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Top 14 Scenic Places To Visit In Bay Area (things to do)

The Bay Area, also known as the San Francisco Bay Area is the best place to travel in the United States. It consists of nine counties near San Francisco making places inside this wonderful region to be the best places to visit in Bay Area. Home to approximately 7.5 million citizens. nearby cities of the Bay Area are Oakland and San Jose.

In this blog, we focus on various sites that are worth to visit in the Bay Area. So, are you ready for the true American adventure you are looking for? Let’s jump right into the list:

Bay area places to visit

  1. Sonoma County
  2. Berkeley 
  3. Santa Rosa
  4. Sausalito
  5. Yountville
  6. Big Basins Redwood State Park
  7. Henry Cowell State Park
  8. California Academy of Sciences
  9. Walnut Creek
  10. Calistoga
  11. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  12. The Golden Gate Bridge
  13. Half Moon Bay
  14. Napa

1. Sonoma County 

Sonoma County , places to visit in Bay area
Stunning Natural Beauty

The northernmost county in the Bay Area is, Sonoma County, famous for its wine production in the world. With more than 425 wineries to offer throughout the region, you can taste the wines in the tasting rooms. You can also be offered to tour this splendid region and other places to visit in the Bay Area. There are also excursion trips that will be provided to the tourists to better explore the County.

Not only the Wineries, which is the limelight for the tourists, the County also has a number of museums that draw much attraction and also the best p. The Pacific Coast Air Museum, the Sonoma County Museum, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art are some of these where you can take a glimpse of the fine arts. There are also exhibitions showcasing the County’s cultural heritage.

While in Sonoma County, you can also witness some historic sites such as Spanish Mission San Francisco Solano, a perfect example of the Spanish influence here. You can also feel afresh by roaming to more than 50 state and regional parks residing in the County. One such park is Jack London State Historic Park which is the home and gravesite of the former American Author. 

Located along the Bay Area’s eastern side is the region’s major city, Berkely. The city of Berkeley is famous to have become the center point of America’s Liberal and free speech movement in the 20th century. Berkely is also got its name globally by having some of the best universities in the world. The perfect example is the ‘University of California’, Berkeley. Another one but not least is the ‘Graduate Theological Union’.

2. Berkeley 

Famous Cultural Center

Berkeley is also the cultural point of the Bay Area. Tourists here can enjoy the best of their time walking around its art museum, known as the ‘Berkeley Art Museum’. Not to miss the Pacific Film Archive, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the Hearst Greek Theatre, where you can find yourself with some well known and nationally recognized performing and music artists. 

While unwind yourself with the historic Tilden park, you can also find some unique stores and cafes in the region and other amazing places to visit in the bay area.

3. Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, places to visit in Bay area
Home Of Peanut Cartoons

Santa Rosa is the Californian city situated in Sonoma County. Best known for its wineries, it is the largest city within California’s Wine Country and one of the places to visit in the Bay area. You can also find some fine Micro-breweries which famed this town as the mecca of craft beer.

Some tourist spots here are The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, dedicated to the famed “Peanuts” cartoonist. Nearby, hands-on exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County that include a mini train station. 

You will be dancing on your feet by hearing big-name musicians perform at the Luther Burbank Center for Arts. The Historic Railroad Square neighborhood provides you with lots of shopping, dining and nightlife options. It also takes you to a view around preserved historic buildings.

To the east of Santa Rosa, trail-lined Annadel State Park, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve features beautiful wildflowers. Suitable to perform outdoor activities, these parks also contain wonderful lakes.

4. Sausalito 

Beautiful Seaside Town

Across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco lies ‘Sausalito’ which is much like a harbor city in Marin County, California,  It’s known for its Richardson Bay houseboat enclaves, built by artist squatters after WWII. 

The Visitor Center of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Bay Model has a functioning 3D hydraulic model of the Bay Area, it showcases the area’s waterways where the tourists can get much of the idea of the city’s geography. 

