Fastest road from SFO to Calistoga?

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Uppsala9496

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2001
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What's the fastest way out of SFO to Calistoga? Renting a car at the airport. Sadly my flight gets in at rush hour (16:05). Driving on Thursday so I am sure I will be dealing with commuters going home.

Is I80/29 faster than US101?

Guessing I am looking at a good 2 hours plus in the car?

If both are going to be around the same (within 15 minutes commute) which is the more scenic then? My wife's 40th birthday weekend and if she is going to suffer sitting in the car, might as well make it a scenic route.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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Bay Bridge sucks, but you pretty much have to take it (101--> 80 = Bay Bridge) from there--otherwise you turn south, take the San Mateo, then head back north and deal with equally shitty traffic.

It's the worst part of the trip, and no way around it, unfortunately. Once you hit the Bay Bridge from the 101 split, it becomes 80, it is essentially the same route.

at the worst of times, you might even see near 3 hours to get from airport to Calistoga. 29 shouldn't be bad at that time of day and week, however.

none of them are really scenic. All of it is pretty shitty until you cross the Richmond bridge (more direct route to Calistoga--otherwise you might want to take the Carquinez bridge, if you were headed towards Sonoma)...I think I have those bridges straight.
 
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Drako

Lifer
Jun 9, 2007
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101 to 80 to 29/128.

That's about as fast as you will get. there is no easy way around the traffic.
 
Mar 16, 2005
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101 straight north will take you across the Golden Gate Bridge. Can even stop off at the visitor center before the toll both.

29 however runs through napa valley.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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101 straight north will take you across the Golden Gate Bridge. Can even stop off at the visitor center before the toll both.

29 however runs through napa valley.

101 actually cuts a bit to the West to become the GG bridge. If you head "straight north" You split to 80, Bay Bridge, which is a more direct route to Napa/Calistoga. Calistoga is the hat of Napa; much like Canada/US.
 

Drako

Lifer
Jun 9, 2007
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101 actually cuts a bit to the West to become the GG bridge. If you head "straight north" You split to 80, Bay Bridge, which is a more direct route to Napa/Calistoga. Calistoga is the hat of Napa; much like Canada/US.

The bonus of going east over Bay Bridge (80) is that you can go through beautiful Vallejo. :D
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
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If you land at ~4 I would guess you won't get the car until about 5. I would just go have a relaxed dinner somewhere and wait for the traffic to die down. About 8PM things should clear up. Bit of a wait, but beats sitting in a car.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
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San Quentin is adjacent the west end of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge. OP shouldn't be using that bridge.
 

olds

Elite Member
Mar 3, 2000
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101 north of SF has to be the most congested highway I have ever been on.
 

K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
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101 will be a good deal slower but far more scenic.

Were it me I'd probably take BART into the city, have a nice dinner, pick up a rental car near Moscone Center then head north after rush clears.
 
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