Road Trip From San Francisco enjoyable way to travel than by car in California? You need a car to go to everything, from the Pacific Coast Highway to the California deserts and renowned national parks. This is why I receive many inquiries on organizing road trips in California.I recently moved to California, and since then, I’ve been exploring my new state by spending time in the San Francisco Bay Region (first in Sausalito, then in Oakland). We even took a road trip on our honeymoon, which I just adore! I like to go outside of the Bay Area.
I’ve been gradually compiling a list of the top road trips I’ve taken from San Francisco or still see taking. Road trips are a fantastic, safe way to travel since they let you decide precisely how much interaction you have with people. Road vacations allow you to make your own decisions, whether you like vehicle camping, motels, taking your vaccination card with you everywhere, or any other combination of factors.
I’ll highlight some of my preferred driving routes through San Francisco. Each departs from San Francisco and leads you in a different way to see the delights of Northern California (and a couple to Southern California, if you have the time!). After reading this, you’ll feel motivated to choose one of these routes and embark on a journey down the open road. Safe travels!
Road Trip Destinations From San Francisco
Even though Point Reyes is only a short drive from San Francisco, it offers a wealth of sightseeing, hiking, animal watching, and other outdoor activities. Consider setting aside a day to go to Alamere Falls or to visit the Cypress Tree Tunnel for photographs. Given that the peninsula extends deeper into whale habitat than other locations along the coast, Point Reyes is among NorCal’s greatest places to go whale watching. Take a position close to Point Reyes Lighthouse and Chimney Rock, or take a shuttle to different viewing sites. Remember to visit Drakes Beach to see the elephant seals.
Stop by the Marshall Store on Tomales Bay for some delectable fresh oysters.
Visitors to California often find themselves attracted to the state’s wine regions, with Napa Valley being especially captivating. Of course, most tourists partake in the region’s 400+ wineries’ wine tastings, which is a delight in and of itself. But whether you want to fit in a bike tour, a hot air balloon ride, a spa day, a concert, a gallery visit, or a shopping spree, you may enjoy a variety of wine-tasting experiences. Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, a 13th-century Tuscan castle with a stunning hand-crafted wine program, is one of Napa Valley’s most distinctive tourist sites. It’s also worthwhile to spend some time at the 40,000-square-foot Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa.
Which features top-notch regional merchants and seats next to the Napa River.
Silicon Valley and San Jose, CA
San Jose and Silicon Valley are just a short drive Road Trip From San Francisco. Three roads connect San Francisco to San Jose: the US-101, which passes through much of Silicon Valley; the CA-82, which is slower and parallel; and the I-280, which travels farther inland and is a longer but more picturesque journey.
Stanford University sits close to the tech centers of Palo Alto and Menlo Park, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Explore this prestigious institution’s lovely campus and take in its stunning architecture. San Jose boasts a captivating cityscape with numerous attractions.
Yet many often skip it in favor of heading to San Francisco.
Make sure to visit Tech Interactive, a superb museum about technology.
Scientific invention, if you want to continue learning about technology and innovation in San Jose.
Pescadero, California, and Half Moon Bay, CA
Highway 1 runs along the coast Road Trip From San Francisco.
Making it one of the most picturesque routes you can drive. As the path winds and curves along the shore, you will eventually arrive in Half Moon Bay after about 30 minutes.
It’s the ideal place for a stroll or a picnic on Francis Beach amid the historic agricultural and fishing hamlet. Pescadero is just another 25 minutes down the road from where you stopped.
Explore the finest North California coastline in Pescadero and return to nature. There are several state parks and preserves close to the town, and living here is leisurely. A few miles farther south, the relatively modest Ao Nuevo State Park is.
Wonderful for a stroll with an amazing view of the craggy coastline.
It would help if you crossed the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco and followed the directions to Sonoma. Highway 12 leads you into the Sonoma Valley, a region with numerous wineries. Enjoy some of the greatest wine available in the United States by detouring off the main route.
