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.
6725 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
This venue is temporarily closed for renovations, 10/2018. 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...
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,...
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
The second location of the country’s best cooking school is not just for students. The Greystone campus was originally built in the 1800’s as a gravity flow winery cooperative (as the restoration continues, they often find bottles of...
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, 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...
1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
There’s something romantic about train travel isn’t there? And when the journey is on tracks that have been around for more than 150 years in one of the word's most scenic wine regions, the ride is even sweeter. If you’re looking for a splurge,...
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....
1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
The Ferry Building in San Francisco is a must for any food lover, and Cowgirl Creamery is one of my favorite stops. This producer of artisanal cheeses is a place to pick up cheese for a snack or picnic and to ask questions about California cheese....
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...