Sausalito soon becomes a popular artist’s colony and tourist destination. In its historic downtown, you can see a wide variety of quaint shops and businesses. You can also try some of the best cuisines in its famous seafood restaurants with waterfront views.

A wide variety of public parks and beaches are offered throughout the city. Notably, some of them are Vina del Mar Plaza, Dunphy Park, and Schoonmaker Beach.

5. Yountville

Impressive Napa Valley

Yountville is a town located in Napa County, in California’s Wine Country. Lies north of San Francisco Bay Area, this popular city is the major hub for the appreciation of wines and gourmet Dining.  

In the Yountville American Viticultural Area, you can really taste some of the fine wines from its large number of wineries. You can observe wine tours as well as tasting rooms which are also offered. the Girard Winery, Domaine Chandon, Silver Trident Winery, and Jessup Cellars are some top wineries in the region. These Wineries are ready to provide you with a real tasty wine pleasure.  

If you are in search of fine dining, consider going around in Michelin-star French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro restaurants. Apart from the gourmet experience, you can take the path of the fun adventure with the Vine Trail Bike Path. Sneak some time to go to the Lincoln theatre and Napa Valley Museum.

6. Big Basins Redwood State Park

Oldest State Park Of California, places to visit in Bay area
Oldest State Park Of California

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a Californian state park, located in Santa Cruz County. Established in 1902, this historical state park is the main tourist attraction place to visit in the Bay area. The name of this park is derived from the ancient coastal redwoods which are abundant in Northern California. 

You can also enjoy hiking trails which are offered throughout the park. Castle Rock State Park, Waddell Beach, and Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve are also worth to see. All of these are part of the park’s 81 miles adventurous trials.

Good wildlife also makes its place in the Big Basins Redwood in the form of abundant forests. Especially it’s tall trees can make your neck stretch to uppermost, and a variety of animals found in good numbers.

7. Henry Cowell State Park

Enjoy Railroad Ride
Enjoy Railroad Ride

Henry Cowell State Park is yet another historic park from the city of California. A place for tourists to get mesmerized by the endless redwoods in the Bay of San Francisco. It is also the center point of this glorious park. Enjoy Railroad Ride

Apart from the scenic beauty of the mountains you see while hiking the trails, surprisingly, you can find yourself to the bear mountain summit. In the San Lorenzo River watershed, Henry Cowell State Park is the main attraction for the tourists. It has offered a  famous ‘Beach Train’ that will eventually take the visitors to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. 

 You can also enjoy riding Roaring Camp Railroad which can take you deeper to the majestic world of redwood groves.

8. California Academy of Sciences

Amazing Museum , places to visit in Bay area
Amazing Museum

Absolutely no doubt, California Academy of Sciences is a must-visit place while on the tour of the Bay Area. A hub for tourists who just want to sneak out to feel a wide variety of experiences it has offered. 

While in the California Academy of Sciences, it seems you are traveling in the mini Bay Area. Just wander around the whole Academy such as going to its planetarium which is the world’s largest planetarium. After watching an enormous number of live animals, the planetarium makes you feel living in the hills with a view of the lush greenery.     

A vertical rainforest and its incredible coral reef ecosystem are all you can be thrilled to see. A natural history museum is also worth to see. The main thing about this Academy is that it offers world-class research and education program. This place is also the best place to visit in the bay area.

9. Walnut Creek 

Walnut Creek , places to visit in Bay area
Stunning Hill View

The famous Walnut Creek is no doubt, one of the top spots for tourists to have a go and feel around the Bay Area. Situated in Contra Costa County, California, this fascinating city is located on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay area. The city is known for its nice urban adventure.

While in Walnut Creek, the best part of your tour is yet to come. You can also mix with the locals to indulge yourself with its endless festivals. You can take part in a lot of adventurous activities to enjoy the fun on the go.

Walnut Creek is also found its place to the top ten spots of foodies in the world. Here, you can have the best of your time to treat yourself with the taste. You can also shop around Walnut Creek to makes it a unique experience. 

