Ready to unwind after a few days of hustle in San Francisco? The city is surrounded by gorgeous getaways that are just a short drive (or ferry ride!) away. Make sure to book a few extra days to turn that business trip into a fun and relaxing vacation. Below, are a few fantastic side trips from San Francisco for putting your feet up and making the most of your weekend.
Muir Woods, 30 min from SF
Taking in this forest full of stunning California redwoods will leave you speechless. Muir Woods’ tall trees are enough of a marvel that just standing and staring at them is entertaining on its own, but you can also get a more in-depth feel for the wildlife among the park’s several miles of hiking trails.
Angel Island & Tiburon, 30 min from SF
This gorgeous state park island in the San Francisco Bay offers views of the city skyline that you can’t find anywhere else. Angel Island is famous for serving as an immigration processing point in the early 20th century, but these days, its known as a home to hiking trails, wildlife, and fresh air. To make a full day out of your adventure, explore the peaceful, small-town vibe of nearby Tiburon, the town the Angel Island Ferry departs from.
Napa Valley, 1 hr 30 min from SF
This famous region is a wine lover’s dream - and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from San Francisco. Gaze out at Napa’s endless rows of scenic vineyards as you enjoy vino tastings aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. If you really want to take things up a notch, you can even book yourself a wine-themed limo ride. Go big or go home, right?
Big Sur, 3 hrs from SF
If you have time for the long drive, a jaunt to Big Sur is well worth your while. This famous stretch of beach, mountains, and scenic road is about as photogenic as a destination can get. As you wind your way down the famous Pacific Coast Highway (with the radio turned up, of course) you’ll take in views you’ll never forget. Relax on the beach, stop at world-class local restaurants along the way, and be sure to take in the sunset over the cliffs before you leave.
Half Moon Bay, 40 min from SF
This cheerful town is home to ocean views, eclectic shops, top-notch golf courses, a fantastic surf scene, and local historic sites - in short, it’s got a little something for everyone. Half Moon Bay also has a thriving creative community, with vibrant galleries and a talented local art collective known as “The Colony Of Coastside Artists.”
Santa Cruz, 1 hr 15 min from SF
This laidback coastal city boasts an amusement park boardwalk, live music, and ridiculously good pizza. If you’re craving a bit of peace and quiet beyond the boardwalk, venture out to the city’s excellent nature trails and ziplines.
Carmel, 2 hrs from SF
When you stroll the charming streets of Carmel, you’ll feel like you’ve been dropped straight into the middle of a European village. After gazing at the gorgeous architecture, dip into the vibrant local galleries and restaurants before basking in the sunshine at Carmel Beach.
Just beyond San Francisco, California’s wide open spaces are waiting. So after a long week of work, hop in the car and hit the open road.