Electric Cars Welcome
We all know the SF Bay Area is ground zero for the electric car revolution. It is the home to Tesla after all.
For those who think the north coast is just a tad too far to obtain reliable charges for your electric vehicles, think again. We are known for our commitment to the environment with solar powered breweries, wineries and hotels. The area has long championed new eco-friendly technologies. The Energy Commission has invested heavily in a program to provide charging stations in the area’s State Parks, which will be free to the public. In other words, the infrastructure is in place for EV owners to travel comfortably throughout the North Coast region of California no matter what range their battery packs allow.
Whether coming from the south, north or east, there are numerous opportunities to top off, often while tasting fabulous wines or brews, or sampling innovative cuisine while taking in breathtaking landscapes.
There are far too many individual businesses with chargers to list, so this is just a sample of the possibilities. If you own an electric car you understand that all charges are not the same, so please do your own investigating. SolvingEV.com is a comprehensive source for charging station locations. Tesla Superchargers are singled out for the suggestions on this page.
What follows are four sample itineraries to introduce you to the North Coast region. Please click on the websites of the four north coast counties, (Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Lake) for more detailed travel information.
From Sonoma County north to the Oregon border on iconic Highway 1.
Sea Ranch is on the border between Sonoma County and the North Coast county of Mendocino. Charging is available at the Sea Ranch Lodge, which is a short drive from the lively artist community of Gualala, where the Arts Center is a cultural option for travelers interested in art exhibitions, performing arts, and community events.
Continuing north, stop awhile at the charming little town of Point Arena. Where activities include surfing at the pier, a historic cinema with movies and live events, and a lighthouse tour. The lighthouse here is situated on the furthest west point in the continental US. Charging is at the city lot and Coast Guard House Historic Inn. Continuing north there are several exceptional small hotels with facilities. Especially around the town of Elk, where the Elk Cove Inn offers a Tesla supercharger.
Highway 1 offers many Pacific Ocean photo ops, so take advantage, breathe in the fresh air, and take a little time to explore some of the abundant hiking trails. Many of the State Parks in the area have charging facilities, which provide added convenience.
You will soon enter the main tourist areas of Mendocino Village and Fort Bragg. There are numerous small hotels along the way offering free charges, including the Little River Inn and the Beachcomber Motel & Spa. Waiting for the full-power indicator in the village of Mendocino is no chore as all its wonderful offerings are within walking distance along picturesque streets.
In Fort Bragg, other options include the Boatyard Center and City Hall. Those interested in locomotives can buy a ticket to ride on the historic Skunk Train as it makes daily trips through the redwoods or visit the Model Train Museum.
Highway 1 north follows the Pacific Ocean and then veers inland to meet Highway 101, the primary north-south artery for the North Coast region.
In southern Humboldt County, stop for food or beverage at the Benbow Historic Inn while you top off. This gem offers over 90 years of history that includes such past visitors as Clark Gable and Basil Rathbone.
Eureka is next on the agenda. The Tesla supercharger is located at 718 3rd St. E. This location is ideal for exploring classic Old Town Eureka, a fully restored Victorian downtown. Several local hotels offer charging, including the Carter House.
Going north on Highway 101, charging possibilities can be found in Arcata and Trinidad.
Next up is Crescent City, in Del Norte County, a charming fishing town with a great harbor and an abundance of lodging and restaurant options. The Tesla Supercharger is located at 1000 Front St.
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties share the Redwood National and State Parks with the tallest trees in the world. There are also several casinos with charging capabilities in the area, including the Lucky 7 and Blue Lake.
If you want to go east from Eureka don’t worry. Options are available at Blue Lake and Willow Creek.
From Cloverdale to the Mendocino Coast on Highway 128.
Cloverdale, in Sonoma County, is another gateway to the north coast. Highway 128, the famous Mendocino Wine Road, begins curving its way to the coast. This scenic drive offers the advantage of charging during wine tasting at Greenwood Ridge Vineyards or Handley Cellars and a stop for the delicious food at the Bewildered Pig.
Once on the coast you can go north or south on Highway 1.
Highway 101 from Cloverdale to the junction of Highway 1 and 101.
Hopland is the first North Coast stop with several electric moments at the Solar Living Institute and local wineries.
About 15 miles further north you will reach the town of Ukiah, home to another Telsa Supercharger at the Conference Center Parking lot at 250 W. Clay Street. Ukiah has many restaurants with outdoor tables, so stop to sample their offerings while you wait.
Highway 20 from Fort Bragg to Lake County and environs.
Highway 20 is the alternate route between Highway 1 and 101 (the other being Highway 128). Highway 20 intersects with Highway 101 at Willits. Go south on 101 until you reach Highway 20 east, just north of Ukiah.
Continue east on Highway 20 and fill up at the Tallman Hotel, in Upper Lake, or in Clearlake Oaks you’ll find a charging station at the stunning winery known as Bed & Barrel at Stonehouse Cellars. Highway 20 provides excellent vistas of Clear Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in CA and is believed to be the oldest lake in North America. Some say the world.
Highway 20 intersects with I-5. Take I-5 north to Redding and south to Sacramento.