San Francisco Bay Area - Day Trips

Not sure how to kill a day or a weekend? No clue where to take your visitors? Check out this list.

Day Trips

Bike the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito

  • rent the bike and gears from Sports Basement(610 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94129. near Presidio
  • bike across the bridge
  • bike down to Sausalito
  • have lunch, and maybe ice cream
  • take the ferry back to S.F.
  • bike along the water front, return the bike to Sports Basement

San Francisco: Downtown

  • Market street. north: financial district; south(SoMa) tech giants
  • Ferry building
  • Embacadero
  • Pier 39
  • historical street car and cable car
  • China town, Japan town

San Francisco: Golden Gate Park + Lands End

  • Lands end
  • Lands end Labryinth
  • Sutro Baths
  • USS SF Memorial
  • Ocean Beach
  • Golden Gate park


  • campus tour

Muir Woods

  • a great hike in the woods
  • get their early, parking is extremely hard

Point Reyes

Napa and Sonoma County

  • early morning hot air balloon
  • wine train for lunch
  • a tour in a winery

Santa Cruz

  • the pier is free in the morning
  • sea lions can be seen at the end of the pier

Monterry + 17 miles

  • drive down to Monterry, eat at Old Fisherman's Wharf
  • drive the 17 miles(extra cost): 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, through the Del Monte Forest and along the Pacific Coast
  • Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary: "Preserve with pine, cypress & eucalyptus trees sheltering thousands of monarch butterflies Oct–Mar.". Best time to visit is Nov to Feb.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Eolian Dunes Preserve
  • Lover's Point Beach: kayak rental, public restrooms

California State Route 1

Drive alone State Route 1:

  • Carmen by the sea
  • Big Sur
  • Pfeiffer Beach
  • McWay Cove

Pinnacle National Park

  • the youngest national park in California(promoted from National Monument)

White Water Rafting in American River

  • launch near Sacramento

Pick Cherries in Brentwood

  • usually in May

Theme Parks

  • either Six Flags or Great America


Angle Island

Golden Gate Bridge + Presidio

Multi-day Trips

Lake Tahoe

  • 4 hrs drive from Bay Area
  • 1 hr flight to Reno

Yosemite national Park

  • 4 hrs drive from Bay Area

Sequoia National Park + Kings Canyon National Park

  • 4 hrs drive from Bay Area

Death Valley

  • 8 hrs drive from Bay Area

Herst Castle

  • 3-4 hrs drive from Bay Area


  • Bowling Ball Beach
  • Glass Beach

Chanel Island National Park

  • 5 hrs drive to Ventura, then take boat