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San Francisco

Day trips

Our most recommended San Francisco Day Trips

San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

1. San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

Experience both the Yosemite Valley and the Giant Sequoia Walk on this day tour. See why artists and poets have been inspired for generations by the breathtaking sceneries at the national park. Since 1890, the beautiful Yosemite National Park has been the jewel of America's National Parks, possessing some of the best-known landmarks in the world, such as the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls. Have 5 to 6 hours to explore the stunning national park, and take in the majestic natural wonders, accompanied by a complimentary audio-guided tour. See the spectacular Half Dome and El Capitan, two of the most frequently climbed cliffs in the world. It is also home to several groves of stunning Giant Sequoia trees, the largest trees on earth. The Giant Sequoia Walk is along 1 mile (1.5 km) of paved trail with a 400 ft (120 m) incline, snow depth permitting. On a group tour, view stunning panoramas, go on walks, and even hike a little, before returning to San Francisco. Or if you prefer, upgrade to a private tour for your group only.

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

2. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Indulge yourself in luxury on this full-day tour of California’s wine regions from San Francisco. Visit 3 different wineries for tasting and a tour, and enjoy a stop at historic Downtown Sonoma Square. Take in panoramic views of California on the way toward Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, 2 of Northern California’s famous wine regions. Enjoy the services as a professional guide for a tour featuring wine tastings at 3 of the local partner's favorite wineries. At each winery, learn about wine-making techniques on a tour of the estate, and enjoy extraordinary wines at your tastings. In addition to visiting wineries, your professional guide will take you to see other famous sites in California’s wine country, including a lunch stop at the historic Downtown Sonoma Square. Here, enjoy eclectic dining options and boutique shopping during your lunch break. You also have the option to book this trip to include lunch at a local restaurant in the middle of the historic Square in Downtown Sonoma. Enjoy items from a variety of Californian-inspired dishes with appetizer, entree, beverage, tax, and gratuities all included.

Silicon Valley Private Tour

3. Silicon Valley Private Tour

In just 4 hours you will see Facebook, Apple, Google, and any other company you wish to see. Besides the famous high-tech companies you will also have the opportunity to visit Stanford University. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your departure or arrival times. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further - you decide where you want to go.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods Guided Bus Tour

4. From San Francisco: Muir Woods Guided Bus Tour

Hop on board a bus tour of Muir Woods. Experience the awe and wonder of one of California’s oldest redwood groves as you stroll through dedicated paths of 1000-year-old redwood trees. Your tour will begin with a 45-minute, fully-narrated scenic drive that heads across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and into coastal mountains on the Marin Headlands. Arrive at Muir Woods National Forest where you will be provided park entry tickets and have 1.5 hours to explore the park at your own pace - maps detailing walking trails will be available at the Muir Woods Visitor Center. After exploring the park, enjoy a scenic drive to the coastal town of Sausalito. This beautiful seaside Mediterranean-style town offers a wide selection of distinctive boutiques, restaurants, parks, cafés, and unique art galleries. Guests may choose to depart from Sausalito and return on their own via ferry or remain on the bus and return to a designated drop-off point within San Francisco.

San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Country Excursion with Tastings

5. San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Country Excursion with Tastings

Discover some of San Francisco's best wines on this half-day outing. Visit 2 wineries and 3 to 5 tastings. Enjoy scenic views from your comfortable coach. Start your day in the afternoon, as you head north to the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy a scenic drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and marvel at the San Francisco skyline in the distance. Next, drive through the beautiful town of Sausalito, a seaside Mediterranean-like village harbored across the San Francisco Bay and famous for its sweeping views. As the vine-covered hillsides come into view, you will visit 2 favorite wineries of the region for wine tastings and an exclusive estate tour. Experience the inner workings of the wineries and their family history in Napa and Sonoma Valley as an expert wine host walks you through the fermentation process, barrel-aging, bottling, and, of course, tastings of some award-winning varietals. At each winery, enjoy up to 3-5 tastings of their signature blends. Your day concludes with a scenic drive back over the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco as the sun slowly starts to set into the Pacific Ocean.

San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

6. San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

See the giant sequoia trees at Muir Woods National Monument and discover California's Wine Country on this San Francisco day trip with pickup. Walk in the shadows of the world's tallest trees before enjoying wine tastings at 3 wineries in the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Begin your morning with a convenient pickup at most San Francisco hotels. Take the the scenic drive to California's premier wine country as the tour crosses the Golden Gate Bridge on its way to a unique experience. Walk under and admire giant sequoia trees at Muir Woods National Park. Enjoy a comfortable ride to your first winery experience. Witness the golden scenery as your tour guide shares stories from the region's early winemaking history and prepares you for day that includes touring, tasting, and relaxing at three boutique wineries with characters representative of Napa and Sonoma valleys. Visit three wineries that have been carefully selected to include welcoming presentations by winemakers and educators about their vineyard, winemaking process, and unique features of their wines - most of which are only available for purchase at the winery. At midday, enjoy a generous lunch break and explore the boutique shops, history, and restaurants that surround the charming Sonoma Plaza. Finish the trip together with a memory making photo stop at the Golden Gate Bridge before being dropped off at your San Francisco hotel.

