Weekend Getaways & Day Trips
A cultural and geographic epicenter, San Francisco is an ideal launching point for discovering the Bay Area's many diverse riches. From the incomparable natural beauty of Lake Tahoe to tech savvy Silicon Valley and the unique coastal getaways of Carmel and Santa Cruz, the Bay Area has something for everyone.
With misty redwood groves and charming seaside towns, Marin County is one of the Bay Area's favorite natural playgrounds. Check out this section for special SanFrancisco.com Internet hotel rates across the Bay in picturesque Marin County.
About 100 miles south of San Francisco nestled along the beautifully rugged Pacific coastline is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a simply gorgeous beachside town of historic hotels and cozy inns, hidden cottages and eccentric artist studios, first-class restaurants and picturesque landscapes.
Santa Cruz is a Bay Area destination spot that's always fun for the whole family. From world-class surfing and phenomenal beaches to the world-famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and shopping in eccentric downtown, Santa Cruz has something for everyone.
Just south of San Francisco lies the Silicon Valley and San Jose—excellent places to further explore the diversity of the Bay Area. San Jose has big city amenities while retaining a certain small town feel, full of supurb restaurants and first-class accomodations. Be sure and visit Willow Glen and Campbell for unique shops, hotels and restaurants.
Half Moon Bay is very close to San Francisco, but, any visitor will agree that it's worlds away from the bustling city. Comprised of exquisite resorts, pampering day spas and wonderful dining options (the Moss Beach Distillery is a must), Half Moon Bay is an excellent day trip destination. There's horseback riding on the beach and whale watching from the surrounding cliffs, while those more adventurous might want to try surfing the big waves at Mavericks—home of the largest "big wave" surf competition in the world.
Just west of San Jose, in the foothils of the Santa Cruz Mountains, lies the Town of Los Gatos; home to quaint sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, exquisite fine dining restaurants, antique shops, high-end clothing stores, jewelry shops and art galleries. Los Gatos is a unique village that always draws visitors in with its understated charm. While in Los Gatos, be sure to visit the neighboring town of Saratoga.
Out in the Central Valley, about thirty miles east of San Jose, Livermore is one of California's oldest wine producing regions and is beginning to rival Sonoma and Napa in prominence. In addition to visiting wineries, explore Livermore for a variety of excellent restaurants, championship golf courses and boutique hotels.