Airplanes and Automobiles
The closest airports to Bell Valley are San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). SFO is usually better for direct flights, unless your home airport has Southwest which often offers non-stop flights into OAK airport.
If you are planning to spend some time in the South Bay Area, San Jose International (SJC) is another option. The drive up to Bell Valley will be a little longer, but you’ll probably have better luck coordinating a carpool!
TIP: We recommend the website alltheflightdeals.com for finding well priced flights (although you’ll have to cross your fingers that the timing lines up). Otherwise, kayak.com is a solid option with much more control over the time / location of the flight.
The best way to get from the airport to Bell Valley is by car, and we strongly recommend renting one if you've flown in. Once you've made the drive up to Anderson Valley, there will be much for you to explore (see the ‘Explore’ tab), and you’ll need a car to do so. It's probably easiest and most economical to rent at the airport.
We encourage carpooling to share costs, make friends, and reduce our footprint. Fill out this Google Form if you're interested in carpooling with other guests. We'll do our best to connect groups!
The Drive Itself
HOW FAR ARE WE TALKING (WITHOUT TRAFFIC)?
From San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Boonville, CA - 2 h 39 min (143.9 mi) via US-101 N.
From Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Boonville, CA - 2 h 18 min (136.2 mi) via US-101 N.
From Sacramento International Airport (SMF) to Boonville, CA - 2 h 44 min (151.5 mi) via I-5 N and State Hwy 20 W.
TIP: If you are planning on hanging out with us on Friday, we would recommend leaving before 2pm from the South Bay. From what we have experienced, any traffic you should face will come before Santa Rosa.
TIP: If you're flying in from the East Coast or Europe and aren't into red eyes and/or want to avoid rush hour, consider arriving on a Wednesday or Thursday and spending the night (or two) in San Francisco, Oakland, or Sonoma Valley (we have plenty of recommendations for you!). That way, you can explore that area on Thursday and/or Friday morning, and then make the drive north to Boonville at a leisurely pace to avoid bad traffic.
TIP: As long as the weather is reasonable (rain is lucky right?), making the drive on Saturday should be traffic free and the times should match those posted above.
DIRECTIONS TO BOONVILLE
If you're coming from San Francisco or the East Bay, take 101 N all the way up through Sonoma County. Right after Cloverdale, take the exit for 128 W which will bring you right into Boonville. If you are in a hurry and want to head straight to Bell Valley, turn right onto 253 E and continue for 5.5 miles (8.8km, or 8.8e+9 microns for the scientists in the audience) and Bell Valley will be on your left. The 128 is on the curvy side, but the roads are decently wide and the drive is beautiful (lots of oak trees, vineyards, creeks, and redwoods).
If you are staying in Ukiah and want to check-in at your hotel beforehand, 101 N will bring you straight to your destination. Once you’re ready to mosey on over to the wedding, you’ll probably have to backtrack down 101 S for a few miles before turning onto 253 W which brings you directly to Bell Valley.
TIP: Over the years, Gillie and I have spent quite a bit of time taking in the views from Highway 1. The drive is amazing, and will take you past some great places for quick pictures / lunch / hotel overnights / camping stays (again we have plenty of recommendations!). Just plan to add a couple of hours (2 to 3 depending on traffic and number of stops) to your drive time.
TIP: Once you get closer to Boonville, cell service can get pretty spotty. We recommend preloading / screenshoting / printing out your directions.