I am very please to announce this year’s winners of the most beautiful roads in the Bay Area as voted by a panel of experts, namely me:

Highway 1 from Olema to the Bolinas cut off. 10 rolling, bucolic, sylvan, arcadian miles passing dairy farms and crumbling cottages, the bosomy hills of West Marin on the east side, a redwood covered ridge on the west. As you head south you reach noble patches of eucalyptus. Roll down the windows and inhale the menthol.

Highway 121 west of Domaine Carneros. No more than a couple of miles long it takes you through Napa’s most beautiful winescape. The hills spill like ocean waves, striated by hundreds of perfectly symmetrical rows of vines. It looks like the world’s most beautiful example of site-specific art.

Highway 1 Big Sur. The one and always OMG, still staggering stretch of coast south of Carmel. The wind and surf carved shoreline is still a natural high, Nepenthe still serves lunch, dinner and views that put questions in the minds of the most ardent atheists. And yes Esalen is still ready to help you find your bliss.

 

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