SF day trips

#1
Hi KF - in late May I'll be in SF for a conference. I have a day or two free and thought of asking here re recommendations for day trips? What is good to see? I did consider Yosemite but seems you can't really do that much there with only one day?
 
#3
Hi KF - in late May I'll be in SF for a conference. I have a day or two free and thought of asking here re recommendations for day trips? What is good to see? I did consider Yosemite but seems you can't really do that much there with only one day?
If you’re looking for an outdoors experience, just cross the Golden Gate and head north into the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, and especially Point Reyes. You can find forested hikes and nice beaches that way (although the beaches can be quite cold!).

You could also head south to Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and the parks just inland in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#4
Hi KF - in late May I'll be in SF for a conference. I have a day or two free and thought of asking here re recommendations for day trips? What is good to see? I did consider Yosemite but seems you can't really do that much there with only one day?
You know, if it's your only chance to see Yosemite, I don't know if you want to sell yourself short. You can't see the whole park in a day, but Yosemite Valley has more scenic bang for your buck than anywhere I know. Late May should be waterfall season, and you can probably hit both Bridalveil falls and Yosemite falls in two hours including both the walk from the trailhead and the drive. Then, if you're in decent shape, you can do the Mist Trail and see Vernal falls and Nevada falls (which is 7 miles round trip, totally doable in 4 hours, and spectacular), plus you'll have views of Half Dome and El Capitan and Glacier Point all day long.

The real problem is that Yosemite isn't that close to SF - Google is saying it's 4 hours one way (you can probably do it in 3.5) and you'd want to spend a full day, so you'd have to commit to getting up early in the morning to try to get to the valley floor by 9 or 10 and then be ready for a long drive back. Probably worth it, though.
 
#5
Thanks for info. A couple hikes would be good. I have about two days free so might try to squeeze in Yosemite on one and point Reyes on another :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#6
I agree wholeheartedly with the above. LPKingsFan has some great suggestions, and the Captain is also spot on.

One thing to keep in mind, if you are going to Yosemite, do it on a weekday! Otherwise you may spend hours just getting into the park / valley floor area. It is being ruined by it's beauty and popularity, especially on weekends. Too many cars and no place to park them.

May is a good time for whale watching out of the Moss Landing / Monterey area as well. You can catch half day boat rides from Moss Landing and they don't have to go far out to see whales. I understand that May brings chances to see killer whales as well. The reason Moss Landing is better than Monterey? See the photo below - seafloor topography brings the upwelling food into the center of the bay for a more diverse ecosystem starting right outside Moss Landing - you can see just as much with shorter trips and they cost less as they aren't attached to the "Monterey" name.

1581802744633.png

I'm assuming you are from out of state (or maybe SoCal), but not in the general Sacramento / SF area. As such, some other options are the gold mining towns of Placerville (Hangtown), Jackson, Columbia, or Sonora. There are also underground cavern tours in these general areas for Moaning Cavern, California Cavern, Black Chasm Cavern, Mercer Cavern, etc. Moaning Cavern has the single largest single cavern in CA and when I was a kid you could rappel down from the ceiling to the cavern floor. It looks like they might be bringing that back soon. :)

The area is also rich with history, such as Indian Grinding Rock near the towns of Pine Grove/Volcano (go stop by Munnerlynns Ice Cream if you head that way!), Coloma (where gold was found, starting the famous Gold Rush of 1849), Sutter's Fort / State Indian Museum, Old Sacramento (historic riverfront area with a fantastic train museum), and other options.

If you like wine (or even if you don't), you can head up to the Napa/Santa Rosa area and check out the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and the rich selection of movie memorabilia from his films. If you do like wine, there are more wineries in that area than you could shake a stick at. Also check out the Charles Schultz museum if you like all things Snoopy - my wife loves that place.

Heck, if you have time you can shoot up to beautiful Lake Tahoe for a day.

Anyways, just a few ideas (depending on what you are looking for).
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#7
...I'm assuming you are from out of state (or maybe SoCal), but not in the general Sacramento / SF area...
Use your super-secret mod powers and look at his IP. ;)

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Turgenev - LPKingsFan and Warhawk made some good suggestions. Downtown SF, unfortunately, is not what it once was. There are areas I used to visit as a kid that I would not venture into now under any circumstances.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#9
Many thanks for suggestions and replies. Am looking fwd to it. If anyone ever needs tips for Sydney or Melbourne feel free to reach out :)
I'll first confess to being woefully ignorant of the geography of Australia.

Having said that, were you impacted by those horrendous fires? Living in a national forest, I live with the fear of wildfire 9+ months out of the year. I hope you and yours were/are safe.
 
#10
I'll first confess to being woefully ignorant of the geography of Australia.

Having said that, were you impacted by those horrendous fires? Living in a national forest, I live with the fear of wildfire 9+ months out of the year. I hope you and yours were/are safe.
Yeah I was - sadly only few parts of Aus escaped direct impact. Sydney, where I grew up, was covered in smoke for several weeks. My family live fairly central so did not have property at risk but it was not possible to go outside and breath clean air. Melbourne, where I live now, also got blanketed in smoke - although probably not at bad as Sydney. It wasn't possible to spend extended time outside. I have someone close to me whose family farm was under threat - thankfully they did not lose their animals. Trivial - but I had signed up to do a bike ride on January that was cancelled because the mountain was hit badly. Fires have been a reality of Australian summers for most of my life but these are the worst conditions in memory.

I read a lot about California's fires. Very scary.

Thanks for asking
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#11
Use your super-secret mod powers and look at his IP. ;)

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Turgenev - LPKingsFan and Warhawk made some good suggestions. Downtown SF, unfortunately, is not what it once was. There are areas I used to visit as a kid that I would not venture into now under any circumstances.
I leave all that hocus-pocus to you. ;)
 
#13
Unless you REALLY want to see SF I advice against it its nothing like the post cards. It's smelly and FULL of open air drug use with junkies lining the street defecating in public. Go to the Marin Headlands and see scenic nature countryside.
 
#14
Use your super-secret mod powers and look at his IP. ;)

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Turgenev - LPKingsFan and Warhawk made some good suggestions. Downtown SF, unfortunately, is not what it once was. There are areas I used to visit as a kid that I would not venture into now under any circumstances.
yeah I should probably reiterate once more.....was joking about the tenderloin. Please don’t go there lol
I would however checkout the exploratorium . I think they moved it to one of the piers .
 
#15
Unless you REALLY want to see SF I advice against it its nothing like the post cards. It's smelly and FULL of open air drug use with junkies lining the street defecating in public. Go to the Marin Headlands and see scenic nature countryside.
I have passed through SF before. I'm sure it works for some but would not work that well for me. Hence the planning of day trips :)