20 places near San Francisco where you can relax for a day
Summer in San Francisco is the perfect time for a day trip within a few hours ‘ drive of San Francisco. The SFGate website has compiled a list of 20 travel options with tips on local entertainment and tips on how to avoid popular tourist routes and see original places. We also offer an approximate travel time from San Francisco (from the point that Google Maps gives you when you enter the “San Francisco” query) to your destinations. The specified time does not take into account possible traffic congestion.
Nicasio is one of the smallest towns in Marin County (according to the 2010 census, it has a population of 96 people) and an undervalued holiday destination in the Bay area. You can start with a short hike through Roy’s Redwoods, and then return to the town and admire the local 150-year-old Church (pictured). You can end your trip with dinner and live music at the rural Rancho Nicasio bar and restaurant, which was recently recognized by restaurant critics as “one of the best and most modern cuisines in Marin County”.
Travel time from San Francisco to Nicasio: 48 minutes
Head to the less crowded side of the point Reis national coast, Park your car near Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead or Pierce Point Road, and take the easy 1.5-mile route to Abbotts Lagoon. You can have a picnic on the shore of the lagoon or go a little further in the direction of the huge 10 Mile Beach to watch the surf. Be careful – there are unexpected “sleeping waves” on this coast, so don’t wander on the water.
After a picnic and a walk, you can drive just up Pierce Point Road to the Pierce Point Ranch, which dates back to 1858 and is one of the oldest ranches on the point Race Peninsula. From the ranch, take a walk along the Tomales Point trail, which offers fantastic views of the coast.
Travel time from San Francisco to Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead: 1.5 hours, to pierce point ranch: 1 hour 40 minutes.
A tour of the” movie “places of North Bay can begin with the town of Petaluma, where Marin County resident and star wars Creator George Lucas shot his classic 1973 film “American graffiti”. In the nearby town of Santa Rosa, there is a Charles Schultz Museum – so if you like comics more, stop by to see drawings from the Peanuts comic book and animation projects.
Travel time from San Francisco to Petaluma: 50 minutes
From Petaluma, you can turn West to Bodega Bay – where Hitchcock’s Thriller “Birds”was filmed. Take a walk around the city, take a photo with the Hitchcock statue, and visit Birdland, a small Museum dedicated to Hitchcock, next to a gift shop. On the way back, if you go through Highway 1 to the South, you can make a small detour to San Anselmo – see the statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones in Imagination Park, which George Lucas gave to the city.
Travel time from Petaluma to Bodega Bay: 34 minutes, from San Francisco to Bodega Bay: 1 hour 20 minutes (direct) or 2 hours (via San Anselmo).
Start with Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, which offers a variety of excursions, including adults (it is advisable to book in advance). A little further South from Pescadero, you can see the Pigeon Point lighthouse and Año Nuevo Park with a sea elephant rookery and a three-mile route. If you want to visit lesser-known places, head inland to Butano Park. On the way back, you can enjoy views of the Pescadero state Beach.
Travel time from San Francisco to Pescadero: 1 hour, from Pescadero to año Nuevo Park: 20 minutes.
Safari West in Santa Rosa
Imagine flying to Africa for a day to watch a Safari – visit Safari West in Santa Rosa. This trip will be more expensive than others (Safari prices start at $83), but you can see more than 800 species of exotic animals, including hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes and rhinos. There is also a campsite with facilities and the option of a Safari-style dinner for those who wish to stay the night.
Travel time from San Francisco to Safari West: 1 hour 14 minutes.
The small Mediterranean town of Capitola, South of Santa Cruz, is very popular with kayakers on Capitola beach. But if you prefer to be on land, go shopping in Capitola Village or have dinner in one of the restaurants overlooking the coast.
Travel time from San Francisco to the Capitol: 1 hour 23 minutes.
