San Francisco is my favorite city. I choose this Left Coast city every single time. I love the city’s vibe; its restaurants, street cars, architecture, water fronts and funkiness are all close to perfect to me. I also love San Fran for its proximity to so much! Walk and ride trolley cars while in the city itself, but rent a car and get outta town some too. You will not be disappointed. I have not “steered” you guys wrong in the wrong direction, yet. Right?
Muir Beach (20 miles) Peace and quiet and gorgeousness await you on Muir Beach. Swing by Muir Woods to wander through the Sequoias and then eat a picnic lunch on the beach. The drive is just as pretty as the destination in this case. Bonus! Pack a blanket to sit on or wrap up in, since brisk breezes blow, even in the summer.
Tomales Bay (65 miles) Oysters and serenity are two words that describe Tomales Bay well. Just “down the road” from Muir, Tomales Bay is home to Hog Island Oyster’s farm and outdoor restaurant. Call to reserve a table, bring a bottle of wine and soak in the bay’s beauty!
Sonoma/Napa (50ish miles) I am thinking you guys already know why you should make the drive northeast to Sonoma and Napa Valleys, but just in case you do not it is a little four lettered word: wine. But, to be fair, the areas boast of lots of fun activities.
Sacramento (87 miles) The state’s capitol city is not that far from San Fran and is worth a drive out. You can catch a Kings basketball game, peruse their historic Old Town, tour the Capitol buildings and eat at some of their local, funky eateries.
Santa Cruz (75 miles) Santa Cruz has a seaside boardwalk with a fair-like atmosphere, complete with roller coasters and arcade games. Santa Cruz has miles of seaside roads with million dollar views of the shoreline and Pacific Ocean. You can also enjoy horseback riding, surfing and boating. Do you need more reasons to visit?
Carmel-by-the-Sea (119 miles) Carmel-by-the-Sea is like San Fran’s hippie-chick sister. Smaller, chiller and less up-tight, the seaside community is home to Hollywood stars and normal folk too. Window shop to your heart’s content, swim at the beach, hike seaside trails, play golf at Pebble Beach or watch seals in the harbors. No matter your taste, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a gem of a town not be missed.
Yosemite (164 miles) It is far, but Yosemite can be done with one tank of gas if you have a vehicle with decent gas mileage. You can easily spend a week camping and exploring the park and you would still only see some of the thousands of acres, hundreds of hiking trails and countless pretty places in Yosemite. If you have the gas money and time, use it to see Yosemite. Who doesn’t want to breathe a little fresh air after being couped up in the city?
San Francisco is a destination in and of itself. It is a sprawling city with art, sports, shopping, history, natural beauty and architecture. You guys know that I am not a city girl. Sky scrapers, taxis, noise and lots of people just irritate me and get on my nerves. San Francisco is so different in my eyes; I love this city. BUT, who doesn’t want a little road trip to explore more? Who doesn’t want to get out of the skyscrapers shadows every once in a while?
Go for it; there are so many great places to see with just one tank of gas and a pinch of adventure!