I'd highly recommend the Cali Coast (Hwy 1) from Cambria to the south end of the SF Bay Area. Not THAT much additional time to travel north (vs. Hwy 5), and well worth it, if you don't get out here much.
Some incredible views along the way, particularly south of Monterey. Pic spots that you could use for a calendar!
You can cut over from Hwy 1 to the Bay Area in quite a few different spots. Santa Cruz (Hwy 17), San Gregorio (Hwy 84/La Honda Rd.), Half Moon Bay (Hwy 92).
I recommend San Gregorio. Taking the 84 to Skyline (Hwy 35), you can stop for lunch at the FAMOUS 'Alice's Restaurant'.
Also some VERY nice sweepers and twisties to get to Alice's.
Continue 84 to 280 (more 84 twisties
), then north on 280 to and through SF. 280 has some nice scenic views, and is 3-4 lanes wide in most spots, with 2 scenic rest stops along the way!
Cali coast can get nippy during those months; I'm sure you'll have some warm gear packed for the long trip.
Google Earth is also a friendly viewing/mapping/location site. Gives you satellite views of areas you're curious about.