8 Best Day Trips From San Ramon, California

day trips from san ramon

San Ramon, California, United States is a sweet and serene small town in the East Bay. Spending a day away from the town is equally lots of fun. Here are some suggestions for day trips you can take from San Ramon:

1. Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California, USA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jim G used under CC BY 2.0

This is a beautiful and famous castle in San Simeon that used to be the home of newspaper publisher WR Hearst. Many celebrities used to come and stay here. It is a now museum that offers tours and is open to the public. The castle is located 2 hours south of Carmel and a 3 to 4 hour drive from San Ramon. Last but not least, the American movie “Citizen Kane” is based on WR Hearst’s life.

Hearst Castle

Address: 750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA

Website: Hearst Castle

2. Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Morn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

About an hour and a half drive from San Ramon is the capital city of Sacramento. In the town of Sacramento, you will find the Old Sacramento district. Basically, this is a National Historic Landmark and State Historic Park that is nestled along the Sacramento River. You’ll love to shop and dine outdoors with breathtaking views of the river. While you are here, be sure to visit some of the museums that bring you back in time.

Old Sacramento

Address: 1124 2nd Street, Sacramento, CA

Website: Old Sacramento

3. San Francisco

San Francisco
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lordsamp used under CC BY-SA 4.0

About an hour’s drive, depending on Bay Area traffic, is the city by the bay–San Francisco. The most popular attraction here is the world famous Golden Gate Bridge, but there are also other attractions. Go see the seals at Pier 39, enjoy an ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli Square, see San Francisco from atop Quint Towers, ride a street car, or drive on the crocked road known as Lombard Street. Whatever you do, San Francisco is a great place by the bay that is worth a visit.

San Francisco

Website: San Francisco

4. Wine country

Autumn in Napa Valley vineyards
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Morgan used under CC BY 2.0

One thing you should not miss when in northern California is the area known as the wine country, which is the world famous wine-growing region. Wine country is basically the combined counties of the Californian towns of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake, so it is a minimum hour to a hour and a half scenic drive to the area, but totally worth it. It is a beautiful drive and as soon as you get close to the area, you will see lots of grapes being grown on vines. The best part is the wine tasting and spending the day at one of the many wineries.

Wine Country

Website: Wine Country

5. San Rafael

San Rafael
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MARELBU used under CC BY 3.0

Another place that is only about an hour drive (45 miles or 72 kilometers) from San Ramon is the city of San Rafael, which is located in the North Bay region. What is there to do here? There is lots to do, like take a tour of Mission San Rafael Arcángel the mission of bodily healing, take a swim at the San Rafael Bay, eat yummy food at the San Rafael Yacht Harbour, explore the Collector’s Museum, or visit the Marin Center in the nearby city of Marin.

San Rafael

Website: San Rafael

6. Sausalito

Sausalito California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brocken Inaglory used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sausalito is a beautiful and scenic town located near San Francisco that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is one of my favorite places to take a day trip to from San Ramon. It is about an hour’s drive and after you park, you can walk around the cute town. We love to drink coffee and eat pastries at one of the many cafes that has outdoor seating, so we can enjoy the view of the bay while relaxing. There are lots of such cafes and places to eat. It is fun eating or window shopping with the backdrop of the bay. Lots of tourists and locals stop here to take pictures with the Golden Gate Bridge. Lastly, Sausalito is easily accessible from San Francisco by ferry if you plan to visit San Francisco as well.


Website: Sausalito

7. Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael used under CC BY 2.0

Less than an hour’s drive from San Ramon is the world famous Silicon Valley, located in Sunnyvale, California. Here you will see the headquarters of 39 business in the Fortune 500. This includes such companies as Apple, Inc., Yahoo, Google, eBay, and Facebook as well as various startups. It is exciting to see where these places conduct business. Tourists love to pose in front of these popular companies and most of them allow them to do so. People of all ages love to explore the Silicon Valley. It is a fun day to be had.

Sunnyvale, California

Website: Sunnyvale

8. San Jose

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most famous cities in northern California is San Jose, which has the distinction of being the largest city in northern California as well as the economic, cultural, and political center of the Silicon Valley. This is the reason why it is called the “Capital of Silicon Valley”. Lots of people fly in to this city when they want to visit or have business in the Silicon Valley. San Jose is approximately an hour south of San Ramon. When you are here for the day and finished exploring the Silicon Valley, you can get a bite to eat or shop at Santana Row and then take a stroll in Guadalupe River Park. Last, but not least, there is the Tech Museum of Innovation, which has many interactive exhibits for kids.

San Jose

Website: San Jose

Fun day trips from San Ramon

San Ramon
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ShakataGaNai used under CC BY 3.0

San Ramon is a small town that is fun to explore, but the surrounding areas are also worth a visit. Spend the day at one or more of the places mentioned.

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

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Tabassum Rahmani is a technical writer, who was born and raised in the USA to Indian parents. She loves to write and has been doing so for over a decade now. She enjoys travelling, especially with...Read more

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