California - North Bay/Wine Country/redwoods


We are going to CA for our first time in Sept. On our list to see is the redwood tree that you can drive through. We are starting off in SF then going to Sonoma and staying at the lodge of sonoma. How far is it to the "tree" my husband must see? What else besides winerys is there to do in this area? Thank you for your help.

Hi Linn,

I'm sorry but I'm not aware of any drive through redwoods still standing.  When I was a child in the 1960's Yosemite National Park had in summer nightly firefalls flowing off Glacier Point and a drive through redwood in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.  Since then the park service philosophy has changed to eliminate such concessions and focus on restoring the natural beauty of the park.  A major avalanche occurred near where the burning embers fell, and the giant drive through tree fell over and died.  Visitors to Mariposa Grove are not even allowed to drive near the root base of these endangered wonders but rather must either walk or ride a special tram.

Yosemite is about 4 hours drive from Sonoma.  In Sonoma, the finest collection of old growth Redwoods is at Armstrong State Park, which is in the Russian River Valley near Guerneville.  Since these trees grow for thousands of years, the original groves of trees are most interesting to visit.  In the Mayacamas Mountains between Sonoma and Napa Valleys, there are forests of mostly second grow redwoods that make a pleasant winding drive from on wine region to another.  At I have many images and details about all these places under my username atufft.

While I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a drive through second growth redwood, I think that your husband and you will find such a concession of little interest relative to all else California has to offer.  If you have more specific questions please ask.

California - North Bay/Wine Country

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Ernest Tufft


I can assist visitors wanting to get off the beaten path and wishing to avoid the wineries where the tour buses stop. I have an intimate knowlege of Napa County in particular, but also know Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Foothill Wine Regions. I have taught wine appreciation courses at the community college level, and have worked with the wine retail and hospitality industry.


I worked in the wine industry for 5 years and taught California Wine Appreciation at Solano Community College. I keep track of the each vintage in California as it arrives, and as it's consumed.

I have Masters in English. My focus on wine is in combining wine with food with friends and learning from the wine makers who create this art.

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