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20 places near San Francisco where you can relax a day

Summer in San Francisco is the perfect time for a day of rest within a few hours of driving from San Francisco. Site SFGate compiled a list of 20 travel options with tips on local entertainment and tips on how to avoid popular tourist routes and see the original places. We also offer an approximate travel time from San Francisco (from the point that Google Maps when entering the query "San Francisco") to destinations. The specified time does not take into account possible traffic congestion.

Photo: Shutterstock

  1. Nikacio

Nikasio is one of the smallest towns in Marin County (according to the 2010 census of the year, there are 96 people living there) and an underestimated resting place in the bay area. You can start with a little hike Roy's redwoods, and then return to the town and admire the local 150-year-old church (pictured). You can finish the trip with dinner and live music in the rural bar-restaurant. Rancho nicasiowhich was recently recognized by restaurant critics as “one of the best and most modern cuisines in Marin County”.

Travel time from San Francisco to Nikacio: 48 minutes

  1. Point Flight

Go to the less crowded side of Point Coast National Coast, leave your car near Abbotts lagoon trailhead or Pierce point road and take the easy 1,5 mile route to Abbots Lagoon. You can have a picnic on the shore of the lagoon or go a little more in the direction of the huge 10 Mile Beachto watch the surf. Be careful - on this coast there are unexpected "sleeping waves", so do not wander through the water.

After a picnic and a walk you can drive a little higher along Pierce point road to the Pierce Point Ranch (Pierce Point Ranch), 1858 dates back to the year and is one of the oldest ranches on the Point Reis Peninsula. From the ranch walk along the trail Tomales point - it offers fantastic views of the coast.

Travel time from San Francisco to Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead: 1,5 hours to the ranch Pierce Point: 1 hour 40 minutes.

  1. North bay

A tour of North Bay's “cinema” places can be started from the town of Petaluma, where Marin County resident and Star Wars creator George Lucas shot his classic 1973 film of the year American Graffiti. In the nearby town of Santa Rosa, there is a museum of Charles Schulz - so if you like comics more, check in there to look at the pictures from the comics Peanuts and animation projects.

Travel time from San Francisco to Petaluma: 50 minutes

From Petalumy, you can turn west to Bodega Bay, where they filmed the Hitchcock Thriller Birds. Stroll around the city, take a picture with the statue of Hitchcock and visit Birdland - A small museum dedicated to Hitchcock, next to the souvenir shop. On the way back, if you go through Highway 1 south, you can make a small detour in San Anselmo - see the statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones in the park Imagination, which George Lucas gave the city.

Travel time from Petaluma to Bodega Bay: 34 minutes from San Francisco to Bodega Bay: 1 hour 20 minutes (directly) or 2 hours (via San Anselmo).

  1. Pescadero

Start with Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, where many excursions are offered, including adults (it is advisable to book in advance). Driving a little further south from Pescadero, you can see the lighthouse Pigeon point and park New Year with elephant sea rookery and a three-mile route. If you want to visit less known places, head inland to the park. Butane. On the way back you can admire the views of the beaches of Pescadero (Pescadero State Beach).

Travel time from San Francisco to Pescadero: 1 hour from Pescadero to the park Año Nuevo: 20 minutes.

  1. Safari West in Santa Rosa

Imagine that you flew to Africa for a day to watch a safari - visit Safari west in Santa Rosa. Such a journey will be more expensive than others (prices for safaris start at $ 83), but there you can see more 800 species of exotic animals, including hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes and rhinos. There is also a campsite with amenities and the opportunity to dine in a safari style for those who wish to stay overnight.

Travel time from San Francisco to Safari West: 1 hour 14 minutes.

  1. Capitola

The small Mediterranean town of Capitola, south of Santa Cruz, is very popular among lovers of canoeing on Capitola Beach. But if you prefer to be on land, go shopping Capitola village or dine in one of the restaurants overlooking the coast.

Travel time from San Francisco to Capitol: 1 hour 23 minutes.

  1. Herneville

On a hot summer day, come to Johnsons Beach in Gerneville, 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 a local Big Bottom Market, in the very center of this beautiful town, and sit on a picnic in a charming Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (seven minutes from the center of Gerneville). There are also tourist routes of different difficulty levels.

Travel time from San Francisco to Gerneville: 1 hour 40 minutes.

  1. Mission San Juan Bautista

In this Spanish mission, you can live to see the filming locations of the most famous scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” movie. If, after visiting the mission, you are ready to go further, 40 is miles (approximately 50 minutes away) from there is a national park Pinnacles. There you can explore the ancient remains of a volcano, walk through the caves of lava and see the habitats of the California Condor.

Travel time from San Francisco to San Juan Bautista: 1 hour 35 minutes, from the park The Pinnacles to San Francisco: 2 hours 30 minutes.

