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11 Best Day Trips From San Francisco To Spend Weekend Beside the Sea

San Francisco has many things to do and visit which will make your weekend engaged easily. But still, if you are living in the city since your childhood, it’s obvious you will get turn off by visiting the same places again and gain. So to change in place you may try the day trips from San Francisco.

This famous city, San Francisco has many places to visit. Being a traveler San Francisco will be the wanderlust and once you have analyzed all the sights of the city, you must take the day tours from San Francisco where you will get to have the amazing places and destinations to add your list of travel memory.

Below are some of the best places to visit for your best weekend getaways from San Francisco.

11 Weekend Day Trips From San Francisco

  1. Sausalito
  2. Santa Cruz
  3. Alcatraz
  4. Napa Valley
  5. Yosemite National Park
  6. Sonoma 
  7. Monterey
  8. Carmel by the sea
  9. Muir Woods National Monument
  10. Big Sur
  11. Silicon Valley

1. Sausalito

Sausalito, weekend trips from San Francisco
Stunning view of Sausalito

The town is put on the northern edge of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Town has many things to explore with history to the beautiful city view.

To reach this town is something you will endure every time. You may take the roadway by a car crossing the Golden Gate Bridge or more appealing if you are taking a ferry ride by the water. You will get some amazing scenic view of the hills covered in Sausalito. This is worth for your weekend trips from San Francisco.

Apart from this, when you are in town you will get to see more than 400 captivating Waterhouse are one corner of the city whereas on the other end you will get to know a lot about the history of World War II. Further, you can have a delicious plate of meal to catch up on your hunger.

Time to reach: utmost ½ hour from San Francisco

Distance: 10 miles out of San Francisco approx.

2. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, best day trips from San Francisco
Santa Cruz is famous for its charming cool bay areas

An out squared of the city, Santa Cruz is located south of San Francisco. It’s a charming cool bay area with many surf spots in the wide stretched beaches.

San Cruz is not just limited to the wonderful beaches and seashore areas but also the city itself has many things to do and explore. The city has several amusement parks where you can spend your whole day with fun swings and rides. Even more, you can have outdoor activities like zipline, railroad riding and Bigfoot hunting across the grocer of Mount Hermon.

Apart from it, San Cruz is well known for its stunning mountain ranges, compelling treetop walks, exciting butterflies residing in the eucalyptus trees at Monarch Grove, in Natural Bridges State Beach is something which will attract you the most. All these will surely excite you, making this place perfect for the day trips from San Francisco.

Time to reach: nearly 1 & ½ hours from San Francisco

Distance: 75 miles south of San Francisco approx.

3. Alcatraz

Alcatraz, day tour from San Francisco
An ancient island, Alcatraz, now the tourist attraction from world-wide

Alcatraz day tour from San Francisco is a well-known place for many of the San Francisco Union or the tourists from worldwide. 

This small island is known as “The Rock”, introduced in 1868 along with the 1st lighthouse, a military prison, a military bastion, and a popular federal prison which is engaged from 1933 to 1963. Here many notorious prisoners were kept and the prison staff is a National Historic Landmark, which is now the most attraction of tourists from San Francisco.

Apart from this, there is an Alcatraz garden maintained by the Island holders which is something worth a visit at the time of blooms. So, this makes the island the best day tour for many to have fun and get away from city life for a while.

Time to reach: extremely 20 to 30 mins from San Francisco

Distance: 3.5 miles far from the main city, San Francisco approx.

4. Napa Valley

Napa Valley, day trip to Napa from San Francisco
The beautiful vineyard of the wonderful Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a wonderful point near the city, full of lush greenery and vineyards calling the wine lovers from San Francisco half-day wine tours.

Travelers come across here for exploring the marvelous valley, feed yourself the authentic yummy food with a glass of wine for sure. Further, you can have the luxury of getting relaxed in the spas over these valleys.

In a day trip to Napa from San Francisco, you will come across many wineries and wine shops which are open for tourists every time of the year. For more, you should take a ride of Napa Valley Wine Train which will leave you awe by the marvelous landscape covering a versatile range of wineries.

Time to reach: 1 & ½ hours from San Francisco 

Distance: 55 miles distanced from San Francisco approx.

5. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite day trip
Yosemite National Park is just a breathtaking scenic view, perfect to see the wonder of nature

3,027 km square large, this Yosemite National Park is the 1st national park in the world to explore the ranging forest to the rivers while putting behind the city environment and inhaling fresh air indeed.

This park has famous as the best American wilderness which is just mind-blowing. Perhaps, Sierra Nevada mountains with its scenic views where you will come up with many new varieties of flora and fauna is breathtaking. Yosemite day trips from San Francisco is worth it for kick back the sufferings of day to day life.

The forest area is covered with the giant sequoia trees, somewhere in between the forest from where you will get the magnificent view of Bridalveil Fall, stunning Tunnel View, and the granite cliffs Half Dome and El Capitan and many more which will give you ultimate pleasure in your way back.

