Originally Posted by DirtRich
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.
Agree with those who recommend Hwy 1 north of SF. Take a good look at Google maps and after leaving Mill Valley on 1, take Panoramic Hwy to the top of Mt Tamalpais for a great view of the Bay Area. Then take Ridgecrest until you come to the Y in the road. Left back to Hwy 1, and then north. Stop in Pt Reyes Station, maybe Tomales, maybe Jenner, and then scoot up to Mendocino for the night (any spot short of there will do also). Then you can take Hwy 128 down to Cloverdale, through Cloverdale to Dutcher Creek Rd to Dry Creek Rd to Healdsburg. Continue on 128 to Calistoga, then through Calistoga to Silverado Trail south through Napa and 121/12/37 back to Hwy 101 and into the city.
All predicated on having good weather.... which you may well have this time of year.. or it could be total crap in which case you're better off seeing a show or some galleries in SF....