San Francisco Day Trips

by: Barbie Bertisch

Escape from San Fran

Let’s face it, the further north you go on the West Coast, the more lush and green the landscape gets–and we’re not talking legislation. There is incomparable beauty to be found in the larger-than-life parks and vineyards of this area, and here’s how to get to them.
 

Yosemite

Wake up at the crack of dawn and pack your hiking boots, music, snacks, and a camera–because you don’t want to miss Yosemite and you’ve come this far already. Yosemite Park is only a three-hour drive from SF, and the nearby towns are all Gold Rush-era treasures that are experiencing an interest boom. People really want to get outta the city for some amazing farm-to-table dining experiences, and this area nails it.
 

Redwoods

Book that extra night in town and take a day to visit the Redwoods–and don’t you dare hesitate! Thirty-seven miles of pristine coastline, rivers, streams, prairies, and the most magnificent trees you’ve ever seen await you. The main attraction: humongous sequoias. These beauties are members of one of the largest tree species on the planet, so these are some of the world’s tallest and most massive forests. Go off the downtown San Fran grid and stay in a quaint nearby town. Spend at least a day or so enjoying all the beauty.
 

Vineyards

Seventy-four miles. That’s the distance between Central San Francisco and Napa Valley. Whether you’ve got time for a day trip or plan on spending the night, you should try to visit a vineyard–or treat yourself to a hot air balloon ride. If you’re unsure of where to start, stops in Napa and Yountville should serve as kickoff points. From there, Calistoga and St. Helena are further out and will take you to top wineries like Beringer, Beaulieu, Alpha Omega, Cade Estate, Caymus, and beyond.

HOTELS
  • Hotel Del Sol

    Aside from being located near all the highway veins that can transport you to the green, rolling hills of national parks and wineries, we like Hotel Del Sol because it just feels happy. The Marina district is the perfect backdrop to this super chill spot. The hotel gives guests a chance to lounge on hammocks, swim in their heated outdoor saltwater pool, and even the option to indulge in milk and cookies every afternoon. Bright and cheerful is just how we’d like to kickoff our SF travels.

  • Hotel Vitale

    We love a hotel with a view. JDV’s Hotel Vitale offers that and so much more. The hotel’s views of the Embarcadero waterfront bring the outside in, and the close proximity gives guests a chance to hop in a car and explore the best Bay Area landscapes. This is a more swanky JDV location, and thus comes with its very own spa, on-site gym, and even meeting rooms (for the workaholics who can’t seem to fully checkout).

  • Axiom Hotel

    There’s no denying that SoMA is where the tech movers and shakers spend their time. Axiom Hotel thrives with modern, driven, techy individuals in mind–think minimalist interiors, lux materials, fiber optic Internet access, and more. But what seals the deal for us is their eConcierge services, which makes an escapade to Napa, Redwoods, or Yosemite, a total breeze.

  • Orchard Hotel

    By everyone’s standards, this is a very traditional hotel framework–from the interiors to the service. However, this boutique hotel is proud to boast their new eco-friendly approach. Imagine planning a trip to one of USA’s most iconic parks, to then come to your hotel and realize you’re doing nothing to help keep those beautiful sequoias alive? Yeah, it’s a strange feeling for us, too. We encourage you to put your money where your heart is and help keep the planet green by giving business to environmentally friendly establishments like this one.

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