head north old boy
Hwy 1 north is the only way to go. Lane splitting is legal (technically it's considered not illegal) as long as done safely. I'm with TinCrow all the way with the exception of Garberville and points north of Bragg. It will adds a lot of time to an already short time frame. Beautiful scenery north on 1, better than the southern route in my opinion and you may find you don't need to make it even all the way up to Bragg if you like to take a leisurely pace. You can circle around in Bodega Bay or Highway 128 and head into the wine country or wherever.