Where to Go From San Fran: 12 Trips within 4 Hours

by Crystal Meers
Photo: sanjoseweb / Flickr

 You've gone west. Okay, so, what's next?  See Gentedimontagna's Guide to San Francisco. Then take a day trip in a new direction. 

UNDER AN HOUR AWAY

Enough time to get across the bay.

1. Sausalito
Shop for classic California ceramics from Edith Heath's original studio and showroom. Take in the cityscape and bay view from Farley Bar at Cavallo Point. Make a weekend trip of it, starting at The Inn Above Tide.

2. Oakland
Start with Top Chef judge and California locavore crusador, Anya Fernald's go-to shops and eateries. Stay long enough for dinner at Boot and Shoe Service.

3. Berkeley
It's not as hard as it sounds to squeeze into lunch at Chez Panisse, which would mean there would be time to hit Gather for dinner. In between, sift through the gift shop darling of the blogosphere, Tail of the Yak (2632 Ashby Ave.; +1-510-841-9891). For the hungry and ambitious, consider a 24-hour blitz through the Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood.


Point Reyes

Point Reyes lighthouse. Photo: rajdayal-nc / Flickr

1-2 HOURS AWAY

Stop at Tartine for morning buns before you hit the road and get back in time for an end-of-the-day ice cream at Bi-rite.

4. Point Reyes
Crack crab claws at Fisherman's Wharf but save the bivalve shucking for a picnic table at Hog Island Oyster Co. overlooking Tomales Bay. Stroll out to the lighthouse on the windiest spit of land on the Pacific Coast. Manka's Inverness Lodge makes a good case for extending your day-trip to a long weekend getaway.

5. Sonoma County
Wind through wine country on a vespa stopping for sips at Cade and Ram's GateOxbow Public Market gather the best of the bay area food and sundries under one, giant roof. But first, check out Gentedimontagna's guide to Napa and Sonoma

6. Halfmoon Bay
Pay a visit to the Purisma Creek Redwoods or see the sights via pony on a guided ride with Sea Horse Ranch. Chow down on crab cioppino at the Flying Fish Grill.


Yuba River

Yuba River. Photo: outsideinn / Flickr

2-3 HOURS AWAY

The scenery and a folk pop playlist make it easier to power through to the final destination of the day.

7. Nevada City
Pick up a F├╝denjuice and head down to the banks of the Yuba River. Sleep over at the National Hotel for a (possibly haunted) holiday.

8. Santa Cruz
Surf's up. Shred with pros or just lay on the beach like one. There are positive vibrations around lunch at Cafe Gratitude. Here's everything you need to know from bay to boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

9. Mendocino
Hike the Headlands, then bolt for the local breweries. LIsten for old-timers speaking boontling, a local dialect mashing up Gaelic, Spanish, and Pomoan steaming from Booneville's counter culture roots.


Basecamp

Photo: Courtesy of Basecamp Hotel

3-4 HOURS AWAY

Pack an overnight bag for this one.

10. Sea Ranch
Check into the Sea Ranch Lodge. Marvel at the '60's throwback shingled houses and the organic architecture of the Sea Ranch Chapel.

11. Lake Tahoe
Someone must have brought sneakers. (Right?) Basecamp Hotel has (almost) everything else covered. Hike the basin and recover with s'mores by the firepit. 

12. Big Sur
Cruise the coast, breaking for beach at Pfieffer State Park, sunset cocktails at The Post Ranch, and country fare from the Big Sur Bakery. Cozy up to cabin life at Deetjens. That's just the start; there's a whole lot more to do in Big Sur.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

Gentedimontagna's San Francisco Guide
A First-Timer's Guide to San Francisco
Three-Day Weekends from San Francisco

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