Best California Road Trips series –
We actually did this road trip in May 2019. It was inspired by the movie “Need For Speed”. At the end of the movie was an epic race through the majestic Redwood Forrest and the Northern California coast. The road and the scenery looked amazing and something we needed to try. Ever since the movie came out in 2014 I had wanted to drive this road and now was our opportunity.
This should be an excellent addition to our series of Best California Road Trips as with most of our trips the places we find along the way and the destination were more than we expected.
As it happens with most of our trips, it starts with the Road. I did some research to find out which roads were used in the movie for that final race scene. It turned out that it was in Northern California not to far from where we live in the Central Valley. The final race scene in the movie actually starts on Hwy 253 just south of Ukiah, California heading southwest were it ends at Hwy 128. You then take Hwy 128 northwest where it runs into Hwy 1 were you turn south and head down Hwy 1 to the Point Arena Lighthouse where the race ends.
As with most of our road trips, I have picked the road and Miss Linda finds places to stay along the way. Sometimes our trip will vary just a bit depending on the places we find on the way. This is the Need for Speed (almost) part. We missed Ukiah and Hwy 253 on this trip and we did not make it to the Point Arena Lighthouse were the race ended until day 2 of our trip.
With our trip now planned we headed out for what would be one of our favorite adventures!
We are in our C7 Corvette Z06 again on this trip as I am daydreaming about the cars that were in the movie. The weather for this trip was excellent. It was bright and sunny around 80 degrees when we left the valley and around 65 when we reached the coast. We had the top off the car for most of the trip which is always nice.
It was pretty amazing to watch the cars in the movie as they flew down Hwy 128 as the sun was streaking through the big Redwoods trees as the sounds filled the air. There were six cars in the final race of the movie. The combined value of these six cars was just under $9,000,000. The cars, A Saleen S7 Twin Turbo V-8 with 750 HP, A Lamborghini Sesto Elemento V-10 with 570 HP, A McLaren P-1 Twin Turbo V-8 Hybrid with 903 HP, A GTA Spano V-10 with 900 HP, A Begatti Veyron Super Sport W-16 with 1200 HP and a Koenigsegg Agera Twin Turbo V-8 with 950 HP. In this final race of the movie, five of the six cars were basically destroyed with one lone winner. If you haven’t seen the movie I recommend it as a fun and entertaining movie especially if you like exotic cars. If you have already seen it, great, if not watch to find out who wins
Hwy 128 was the road for the race in the movie. They pick up Hwy 128 from Hwy 253 in the movie. Hwy 128 actually goes right through the Napa Valley in the Heart of wine country. It took us about an hour and half to get to Winters, California from our house where Hwy 128 begins. The road is a nice two lane twisty road that goes around Lake Berryessa which is the largest lake in Napa County, California. This reservoir in the Vaca Mountains was formed following the construction of the Monticello Dam on Putah Creek in the 1950s. Since the early 1960s, this reservoir has provided water and hydroelectricity to the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
As you come down out of the Vaca mountains Hwy 128 comes to Hwy 29 which is also known as the Silverado Trail which is home to some amazing Napa Winery’s just south of St Helena. This was not a wine tasting trip, so we continued on to Calistoga where Hwy 29 meets up with Hwy 128 again. We continued on 128 toward Healsburg where we stopped for Lunch. We then hit Hwy 101 North for a few miles to find 128 as we head NorthWest toward Hwy 1 and our destination,
Where will the Road take us this time…………. as Linda did her research she found a place called the Little River Inn which was just a couple miles north of where Hwy 128 meets with Hwy 1. We decided to head north to the Little River Inn and decided to head South on Hwy 1 to the Point Arena Light House on the drive home. The Little River Inn was an amazing place with incredible views of the Pacifc Ocean with a great restaurant and Bar. We decided to stay at the bar for dinner as going to the dinning room would end our view of the Ocean. We had a good time at the bar as their are a lot of locals that hang out their as well. It was a great evening, though felt a little tired the next morning………
The next day we headed about 15 miles north to Ft Bragg were we had lunch down on the warf. We actually watched as fisherman came in to clean and drop off their catch. We had some of the freshest fish and chips we have ever tasted.
This area is home to the Alexander Valley which is another great California wine region. We had received many recommendations for wineries in the area, however we have so many wineries were we live we where looking for something different. When we were having lunch in Ft Bragg, I simply typed in “wineries close by” and three popped up. One looked to be about 13 miles north of Ft Bragg on Hwy 1. No one had told us about this place…… but we decided to check it out. This was the find of the trip. As we headed north on Hwy 1 along the coast we saw the winery. No big signs and not a lot of people
as we turned in.
The owner who is a Napa Valley wine maker transplant started the winery in 1998. She does not grow her own grapes but buys then from the surrounding Alexander Valley. She makes the wine right their on the property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The owner was the one who was pouring our wine as we tasted as she told the story of how the winery sits right on the San Andreas Fault.
This was an unforgettable experience. The weather this day in May was perfect. It was 65 degrees with little to no breeze and clear blue skies. We bought a bottle of Red Wine and took at seat in the adirondack chairs sitting right on the cliffs with the waves crashing below our feet. It was one of the best bottles of wine we have ever had even though I don’t remember exactly which wine we had. The weather, the views and the wine caused us to stay for over 3 hours just enjoying the entire experience……….. it must have been the location. You have got to check this place out.
The following day on our way home we headed south on Hwy 1 to Point Arena Lighthouse. This is where the race from the movie ended. We parked the Vette next to the lighthouse. This lighthouse was originally built in 1870 and was damaged by an earthquake in 1906 as it sits along the a fore mentioned San Andrea Fault. It was rebuilt in 1908 and still stands today.
You Never Know what you will find
This is definitely a trip we will probably take every year. The drive was great, the food was great, the unexpected find of a winery sitting right on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean will be hard to top.