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San Francisco Going South to North


AutoteacherSonny

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We are at Santa Cruz Redwoods RV park, Very nice and peaceful. Looking for advice on crossing the Bay area from the San Jose side to the North of the Golden Gate Bridge where we will stay to tour the San Francisco tourist sites. We are in a 21 ft C class. We have been told Ca Highway 880, 101, 280 and more but everyone says the traffic is awful. We will be on Ca highway 17 going North from Santa Cruz/Felton to the North side of the Bay. What is best way for an RV? Where is a park you recommend to get shuttle into San Fran? What is a go hop on hop off tour? Thanks for all!

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We stay at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds north of the bay on 101. It accepts Passport America, Good Sam, Escapees and others. Make sure nothing big is going on at the fairgrounds. Then drive to the Larkspur Ferry Landing near San Rafael on the north side of the bay. Take the Larkspur ferry across the bay passing Alcatraz and ending at the Ferry Building Marketplace east of Fisherman's Wharf. Make previous arrangements to pick up this excellent tour. It's a small van tour, not a big bus. It stops at all the highlights of the city and lets you look around and we had about a 1-1/2 hr. stop at the Japanese Garden. It also took us across the Golden Gate and had lunch in Sausalito. It was a very enjoyable full day and even our daughter, who lives in the area and has seen all of this, said it was great. It's a pleasant way to tour the city.

 

https://www.sanfranshuttletours.com/

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Take 17 north to 85, then west on 85 to I-280. Stay on I-280 heading north and take the 19th Ave/Highway 1 exit. GET INTO THE MIDDLE LANE and head north on 19th ave (also called Highway 1). Yes, there will be some traffic, but it is doable (we did it in a 37' motorhome). You will enter the Presidio, go through the tunnel and come out where Highway 1 joins Highway 101. Get in the right hand lane (it will be marked for Buses and RVs) and go over the Golden Gate Bridge (have camera ready). There is NO TOLL going north and once on the bridge it is an easy drive and a great view. A real Bucket List trip. The Santa Rosa Fairgrounds is PPA for one night only Sun-Thurs, IIRC. We always stay at the Thousand Trails park in Cloverdale which is at the north end of the Sonoma Valley. We've also stayed at the Napa Valley Expo Center which is in Downtown Napa, but it is pricey. Lots of RV parks, up and down both valleys. There is a PP park just north of Healdburg (Alexander Valley RV Park I believe) and lots of others in the valleys.

 

We've taken the ferry from Larkspur (free parking) to a baseball game (SF Giants) and back - - the ferry parks right in McCovey Cove and is waiting for you when the game is done. A really fun thing to do if you like baseball. Otherwise, take the ferry over and see SF. And of course both Sonoma and Napa valleys have HUNDREDS of small wineries to visit.

 

Barb

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From Felton, I suggest taking Hwy 1 north along the coast through Half Moon Bay to San Francisco. It will merge into 280 in Pacifica, follow 280 north and use the left 3 lanes to continue on Hwy 1 / 19th Ave through SF.

 

Highway 1 is a nice two lane road from Santa Cruz to S.F. Just check the weather before you leave and don't go if they're forecasting coastal fog. Devil's Slide at the north end used to be a bit of a nail biter, but it's been bypassed by a tunnel.

 

The Larkspur Ferry is a great way to get in and out of San Francisco. But even a 24 ft. RV won't fit in the Ferry terminal parking lot - you need to use your toad and leave the RV at the park if you want to ride the ferry.

 

Or bite the bullet and spend the extra money to stay a night or two at Marin Park in Greenbrae, just across the inlet from the ferry terminal. Instead of driving an hour each way from Santa Rosa (substantially longer during commute hours), you'll have either a 5 minute drive or a 15 minute walk from your RV to the ferry.

 

Then relocate to cheaper digs up by Santa Rosa or out along the coast. Lawson's Landing campground in Dillon Beach west of Tomales is a good base for seeing Pt. Reyes National Seashore and other coastal areas. Take East Washington Ave. in Petaluma, it becomes Bodega Rd, then Tomales Rd.

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Good advisement! Thank you all. We are at Marin RV park near the ferry. We do not have a toad. We came from the South on CA 17 to 85 to 280 and into SF got on 19th Ave and had no problems with traffic at 10 am today. We will stay here a few days and then on to Sacramento. We do appreciate all the help.

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