  1. Whale watching on the Farallon Islands

Observing an unprecedented number of whales near the coast can give an unforgettable experience. Whale tours to the Farallon Islands can be booked through the Ocean Community (Oceanic society) from May to November. If you prefer land, there are also places on the coast, from which you can clearly see the whales.

Travel time from San Francisco: very fast! Tours depart from San Francisco and Sausalito.

  1. “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 tourist routes. Do not miss the ruins of the Wolf House (pictured), the Museum of the House of Happy Walls and the Pork Palace at the Belle Ranch, where London experimented with farming. Free excursions are held on weekends, information about which can be found on park site.

If you think that you cannot visit the wine region and not visit the winery, take a look at Benziger Family Winery for a biodynamic vineyard excursion - it’s just 10 minutes walk or two minutes 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.

  1. Park Castle-Rock

Start with a picnic at Ridge vineyards in Cupertino, then visit the Castle Rock National Park (pictured) - a popular place for hiking and climbing. The park is located in 30 minutes from the winery, near the highest point of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and from here fantastic views of the ocean.

Travel time from San Francisco to Ridge vineyards: 1 hour 6 minutes.

  1. Mineral baths and pools of the wine region

If the weather is cool, you can visit one of the mineral baths and hot springs near Calistoga (in the photo - Indian springs). On a hot day, there are options in Geyserville - Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers a pool with houses.

Travel time from San Francisco to Calistoga: 1 hour 40 minutes, to geyserville: 1 hour 30 minutes.

  1. Bathing in natural waters

You can drive or climb Berkeley hillsto spend the day at Anza Lake in Tilden Regional Park. Lake Anza and its sandy beaches hide behind the slopes Berkeley hillsthat 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.

  1. Half Moon Bay

In Half Moon Bay, you can start from the historic center, continue to the beach, visit the shops and restaurants and enjoy a stroll through the Mirama beach and beautiful views.

Travel time from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay: 42 minutes.

  1. Felton

If you want an active holiday, you can get it in the Felton area - for example, do zip-linings or air adventures (for children and adults). After the forest cable car entertainment, head to Santa Cruz, which is only 15 minutes 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.

  1. local farm

Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, this is a historic working farm, where there are opportunities to play with animals and ride the train. Take something for a picnic - on the farm you can sit on the grass among the peacocks.

Old borges ranch 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 (in the photo), walk along the ranch or the hiking trail nearby.

Travel time from San Francisco to Ardenwood Historic Farm: 46 minutes from San Francisco to Borges ranch: 50 minutes.

  1. Santa Cruz Day

The city of Santa Cruz has something to do throughout the day. For example, take a walk on the beach and the Santa Cruz promenade (yes, the place is crowded with tourists, but still very beautiful), ride a roller coaster Big dipper walk along the pier and watch the surfers, see the local lighthouse. If you go down Pacific Avenue to the city center and walk past the cliffs, you will get to the natural attractions Natural Bridges. At the right time of year, you may even be lucky enough to see flocks of monarch birds on these rocks.

Travel time from San Francisco to Santa Cruz: 1 hour 24 minutes.

  1. Carmel

In the cozy town of Carmel (Carmel-by-the-Sea) you can spend the day visiting art galleries and admiring the views of the ocean from the snow-white beaches.

Travel time from San Francisco to Carmel: approximately 2 hours.

  1. Sonoma

In Sonoma, we recommend that you look at the historic square and have a picnic right on it, in the interval between visits to local shops (for example, vintage nostalgic Tiddle E Winks Vintage 5 & Dime) and a history lesson from the San Francisco Solano Mission (pictured). As an alternative - a picnic can be arranged in a historic Buena Vista Winery, seven minutes drive from Sonoma Square. There is a beautiful picnic area near the winery, and there you can visit the museum of the history of wine instruments - with a tasting and 20-minute light and sound show about the history of winemaking.

Travel time from San Francisco to Sonoma: 1 hour 3 minutes, from San Francisco to Buena Vista Winery: 1 hour 5 minutes.

  1. Mendocino

This is the only journey that is better to stretch over two days with an overnight stay, but it's really worth it. Leave early in the morning to enjoy long journeys and incredible views. Take the 128 track beyond Petalumoy - this hook in 85 miles will allow you to visit small wineries, art galleries and see the beautiful nature. In Mendocino County, stop at Inn at Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg. This is a functioning ranch on the territory of the 2000-acre nature reserve, in which there is a coast and forests for walks.

On the way back, go by Highway 1 - there will be only you and the ocean to your right. Do not forget to call in Point arena lighthouse - the highest lighthouse on the Pacific coast, height 35 meters.

Travel time from San Francisco to Mendocino: 3 hours 8 minutes on the routes 101 and 128, from Mendocino to San Francisco4 hours 2 minutes Highway 1.

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