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

7. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Discover the wine-making traditions of Napa and Sonoma on a full-day scenic tour from San Francisco. Enjoy panoramic views along the coast and stop at 3 wineries for tasting. Traveling in small groups, drive to the Golden Gate Bridge - stopping for a photo opportunity - and continue to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, home to acclaimed Californian wines and artisanal cheeses. Following magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands, journey through the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma. Stop at 3 different wineries to taste several different types of wine, and learn about the area and its wine production history. During the day, you will also make a lunch stop at the gourmet Oxbow Public Market in Napa, where plenty of delicious food options await, along with the chance to try more wines for the true afficionado.

San Francisco: Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods, & Sausalito Tour

8. San Francisco: Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods, & Sausalito Tour

See the giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument and stroll through the picturesque city of Sausalito on a guided tour from San Francisco. Choose to extend your time in Sausalito and return by ferry, or rent a bike to explore on 2 wheels. Meet your guide in San Francisco and board the bus to begin your experience. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge as you leave the city, and pass through the Rainbow Tunnels on Highway 101. Admire the views of tidal flats and rolling hills, with Mount Tamalpais in the distance. Arrive at Muir Woods National Monument, where you’ll spend 1 hour and 15 minutes exploring. Stroll through the landscape of giant sequoia trees, unchanged since the Coast Miwok Native American tribe lived here centuries ago. Follow the Nature Trail along Redwood Creek, passing 500- to 800-year-old redwoods. Wander through Cathedral and Bohemian Groves. Be sure to stop at the Visitor Center and the gift shop for more gems. Continue onto Sausalito, a coastal community filled with elegant homes that face the bay. Enjoy a 1-hour stop to explore the city, which has unrivaled views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline. See the unique colony of floating homes moored along the waterfront. Walk through the downtown area — a National Historic Landmark District —  passing quaint boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Select the option including the Sausalito ferry, to enjoy a scenic 1-way ferry trip back to San Francisco. Upgrade your activity with a 4-hour bike rental to extend your time in Fisherman's Wharf. With this option, you can explore at your own pace and return to San Francisco at your leisure.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

9. From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

Escape the crowds of San Francisco on a full-day guided tour to Yosemite National Park. See highlights, including Yosemite Falls and Inspiration Point. Enjoy seamless travel in a bio-fueled mini-coach. Heading east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. En route to the park the tour crosses through the Central Valley, where you will stop at a fruit stand for some local produce. Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is the largest agricultural region in the United States. The section the tour drives through is best known for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. After this quick rest stop, you will enter the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Continuing into the mountains brings you to California gold country and the gold rush town of Groveland before the tour winds its way into Yosemite National Park. On your 1.5-hour narrated coach tour of Yosemite's glaciated valley, you will see famous waterfalls and rock formations including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Continue on past El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome, and much more. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, the best of which is perhaps Inspiration Point. After the tour, you will stop for the afternoon near the base of Yosemite Falls. If you have not already picked up picnic supplies, there are many options for getting lunch in the park. You will have 3-4 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel, rent a cruiser bike, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley. Although you could easily spend 3 weeks in Yosemite, the 3 hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America's most popular national parks.

From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

10. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

Spend an active, fun-filled day learning why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks. Hike through the park with an experienced guide and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature on this tour. Start off by making your way east from San Francisco and heading across the Bay Bridge. Continue toward the Sierras and into the mountains. Learn about California’s rich history as you pass through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Arrive in Yosemite National Park for a 2.5-mile round-trip hike to see the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Be prepared for a strenuous hike, descending 400 feet into the grove, before turning around and trekking back up. Next, cruise into the famous Yosemite Valley to take in views of Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome, and more. Capture breathtaking photos at Tunnel View and take in the eastern expanse of Yosemite Valley. Then, enjoy 1.5 hours of free time to explore on your own. You can meander down paved paths, hike around Yosemite Falls, engage further with the park’s history at the visitor’s center, or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. In the late afternoon, you’ll depart for San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city. Arrive back at your hotel in the late evening to sleep off the day’s adventures.

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5 best day trips from San Francisco

Day trip to Napa Valley

1. Day trip to Napa Valley

Nestled just north of San Francisco lies the wine lover’s paradise of Napa Valley. Fans of all things gourmet will rejoice in the sheer number of world-class restaurants and award-winning wineries that can be found at every turn. Peruse the stalls at the Oxbow Public Market for locally-made products, stroll along the Napa River, and hop between places like the Coppola Winery, the Robert Mondavi Winery, and Mumm Napa.

How far is the Napa Valley from San Francisco?

At just about 96 kilometers (60 miles) away, a day trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley is quick and easy. The journey should take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes by car, depending on the time of day you travel. If you’re making the journey by public transportation, plan for about two hours of travel time.

