10 Day Trips From San Francisco, California - Updated 2022

day trips in san francisco

While San Francisco hosts a multitude of things to enjoy itself, taking a day-trip from San Francisco always gifts the traveler a fuller experience of California. The famous Californian city makes for a great starting point for the rest of your travels. Be it taking a scenic drive to reach Half Moon Bay or Monterey Peninsula, or engaging in a convenient day-tour at Silicon Valley and Yosemite National Park–many fruitful experiences await that are just within convenience and proximity. You don’t have to travel far to reach the wineries of Sonomo Valley or the famous Golden Gate Bridge if you plan well and smart enough. So here’s a list of day trips from San Francisco, California.

1. Yosemite National Park (from USD 199.0)

This grand beauty simply has to be explored. Especially when the convenience of such a day-trip exists, there is no excuse. Enter the Yosemite National Park and experience the surreal grandeur of Sierra Nevada. The tour includes transportation from San Francisco itself and travelers will be treated to a drive through the serene gold rush towns only to arrive at the captivating Yosemite Falls and the granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan. There will also be a one-hour hike through the tranquil Tuolumne Grove that will surely recharge and rekindle one’s love for nature.

San Francisco to Yosemite National Park Day Trip with Entry

Duration: 14 to 15 hours

2065 reviews

2. Golden Gate Bridge (from USD 145.0)

day trips in san francisco | golden gate bridge

This comes almost as a no-brainer. The Golden Gate Bridge is a must-visit especially when you are in San Francisco. See the majestic suspension up close and personal yourself and experience what the hype is all about. While you can drive through the world landmark, it is recommended to experience the visit by walking or cycling to fully submerge into the place’s feeling. Bike rental companies are not hard to find and vendors usually provide useful route maps that will be helpful in your route. You can choose to cycle through the bridge to reach towns like Sausalito and Tiburon or perhaps even historic Fort Point or local gift shop.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bike Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

Duration: 3 hour

180 reviews

3. Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore headlands from Chimney Rock
Source: Photo by user Miguel.v used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Residing along the Northern Californian Coast is the gorgeous Point Reyes National Seashore. Located in an enclave of beauty, travelers will be able to reach places of interest like the Tomales Bay, charming villages of Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Olema, Inverness, Point Reyes Station, Marshall, and Tomales at ease. The Point Reyes National Seashore is a place for sheer adventure. Hike up Mt. Wittenberg or trek through the Bear Valley Trail, the pines, woodlands, and oceans all await.

4. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay Beach
Source: Photo by user Intothewoods29 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This small city just south of San Francisco is a tranquil spot of beaches, mountains, and creeks. If you are planning for a road trip, the Half Moon Bay Coastside makes for the perfect drive down the Northern California’s Highway 1 where you will be enchanted with sights of picturesque towns and the stunning waters. At Half Moon Bay itself, an endless stream of activities await and places of interest including Pillar Point Harbor are definitely worth the visit. While for the more idyllic traveler, you can stroll through the Californian Coastal Trail or catch the sunset at Ritz Carlton.

5. Napa Valley (from USD 169.0)

day trips in san francisco | napa valley

Calling out to all wine lovers, this tour complete with all its perks makes for the best day trip option for you. Travelers will be exploring one of the world’s top wine-producing regions and embark on Napa’s legendary Silverado Trail to visit three wineries. The winery tour will include three wine tastings and also thoughtful amenities like complimentary water, gum, mints, and suntan lotion will also be provided. There will also be a stop made at a public marketplace for travelers to grab lunch before going back to wine again.

Full-Day Napa Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco

Duration: 8.5 hour

19 reviews

6. Sonoma Wine Country (from USD 149.0)

day trips in san francisco | sonoma wine country

A must-visit for the wine enthusiasts, Sonoma Wine Country will also have the hearts of the beginners of wine lovers with its sheer and intimate settings of wineries and valleys. The county hosts more than 425 wineries, each with a unique flavor to its own, waiting to be explored – and well, tasted. Get comfortable with the charming towns and journey through the different wine tastings and food combinations. Stop over at the more famous places of interest including St. Francis Winery & Vineyards and Jordan Vineyard & Winery for an experience of views, wine, and delicious food.

From San Francisco: Full-Day Sonoma Valley Wine Tour

Duration: 8.5 hour

9 reviews

7. Muir Woods and Sausalito (from USD 453.0)

For travelers looking to explore past famed attractions, this private tour across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the nest of two delightful bayside towns, Sausalito and Tiburon might just be the perfect option for you. The Muir Woods National Monument is a guaranteed highlight here, where travelers will be thrilled to stroll through a cathedral of redwoods and experience its ultimate serenity and tranquility. Apart from getting to know the two charming towns more intimately, travelers can also look forward to seeing views of the revered San Francisco Bay.

Muir Woods, Sausalito and Tiburon Day Trip from San Francisco

Duration: 4 hours

8. Santa Cruz (from USD 425.0)

Santa Cruz is a haven of absolutely scenic sights, with the likes of coasts, galleries, and vintage shops to see. But take a drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and you’ll be treated to another experience like no other. The highway is one adorned with absolute beauty, from catching the charming views of the countryside, gushing waterways, and vast skies. Take the route through the California Nature Preserve, and your journey will be guaranteed to be the most tranquil as you drive past lushness of nature, wildlife, lakes, hills, and mountains.

Private Santa Cruz Mountains and Bay Area Wine Tour From San Francisco

Duration: 8 hours

9. Monterey Peninsula (from USD 688.0)

monterey peninsula
Source: www.viator.com

Monterey Peninsula is definitely a beautiful place to explore–even better if you have a car to get around. Famed as one of the most scenic drives in America ever, a trip around Monterey Peninsula will be one that is full of sights and experiences. Nature knows best, and one sure revels in the delight of its beauty on a drive through the precinct. Be it the nearing coastlines of crashing waves and sandy beaches, or the forlorn trees at Pescadero Point or the curious marine life at Bird Rock. Alight from your care whenever you feel right but especially when you’ve reached Spanish Bay Beach. That gem deserves to be explored in full glory.

Private Full-Day Tour Monterey Peninsula - Carmel by the sea

10. Silicon Valley (from USD 145.0)

Stretching over nine hours, this Silicon Valley one-day tour sure packs a punch especially for the tech-lovers. Travelers will be able to gain more in-depth knowledge on the history and culture of California’s Silicon Valley through visiting the iconic tech giants of Google, Facebook, and Apple. The tour guide will be there to provide insightful guided commentary, lending information on how these companies started from their humble beginnings to rise to the status they have today. Round-trip transportation from San Francisco will be provided for ease and convenience of travel.

Silicon Valley 1-Day Tour from San Francisco

Duration: 9 hours

Journeys beyond San Francisco

With an exciting list of wine-tasting, hikes through nature, or just enjoying the towns and their charm, a day-trip out of San Francisco is one that delights infinitely.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Megan is an ardent writer, eater and sleeper. Studying communication studies at Nanyang Technological University, she is rewarded with learning every day in school and at work. She believes...Read more

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