While we love San Francisco and all its quirky neighborhoods and people, what we love more at Native of the North are those day trip adventures that take you into nature. The city itself isn’t very large, yet with the constant flow of tourism and a bustling city center, sometimes it feels a little congested. When it comes down to it, sometimes it’s just better to grab your friends, pack the car, and take to the road! We share our favorite five day trips from San Francisco.
Just two miles south of San Francisco, Pacifica is mostly known by beginner surfers and those looking for some fun, laid back waves. Mori Point boasts views of the vast Pacific Ocean along with the seemingly never-ending rolling, green hills and well-groomed paths hugging the coast. It’s best to pack a picnic and choose a spot with a view high above the town. But if you’re looking for a bite to eat, head towards the Pier in Sharp Park along Palmetto Avenue for your choice of French to Japanese and American BBQ to fresh seafood.
Just under a four-hour drive from San Francisco, a visit to Lake Tahoe can be done in a day, but it may be better to grab the tent and spend the night. With breathtaking views of the turquoise waters framed by lush forest and white, snow-covered mountain tops, the Lake Tahoe Basin or the surrounding national parks are a fantastic weekend getaway. Pack your tent and choose one of the many campgrounds in the area to spend a night under the stars surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Known to locals as Paradise, Marin County lies just over the Golden Gate Bridge and past Sausalito. Easily accessible by car, bike, ferry, or hike, the 85% protected open space provides an escape from city streets, fresh mountain air and views of The Bay. Typically warmer and sunnier than its San Francisco counter part, the Marin Headlands, home to Mt. Tamalpais, where mountain biking was invented, Marin County offers long, windy day hikes and perfect trails for avid bikers.
Sail the Bay
Not up for an adventure by car to escape the San Francisco bustle? Either call up your friends with a boat, or head down to the port to rent a chartered yacht or sailboat to spend the afternoon on The Bay. Depending on the company, the captain can help create the perfect itinerary for your group, or simply let him sail you around the coast for a few hours. As long as you’re on the Bay everything is okay, right?
Half Moon Bay
Whether you’re an expert surfer yourself or simply enjoy the meditating splash as the waves hit the shore, a trip to Half Moon Bay is always a good idea. Home to the famous Maverick surf spot, walk along the breathtaking cliffs or white sandy beaches before heading into town to sip on some top-notch brews at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., fresh seafood, and ocean views.
Image via Trover by Alex Sam