Yosemite National Park has many campsites and considered to be the best camping site in the whole Yosemite.

Time to reach: about 4 hours & 10-15 mins to reach from San Francisco
Distance: 192 miles at the side of San Francisco approx.

Also read: Day trips from Nevada

6. Sonoma

Sonoma, half-day wine trips from San Francisco
Tasty wine of Sonoma in front of vineyards in this valley

Apart from Napa Valley, Sonoma is another vineyard valley and has many wineries which became the options for the wine lovers to visit from San Francisco half-day wine tours.

Even more, you will get to know the whole process of winemaking in the Sonoma Valley and had some in Lancaster Estate Winery and Portalupi Winery. Further then wine you can hang on to the fooderies like chess sandwich in Sonoma Cheese Factory.

It’s not yet finished here, you can even try the olive oils and fresh olives in this valley with a marvelous landscape which is 1st oil mill in San Francisco.

Time to reach: almost 1 hour from San Francisco

Distance: 39 miles out the way of San Francisco approx.

7. Monterey

Monterey, weekend trips from San Francisco
Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibits multiple aqua species

It’s the best day trips from San Francisco for travelers searching for the shot vacation with the wonderful valleys and amusing things to do.

While you are in Monterey you must go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is home to 35,000 plants and animals from 550 species. Aquarium exhibits Kelp Forest, the Splash Zone, and the Open Sea Gallery. The new one is added to this is a cute lovely sea otter which gets interacted with visitors. 

Apart from this, you should experience the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail based on the groves of the pacific ocean, best for the riders. From here you will get a premium eye-catching view. The area is decorated by nature with wildflowers and rocky rages making it the best weekend getaways from San Francisco.

Time to reach: 3 hours from San Francisco

Distance: about 120 miles off San Francisco approx.

8. Carmel by the Sea

Carmel by the Sea
Stunning white beaches with vibrant blue water in Carmel by the Sea

On the way to Monterey, you have to take a break on the stunning white sand beaches over this beautiful town Carmel by sea to add much more fun to your holiday.

You will get to see the absolutely amazing European-style colorful streets and restaurants with delicious food across the town. You must also visit the Carmel Mission to grasp the history of the town.

Apart from the city if you follow the strain road you will get to face the beautiful seaside and awesome shinny white-sand beach, best in this area with the vibrant blue water of the sea which is excellent for San Francisco day tours.

Time to reach: 2 hours to reach from San Francisco

Distance: 120 miles from San Francisco approx.

9. Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument, weekend getaway from San Francisco
Muir Woods National Monument is best for nature lovers

It’s the best day trip for those who want to lose in the hands of nature. Muir Woods National Monument is situated across the golden bridge which is packed with frondescence.

Muir Woods is an old-growth coastal dense redwood forest with majorly redwood trees all around and in the middle of it crisscross trails for visitors for hiking over the nature paradise. Other than this, You will get to catch up with bobcats and deer to coyote and barn owls while walking between the woods.

At some peak of the forest, you will get the gorgeous view of the pacific ocean and towering Mount Tamalpais. The place itself is a wonder and thus, perfect for weekend trips from San Francisco getting away from city smoke to take fresh air.

Time to reach: just 45 mins from San Francisco 

Distance: 17 miles distanced San Francisco approx.

10. Big Sur

Big Sur, San Francisco day tour
The peaceful, uncrowded coastal area of Big Sur

This remote location situated in the west of San Francisco is just a ramble land on the way to Carmel town. This undiscovered sight is best for day trips from San Francisco going away from city crowd to the quiet peaceful land.

Big Sur is in front of 90 miles long stretched beach where you will get total satisfaction by sea sounds apart from the city crowd noise. Nature has blessed well to this place with water to land, from mountains with forest.

Moreover, it’s the best place for camping and bonfire with your friends or loved ones. There are many campsites by the shore of the sea. Even more, you may take short trekking trails or hike over the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Time to reach: utmost 3 hours 30 mints by San Francisco

Distance: 154 miles about San Francisco approx.

11. Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley
World-famous Silicon Valley of San Francisco

Each one of us will be well aware of the Silicon Valley of San Francisco. Valley is world-famous for serving high aspects of technology, innovation, and social media updates.

Apart from technical development, this valley also gives us many sights to explore in day trips from San Francisco. Computer History Museum will be informative and sure will gather the knowledge of the evolution of technology and where it is going to be in the future.

In addition to it, you will be able to explore the renowned Google Campus and their gift shop with gorgeous stuff which you can purchase.

Time to reach: just a 40 mins drive from San Francisco

Distance: 40 miles from San Francisco approx.


So at the end of the blog, you have a list of top 11 variety of destinations which are the best day trips from San Francisco for you shot break from the worn-out life.

You can take either a Yosemite day trip from San Francisco or a day trip to Napa from San Francisco or simply go to the haft-day wine tour to Sonoma. You want to hang on the sea and beaches, you will have Carmel by sea or walk on nature then go to Muir Woods National Monument and there are many more.

Be safe and travel happily.

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