Day trip to Monterey

2. Day trip to Monterey

A day trip from San Francisco to Monterey is an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to the relaxed pace of life by the sea. Visit the internationally-celebrated Monterey Bay Aquarium to catch a glimpse of playful sea otters and ethereal jellyfish or stroll along lively Cannery Row for some souvenir shopping. Easily combine your Monterey trip with a jaunt down the coast to visit the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, with its adorable boutiques and striking vistas.

How far is Monterey from San Francisco?

At just over 160 kilometers (100 miles) from San Francisco, traveling to Monterey by car should take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on traffic. Make sure to allow for plenty of time if you don’t have a vehicle of your own, as making the trip by public transportation will increase your travel time to almost four hours.

Day trip to Santa Cruz

3. Day trip to Santa Cruz

For those looking to have a fun day out by the beach, a day trip from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is an ideal getaway. Experience some thrills riding the coasters at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, take a steam-train ride through giant redwood trees, or visit the beautiful campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the home of the Banana Slugs. Don’t forget to check out the big surf at some of California’s most postcard-worthy beaches.

How far is Santa Cruz from San Francisco?

About 128 kilometers (80 miles) south of San Francisco, the journey to Santa Cruz should take about 90 minutes by car. If you plan to make the trip via public transportation, allow north of two hours to get there.

Day trip to Gold Country

4. Day trip to Gold Country

Step into the past with a trip to historic Gold Country. The epicenter of the famed California Gold Rush, you can pan for gold flakes at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park where the precious metal was first discovered in 1848, explore a replica of the original Sutter’s Mill, and stroll the charming streets of Auburn with its local shops and tasty eateries.

How far is Gold Country from San Francisco?

Making the journey to Gold Country can be ambitious, but is definitely achievable if you plan ahead. The trip of about 209 kilometers (130 miles) can be made in about two and a half hours by car with good traffic conditions.

Day trip to Marin

5. Day trip to Marin

Head out of the city and into the woods on a trip to Marin. This easy day trip is a great way to take in the natural wonder of the Golden State. Walk among the giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument or lounge on the fine sands of Stinson Beach, and don’t miss a chance to shuck and grill fresh oysters on the rugged coast in Tomales Bay.

How far is Marin from San Francisco?

Only about 64 kilometers (40 miles) away, Marin is one of the easiest day trips from San Francisco. By car, it should only take 45 minutes to an hour, while it is also easy to reach by bus and by ferry in about an hour.

San Francisco day trip FAQ

What transportation options are best for my day trip?

Figuring out how to navigate your day trip? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are many different options for how to travel.
  • • San Francisco day trips by train

    The train network for the greater San Francisco Bay Area doesn’t extend far beyond the main urban centers. For this reason, the train may only be a viable option for one leg of your day trip.

  • • San Francisco day trips by bus

    Several different municipal bus companies run service out of San Francisco. If you’re willing to add a little travel time, a bus trip can be a great adventure. It allows you to see the sights as you drive past and save money on travel expenses. There are also many great bus tour options beginning in San Francisco, many with convenient local pick-up.

  • • San Francisco day trips by car

    A car is probably the most convenient option for traveling around the San Francisco Bay Area. While the city itself offers excellent public transportation, getting out of town can sometimes be a bit inconvenient without your own vehicle. There are many different car rental and car share options around San Francisco to give you the freedom of car travel during your stay.


Should I take a guided tour for my day trip?

For a day trip out of San Francisco, a guided tour is a wonderful option. Avoid the hassle of a car in the city, and have an expert plan out the optimal experience wherever you want to go. Nothing beats an adventure with door to door service.


What should I pack for my day trip?

If you opt for a guided tour, they may provide all you will need for the day, including your transportation. However, the San Francisco Bay Area is notorious for unpredictable weather, so no matter where or when you go, dress in layers and bring a jacket.


Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

Want to discover all there is to do in San Francisco? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Francisco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,307 reviews

The freedom to explore was wonderful (albeit short) - we had a good group that was reliable for each return, which motivated everyone. The driver Rob was absolutely amazing and engaging with us. (Though please provide improved equipment. The microphone in the bus was really bad and people in the back had difficulties to understand half of what was said. A lot of the 'Audio guide experience' was lost because of it. This was a bit unfortunate. But since it was a technical aspect, the driver had no influence on said technical difficulties)

Loved Muir woods, so peaceful to explore. Nice way to reset by enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the woods. Sausalito was a good spot for lunch. The tour guide Joe taught us lots about San Francisco. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

fantastic service and our driver was the spirit of San Francisco, dancing while we were boarding the helicopter. very professional and I felt comfortable the entire trip. FANTASTIC experience!!!

Great. Captain and first mate were great fun. Informative, entertaining, and most of all made us feel safe and happy!

Fred was so nice and we learned a lot about San Francisco as we drove along. We recommend him wholeheartedly.