Despite being officially in Sonoma County, the city of Sebastopol finds its location within the Russian River wine area. The Russian River area is the largest freshwater wetlands region in the US.
you can observe apple orchards and various distinctive natural features throughout the city’s surroundings.
While many often visit Santa Cruz as a day trip from San Francisco, depending on your interests, it has the potential to become much more than just that. Hiking at Wilder Ranch .
Nisene Marks State Park are great ways to spend time outside, as are surfing classes or kayaking on the water. To learn more about the area’s history, visit the Tallac Historic Site or the Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum.
For those of us who love the outdoors and want to experience a more distant spot on the ocean, Mendocino is a terrific choice. Mendocino County boasts over 90 miles of stunning California coastline.
Featuring well-known destinations like Bowling Ball Beach, Manchester State Beach, and Jug Handle State Reserve. You may also spend the day trekking through Montgomery Woods’ magnificent sequoias or spend the night at a nearby farm. Mendocino has beautiful natural attractions and several top-notch wineries, breweries, and dispensaries. Take a peek at the Mendocino Beer Trail if you enjoy craft beer.
Big Sur, CA
Big Sur, California, is the ideal location for trekking and exploration since it perfectly combines mountains and beaches. Its most renowned recognition is partly due to the cliffs’ sheerness and the ocean views.
You may see animals here yearly, including elephant seals, gray whales, and more. Along with a commanding view of the shoreline on the western side, the eastern slope offers vistas of the 3 million acres of the Los Padres National Forest. Consider taking a horseback trip down the shore with a local tour company that provides rides inside Andrew Molera State Park if you want some excitement. Pfeiffer Beach is another option if you want to take some amazing pictures.
Lake Tahoe, CA
The Sierra Nevada mountain range includes Lake Tahoe, CA, the second-deepest lake in the country, renowned for its crystal-clear water and extensive mountain vistas. While the beaches are wonderful for sunbathing, the nearby woodlands are ideal for trekking. You may also go on your skis at Palisades Tahoe or go to Emerald Bay State Park for a day spent outside on hiking paths with breathtaking vistas. It would help if you took the popular trek along the Rubicon Trail. Parasailing, boating, paddleboarding, skiing, and kayaking are all options for sports lovers. To learn more about the area’s history, visit the.
Tallac Historic Site or the Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mammoth Lakes, California, is the perfect location for sightseeing, fishing, bicycling, snowshoeing, and other outdoor activities because of its snowy mountain peaks, valleys, and lakes. For those who enjoy the arts, check out one of Mammoth Lakes’ three film festivals or see a performance at the Mammoth Lakes Arts Centre or Sierra Classic Theatre. You may visit the former Mammoth Consolidated Mining Camp to understand the area’s past. You might also visit Manzanar National Historic Site, a wartime internment camp for Japanese Americans established during World War II.
Bodie State Historic Park, a former 10,000-person gold-mining ghost town in California.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, occasionally called SLO, presents an excellent opportunity to pause during your journey along Highway 1 to Southern California. Its convenient location makes it ideal for engaging in some remarkable sightseeing. Visit the elephant seals at San Simeon, tour the neighboring Hearst Castle.
Athen visit the town to check out the astonishing array of restaurants serving farm-fresh food. Get your outdoor fix at the beaches.
And lakes before visiting Field of Light in neighboring Paso Robles to witness Bruce Munro’s enormous LED super bloom sculpture.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
At the southernmost point of the Cascade Mountains lies a national park called Lassen Volcanic, which spans over 100,000 acres. Its fame comes from its boiling hydrothermal spots, such as the bubbling 16-acre Bumpass Hell, which you can only access during the summer and fall. The Devastated Area, which continues to exhibit the.
Aftermath of the volcano’s 1915 eruption, by the rocky lava dome of Lassen Peak, which you can also explore. You can readily observe the hydrothermal zones, alpine lakes, mountain meadows.
And volcanic wildness from the park’s more than 150 kilometers of hiking paths.