San Francisco Day Trips
Collected by Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Get a rental car and head out of town - you've tackled the big stuff in SF and now it's time to see the variety of Northern California, just a day's trip away.
6711 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is a well-curated art gallery and wine tasting room set amidst an eclectic sculpture garden. At this Napa Valley tasting room, originally built in 1904 as a private residence, you can pull up a chair and sit down for a...
52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Pickup the best local food products the bay area has to offer at Bi-Rite Market. The Mission was not always the pantheon of San Francisco nouveau cuisine that it is today. Now, the area—especially the block of 18th Street between Guerrero and...
8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sonoma and Napa counties have hundreds of wineries that have tasting rooms set among the golden hills of the area. It's rare to find a winery where you can enjoy this scenery as much as the wine served in the tasting room. At Chateau St. Jean,...
1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
In the summer, San Francisco is cold. Gray and Cold. Drive one hour outside the city and you'll find 100+ degree temperatures. When sun and a little adventure is what you're craving, try a whitewater rafting trip on the American River. Part of the...
1023 Limerick Ln, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Limerick Lane Winery has a pretty pedestrian name - it is actually on Limerick Lane, which just outside of Healdsburg. What makes this winery special (in addition to the beautiful French country tasting room) are the "Block" Zinfandels are...
353 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Healdsburg downtown is beautiful, but can feel a little repetitive - gorgeous tasting room, local art gallery, gourmet restaurant ... repeat. The One World Fair Trade store is very different - it's a global department store of jewelry pottery,...
Paso Robles Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
All my life my mom was trying to drag me and my dad on a trip to Hearst Castle, and we always told her no. I probably wouldn't have appreciated it anyways in my younger years. However, before I moved to Hong Kong for work, I took a trip with my...
2400 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446, USA
Driving thru the wine fields of central California wasn’t technically on ‘the list’ of things to see or do while we were out exploring, but wow was it pretty awesome! If I remember right this was right outside Paso Pobles, and the best part about...
31 Wharf 1 # 1, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Caramel coating and confetti toppings hide crispy apples for those desiring a sweet hunt. At this carnival candy store on Monterey's Fisherman's wharf, satisfy your sweet tooth with these apples, salt water taffy, and homemade fudge.
South Hall Rd, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
Rising high, the Sather Tower beacons visitors to at least absorb the higher education and beautifully laid out campus. Enter the campus from Telegraph Ave side and make your way up the hill towards the obelisk-shaped monument. You can climb the...
2555 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
No, not that CIA. This lunch feels a lot more pleasant and delicious, I'm sure. Make a reservation at the Greystone Restaurant and taste local, seasonal menus while looking out over Napa Valley vineyards.
1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
The craggy-rock view from the top of the staircase out to the Point Reyes National Seashore looks just fine from the top. But you didn't drive all this way to stand at the top while everyone else descends to see the historic Point Reyes...
Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Leave San Francisco and meander along Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay. It's a little hamlet of a town with a few restaurants, general stores, and a wide open beach. It's a popular surf spot where you'll rarely see any water-destined individual without...
Johnson Pier, El Granada, CA 94019, USA
You came all the way to San Francisco and you're going to let some stranger in a chef's hat cook your dungeness crab for you? Pshaw. There's a little-known alternative, even among locals, that's far more fun: Zip down the coast half an hour to...
1345 Henry Rd, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Napa, Sonoma, and Yountville mean endless miles of deliciousness! Schramsberg specializes in a vast selection of the sparkling wines fit for the White House. (Seriously. It's served at the White House.) The tasting was amazing, as was the tour of...
1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
If you guess this to be an explosion of delicious sweetness in the form of tiramisu cloaked in milk chocolate, then you're right. No, it didn't come from a countryside baker in Italy, but rather aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Touristy as it...
Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I love that photography has become so accessible to people. Not all of my photographer peers share my sentiment and just because everyone has a camera phone and apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic doesn't necessarily make one a photographer....
25 Swanton Rd, Davenport, CA 95017, USA
Swanton Berry Farm is a u-pick farm along the coast just north of Santa Cruz. In the winter it's kiwis; other seasons provide opportunities for picking ollalieberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It's a great, kid-friendly afternoon activity....
80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
This is another place I immediately return to when I'm in the Bay Area. It's a cheese lover's temple! I loved this salad pictured that I had. It was also my first picture of San Francisco! I must say that the Mount Tam is one of my favourite...
2569 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
On a few block stretch Telegraph Ave, there are record stories (perhaps the few remaining in the Bay Area); consignment shops, smoke shops, and more than a few frozen yogurt stands. Adjacent to the UC Berkeley campus, the area thrives with student...
20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
What a great way to spend a spring day in the Bay Area. Hog Island in Tamales Bay has very tasty oysters, a fun staff and a very friendly, comfortable environ. It used to be solely shuck it yourself and bring your own beverages. Although that is...
61 Front St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The pace is a little slower and the number of wineries hit in a day may not be all that's on the list, but biking around Sonoma wine country is a free-flowing, active way to wind through these Sonoma country roads and wineries. Start at Wine...
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