This is the first installment in a “Roads” series we will do, covering some of the best driving roads the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. Check back soon for more roads and photos, or e-mail us with some of your favorite drives in the Bay Area!
Hwy 84 is one of our favorite drives, for many reasons. The wide, smoothly paved road starts winding its way up the hills from I-280 and leads you to Alice’s Restaurant, a great roadside establishment that caters to motorists, drivers, bikers, and cyclists at the intersection of Skyline Blvd and Hwy 84. It’s a great spot to stop for a quick break, or a lengthier meal before continuing on your way. The road from Alice’s to La Honda is one of the most sublime, addictively gorgeous drives found in the entire Bay Area. 86DRIVER MyRx comments, “I’ve been on this road hundreds of times. It’s a great place to learn and practice smooth driving, with a rhythmic set of predictable S-curves and plenty of good visibility.” It doesn’t hurt that it was repaved recently and now sports highly visible reflectors along the lane dividers, so you can feel confident taking this road at a good pace even in the dark. For a short but fun 10-15 minute blast, we often just do the drive between Alice’s and La Honda, and then turn around and do it again. But still, you must treat the road with respect — people with more ego or horsepower than brains go off the side and into the trees, or worse. “Get comfortable with the road and your vehicle, and the speed will come naturally”, MyRx advises. We’ve encountered some of the (presumably) local drivers who go impressively fast down these roads in run-of-the-mill cars — watch out for that ghostly Prius we’ve seen tearing it up in these parts.
The rest of the route from La Honda out to the coastal Hwy 1 is less technical, but nonetheless still a fun drive. As you clear out of the redwoods and near the coast you encounter wide open clearings and scenic hills. The nearby Stage Rd lives up to its name and feels like a rally stage worthy of a WRC style adventure. Treacherous blind curves, gravelly bumpy pavement, and tight cliffside hairpins await if you want to take this short cut down to Pescadero. On a recent driving day, we opted for the more sedate cruise down Hwy 1 past San Gregorio beach and along the coast to reach Pescadero.
From there you have a lot of options on how you want to continue the driving adventure. Or you could just turn around and do it all in reverse…
Videos of Hwy 84: