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suggestion for off-the-beaten-path day trip?
February 13, 2010 9:43 PM   Subscribe

suggestions for Bay Area day trip?

i've lived in the bay area for nearly 15 years and have done lots of road tripping... i and my boyfriend would love to go someplace that's within about an hour and a half drive. we do a ton of hiking and also love beaches and small towns. we've been so many places up and down the coast (and east), though! does anyone know of any unexpected gems we might not have been to? many thanks!

here are some of the places we've been:

sonoma
pt. reyes/olema
stinson beach
bolinas
fairfax
muir beach
mill valley
sausalito
tiburon
petaluma
guerneville
santa cruz
half moon bay (do not understand the allure! am i missing something?)
saratoga/los gatos
woodside (including nearby open space preserves)
winters
tilden park
posted by roxie110 to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (17 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
It might not be as out of the way as you'd like, but have you tried the Skyline to the Sea trail (map) at Big Basin Redwoods S.P., near Santa Cruz?
posted by cirripede at 9:58 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pescadero (go to Harley Farms and Arcangeli's bakery for artichoke bread too)

And try Sunol. Sunol Regional Wilderness is a drop-dead spot for wildflowers in the next few weeks.
posted by purpleclover at 10:21 PM on February 13, 2010


You might check out the Delta. It feels really remote -- some of the roads use tiny ferries rather than bridges at crossing points. It's kind of a fascinating / relatively unknown day trip.
posted by one_bean at 11:34 PM on February 13, 2010


San Juan Bautista is on the way to Pinnacles.

Deltawise: Isleton, the home of the Crawfish Festival and birthplace of Pat Morita; and Rio Vista.
posted by rhizome at 12:47 AM on February 14, 2010


More of a boat trip than a road trip, but when visiting a few years back I spent a very pleasant day hiking on Angel Island.
posted by rhymer at 2:04 AM on February 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bodega Bay. Point Pinole. Crockett.
posted by gnutron at 3:26 AM on February 14, 2010


henry coe state park, the largest state park in northern california! if you go on a warm day there is a great swimming hole about 5 miles in.

you've been to mill valley/stinson beach but have you hiked up mt. tamalpais? on a clear day the view is really spectacular. If you go on certain sundays you can stop for a pancake breakfast at the west point inn.

the bay area hiker blog details a ton of hikes.
posted by gembackwards at 6:35 AM on February 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also check out Weekend Sherpa. Lots of ideas there.
posted by quarterframer at 9:28 AM on February 14, 2010


When I was a kid I used to ride my bike up to Lick Observatory outside San Jose.
posted by ctmf at 10:06 AM on February 14, 2010


I like the beaches, too, but I'm also a fan of the hot brown hills of the east bay in the summer. How about one of the boating destinations, like Calaveras Resevoir, Calero Resevoir, or Anderson Lake? Even San Luis Resevoir/Pacheco State Park, a bit farther. You could hike and picnic, not do watersports.

p.s. I'm with you on the Half Moon Bay thing. I've been afraid to admit that all these years.
posted by ctmf at 10:21 AM on February 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


You also didn't mention Calistoga or the Napa winery thing. I assume that's because you're not interested, since you've been there 15 years and they're pretty well known "things." I bring it up just in case, though.
posted by ctmf at 10:27 AM on February 14, 2010


Not exactly a hike, but a the hetch hetchy water temple is a fun spot to visit and have a picnic (especially if you can bicycle there).

We also like to hunt chanterelle mushrooms in the winter in Portola Valley, which has some nice hiking in it (if you memail me I can tell you the general area we walk in). Another nice walking/mushrooming spot is in the Salt Point national park, about a 3 hour drive north of SF.
posted by mathtime! at 10:42 AM on February 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seconding Pescadero. Make a trip to Pigeon point lighthouse and Duarte's tavern for artichoke soup and olallieberry pie. SO GOOD.
posted by Edubya at 12:57 PM on February 14, 2010


Echoing Henry Coe & Sunol. My favorite is to go kayaking at Elkhorn Slough.
posted by salvia at 2:42 PM on February 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with the Delta, Locke has a historic chinatown and Al the Wops and there's Foster's Big Horn in Rio Vista.

Winters is a nice little town, you can catch a show at The Palms Playhouse.

If you do visit Crockett, which has a pretty cute sugar museum, I recommend driving the few extra miles to Port Costa.
posted by Duffington at 11:33 PM on February 14, 2010


The Ventana Wilderness is near Big Sur, and full of beautiful hilly forest. There's even hot springs, though they're better done as a 2-day trip with 1 night camping, since they're 10 miles from the trail head.
posted by gorillawarfare at 6:53 PM on February 16, 2010


thanks for all the suggestions! we've already tried one, going up to bodega bay via occidental and jenner (a loop). ate dinner in valley ford--fun! can't wait to explore the other options...
posted by roxie110 at 2:56 PM on February 23, 2010


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