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Miwok coast: hug the coast or take either of two inland alternatives.

* DRIVING DISTANCE: 156mi/250km

* DURATION: several days

* DON'T MISS: Bodega Bay, Sebastopol, Petaluma

* DID YOU KNOW: You can climb to the top of the Point Arena Lighthouse, whose beacon can be seen for 16 miles.

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SAN FRANCISCO. Start at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39, then take Hwy. 101 north across the Golden Gate Bridge to ...

SAUSALITO (6mi/10km). Visit the Bay Model Visitor Center or admire the waterfront houseboat community. Return to Hwy. 101 north, then take the Hwy. 1 exit west. On the way, you can detour to Muir Woods NM, a prime preserve of coastal redwoods, or continue north to ...

STINSON BEACH (14mi/22km). A great spot for picnicking on the beach and swimming. Three miles north, the Bolinas Lagoon Preserve sustains 25 fish species, attracting ospreys, heron, and diving ducks. Continue north on Hwy. 1 to ...

OLEMA (14mi/22km). Stop in at the Bear Valley Visitor Center for information about the 140 miles of trails to be explored at the Point Reyes National Seashore. If you are pressed for time, return to San Francisco via Sir Francis Drake Rd. and take the ...

DAY TRIP ALTERNATIVE

SAN RAFAEL (19mi/30km). As you head east, you'll drive through the San Geronimo Valley, Fairfax (home of incredible ice cream at Fairfax Scoop), and San Anselmo. In San Rafael, take Hwy. 101 south to ... SAN FRANCISCO (18mi/29km).

MAIN ROUTE

POINT REYES STATION (2mi/3km). From Olema, the next town north is a good place for a hearty meal or an overnight stay in one of the town's many B & Bs. The quiet community of Inverness is also worth a stop, and Tomales Bay SP lies 4 miles north of that. From Point Reyes Station continue on Hwy. 1 north, pass through Marshall, and drive on to ...

TOMALES (17mi/27km). Just before reaching Tomales, Hwy. 1 turns inland, then veers west again near pastoral Valley Ford. Continue west to ...

BODEGA BAY (15mi/24km). Hillside and waterfront lodgings and restaurants abound at this scenic fishing port. Campsites are available at Sonoma Coast SB. Drive north on Hwy 1 to ...

JENNER (11mi/18km). The village overlooks Goat Rock Beach, a sanctuary for more than 200 spotted harbor seals. High on a bluff overlooking the Russian River and Pacific Ocean is Rivers End Restaurant, which offers romantic views and exceptional fare. From here you can continue north up the coast on Hwy. 1 or turn east on Hwy. 116 to ...

SONOMA COUNTY BYWAY

GUERNEVILLE (13mi/21km). Rent a kayak or a canoe for a paddle on the Russian River. Then continue on Hwy. 116 to the apple-growing region of ...

SEBASTOPOL (14mi/22km). Stop in at California Carnivores for Venus Flytraps and other bug-eating plants. Continue south on Hwy. 116 to Cotati and Hwy. 101, or drive east on Hwy. 12 to ...

SANTA ROSA (7mi/14km). Visit the California Welcome Center in Railroad Square, then continue south on Hwy. 101 to ...

PETALUMA (17mi/27km). Tons of fun and hundreds of stickers await on tours of Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory. Take a self-guided tour of the 1800s iron-front buildings and Victorian homes. Go south on Hwy. 101 through Novato and San Rafael to ...

SAN FRANCISCO (39mi/62km).

MAIN ROUTE

SALT POINT SP (15mi/23km). From Jenner, drive north on Hwy. 1 to this park, whose habitat ranges from an underwater reserve to inland mountains. Continue north to Kruse Rhododendron SP and along untamed portions of the coast to ...

GUALALA (24mi/38km). Settled in the 1860s, this town just north of Sea Ranch offers superb food and shelter including a unique, Russian-style inn. Proceed north through Anchor Bay to ...

POINT ARENA (14mi/22km). Be sure to visit the historic Point Arena Lighthouse, then continue north on Hwy. 1 to ...

ALBION (28mi/45km). Mendocino is only another 8mi/13km north of this charming little village on Hwy. 1.
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Title Annotation:Special Advertising Feature
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:644
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