10. Calistoga 

Home of Wineries

Calistoga is a historic place in California’s Napa Valley as part of the wonderful range of the series of Bay Area. While drawing quite of the attention of the tourists for its mud baths and fine wineries, this native American place is also famous for Hot springs. It is a hot mark for this small city making the visitors a unique reason to come. 

The site which makes Calistoga so excited is the historic ‘Castello di Amorosa’ a fine and perfect example of the Italian masterpiece dated back to the 13th century. Another place is Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park which is the home of the 19th-century Mill still operating.

One of the scenic beauty of the town of Calistoga is Old Faithful Geyser of California. Amazingly, it continuously erupts from the 19th century as a result of the Well casing here. Surrounded by palms and Mountains, this natural wonder is a hot spot for the tourists where they can buy wooden gifts that are made locally. 

11. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
National Recreation Area

As the name suggests, Golden Gate National Recreation area is used formerly as part of the U.S Army’s National Recreation Area. Situated in the San Francisco bay region, it is one of the world’s largest urban parks. The Park consists of Marin and San Mateo counties as well as regions of San Francisco. 

The Golden Gate National Recreation area is famed for hosting around 15 million tourists annually. This makes it a top place amongst the tourists and visitors. The center of attraction for the tourists here is the historic prison at Alcatraz Island. The Muir Woods National Monument, famous for coastal Redwoods, Presidio of San Francisco military reservation are just treated to watch.

You can also enjoy seasonal camping and accommodations in the area which is a unique experience of its own.

12. The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge, places to visit in Bay area
Iconic Golden Gate Bridge

Well, you probably see the Golden Gate Bridge in most of the movies. Opened in 1937 in San Francisco, this amazing bridge is a must to see. You can think of it as a result of the advancement of the world or more precisely, A Wonder of the modern world. If you are looking for fun then its the best places to visit in the bay area.

Not to miss the bridge’s breathtaking view from its 220 feet height, offers the most panoramic view of city lights. But this is not just the one thing for your reason to get thrilled. You can measure its 1.7-million stretch by bike or by your bare feet, which spans to the Marin Headlands. 

Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is the topmost priority among the tourists of the Bay Area throughout the world.  It is served as a protective shield for the region from invaders during WW2 by the U.S military. For more fun, drive through the historic buildings to the end-point and take the photoshoot of the icon from afar.     

13. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay, places to visit in Bay area
Amazing Beachside View

Half Moon Bay is a small city at the Californian coast at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. As you can guess of the place, it’s truly a paradise for surf lovers so as for the tourists. 

For all those who want to dare 50 feet high waves, just rush to the Maverick Surf Spot. It is located on the north to the pillar point off the coast side of Half Moon Bay State Beach. 

Some of the preserved yesteryear sites have come in the form of historic buildings. William Adam Simmons House, Robert Mills Dairy Barn, and the Methodist Episcopal Church at Half Moon Bay are all registered in the national book of historic places.  

Apart from the adventure and sightseeing, just wander to the Bay’s collection of arts in the Colony of Coastside Artists art collective. This Colony runs amazing town galleries and hosts public art classes and workshops. 

14. Napa

Napa , places to visit in Bay area
Napa Valley

It is the largest city and the county seat of Napa County. Napa is the second-largest city in the wine country of California.  

Napa Valley Opera House, Di Rose arts district and the Oxbow Public Market, etc are some popular places to visit in Napa. It has a variety of galleries and beautiful gardens, which enhance the natural beauty of Napa. Many gourmet restaurants are also located within the city. Napa Valley is very popular for its beautiful nature in winemaking.

There are many things to do in Napa like Napa Valley Bike Tours, St Helena, Castello Di Amorosa, Napa Valley Horse Company, Napa Art Walk, etc. Overall, it is a worth visiting place in the Bay Area.


Bay Area is certainly a place with rich landscapes and a number of heritage sites surrounded by the scenic beauties of hills and greenery. If you want to taste the real Northern American tango and safari, then these places are the best places to visit in the bay area.

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