On a hot summer day, come to Johnson’s beach in Guerneville, SONOMA County, and spend a few hours swimming in the river. When you get tired of lying in the water, you can buy sandwiches at the local Big Bottom Market, in the heart of this beautiful town, and sit down for a picnic at the lovely Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (seven minutes ‘ drive from the center of Guerneville). There are also tourist routes of different levels of complexity.
Travel time from San Francisco to Guerneville: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Mission San Juan Bautista
In this Spanish mission, you can see live the filming locations of the most famous scenes of the Alfred Hitchcock film “Vertigo”. If you are ready to go further after visiting the mission, the Pinnacles national Park is 40 miles (about 50 minutes) away. Here you can explore the ancient remains of a volcano, go through caves of lava and see the habitat of the California Condor.
Travel time from San Francisco to San Juan Bautista: 1 hour 35 minutes, from Pinnacles Park to San Francisco: 2 hours 30 minutes.
Whale watching on the Farallone Islands
Watching an unprecedented number of whales near the coast recently can give you an unforgettable experience. A whale excursion to the Farallon Islands can be booked through the Oceanic Society from may to November. If you prefer land, there are also places on the coast where you can see whales.
Travel time from San Francisco: very fast! Tours depart from San Francisco and Sausalito.
“Call of the ancestors” in SONOMA County
Jack London state Park is an impressive portal to the life of a famous writer, with historic buildings, a beautiful estate, and 29 miles of Hiking trails. Don’t miss the ruins of the Wolf house (pictured), the happy wall house Museum, and the Pig Palace at the Belle ranch, where London experimented with farming. Free excursions are available on weekends, and information about them can be found on the Park’s website.
If you think you can’t visit the wine country without visiting a winery, take a trip to the Benziger Family Winery for a tour of the biodynamic vineyard – it’s just a 10-minute walk or two-minute drive from Jack London Park.
Travel time from San Francisco to Jack London Park: 1 hour 15 minutes, from Benziger Family Winery to San Francisco: 1 hour 17 minutes.
Castle Rock Park
Start with a picnic at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino, then visit castle Rock national Park (pictured), a popular destination for Hiking and rock climbing. The Park is a 30-minute drive from the winery, near the highest point of the Santa Cruz mountains, and offers fantastic ocean views.
Travel time from San Francisco to Ridge Vineyards: 1 hour 6 minutes.
Mineral baths and pools of the winery of the area
If the weather is cool, you can visit one of the mineral baths and hot springs near Calistoga (pictured-Indian Springs). On a hot day, there are options in Geyserville – Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers a pool with cabins.
Travel time from San Francisco to Calistoga: 1 hour 40 minutes, to Geyserville: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Swimming in natural reservoirs
You can drive up or climb the Berkeley Hills to spend the day at lake Anza in the Tilden regional Park. Lake Anza and its sandy beaches are hidden behind the slopes of the Berkeley Hills, which protect them from the wind. In summer, a lifeguard is on duty at the lake.
Travel time from San Francisco to Anza lake: 36 minutes.
Half Moon Bay
In Half moon Bay, you can start from the historic center, continue on the beach, visit shops and restaurants, and enjoy a walk along Miramar Beach and beautiful views.
Travel time from San Francisco to Half moon Bay: 42 minutes.
If you want an active holiday, you can get it in the Felton area – for example, do zip-lining or air adventures (for children and adults). After the forest rope rides, head to Santa Cruz, which is just a 15-minute drive from Felton – there are places for both leisurely walks and active activities, such as kayaking.
Travel time from San Francisco to Felton: 1 hour 23 minutes, from Santa Cruz to San Francisco: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont is a historic working farm where you can play with animals and ride a train. Bring something for a picnic – you can sit on the grass among the peacocks on the farm.
Old Borges Ranch in walnut Creek is another farm in the Bay Area that is listed on the national register of historic places. Here you can pet the goats (pictured), take a walk on the ranch or a Hiking trail nearby.
Travel time from San Francisco to Ardenwood Historic Farm: 46 minutes, from San Francisco to Borges Ranch: 50 minutes.
Day in Santa Cruz