At first we didn’t know how lucky we were that, during the summer of 2014, a massive ongoing construction project routinely snarled traffic for a nine-mile stretch of Highway 101, all the way through Petaluma.
Google maps, ever watchful for ways that would spare us a few minutes of sitting in traffic, would devise convoluted routes that meandered through Sonoma County’s backroads—always beautiful drives that helped us to get further acquainted with our new community in ways that zooming by on the highway never could.
Taking the long way to avoid Highway 101 is no longer necessary, but these slightly longer drives—and all the great places that that they showed us off our too-well-worn path—have set the tone for the time we spend in the North Bay, every time. This is a place with deep forests, wide-open spaces, rugged coastline, expansive river beaches and always a new place to discover and enjoy. Between the beautiful scenery and finding new places to love, getting there is always truly part of the fun. Here are some of our favorite spots that we’ve found on detours and leisurely drives alike.