about 90 minutes from the track.

    For redwoods, Henry Cowell State Park is just north of Santa Cruz, less than an hour from the track. Highway 9 is a fun, tight road. The park has a walking path with various natural sights marked, almost like a museum. You can also catch an old-time coal-powered train there that snakes through the redwoods.
  11. Dave_Car_Guy

    Dave_Car_Guy Karting

    Apr 24, 2004
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    I have to agree with "4i2fly" and "pig4bill" suggestions:

    Hwy 35 (skyline Blvd) and Hwy 84, and Hwy 9 are some of the best roads in NorCal. I've driven cars and motorcycles on all of the coastal roads, but going North on Hwy 9 through Boulder Creek to Skline Blvd (Hwy 35) North through La Honda and 4 corners is the best I've ever experienced. Hwy 9 is more tight corners in some spots but many car nuts love it. But here's what I'd do: Take Hwy 1 North to Hwy 84 as 4i2fly suggests, turn east inland on Hwy 84 at Pescadero. From here to La Honda, Hwy 84 is all wide sweeper turns through ranch/farmland and is awesome with nobody in front of you. As you approach Skyline, Hwy 84 moves up the hills from the ranches into shady, deep redwoods with nicely banked tighter turns. Once you're at "Four Corners" (Alice's Restaurant and probably a couple hundred motorcyclists gathered there), you can go North on Hwy 35 or South. I'd go North for about 5 miles and then turn around. Again, great banked turns through beautiful woods. But I wouldn't go all the way up to get onto Hwy 92, as that road can be very busy and slow (frustrating stop and go) on weekends with people trying to get to Half Moon Bay. So, turn back south on Hwy 35 and take it to Hwy 9, then take that south into Santa Cruz and back onto Hwy south to Monterey. You can spend 3-4 hours on a drive like this but you'll never be bored. Faster trip would be to avoid Hwy 9 and come back down Hwy 84 to I-280 South to US-101 South, etc. I'd avoid Hwy 17 because traffic is nuts, the lanes (2 in each direction) are generally narrow, and the commuters who travel the road tend to get in lots of accidents (hence, the heavy participation of the good folks from the Calif Highway patrol).

    Good luck.
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