Christmas in the Bay Area
September 25, 2016 5:23 PM   Subscribe

My family likes to do Christmas-time together, and a critical mass of us are in the Bay Area now. Where should we go and what should we do within a few hours of here?

Two of us are in the South Bay and one is in San Francisco, while the fourth is flying in from elsewhere. We’d like to rent a place where we can all hang out together (probably not something on the San Jose - SF corridor; just too close to home to feel like vacation).

We don’t need any big attractions, but still would like somewhere with a few low-key things to do, like museums or beaches or restaurants. We’re OK with kitschy. Three of us are in our mid-late twenties, the fourth (my mom) is 61.

We do have a few constraints:
-One of us has neuropathy, so anything that involves lots of walking is a no go, although leisurely window shopping through one of the coastal towns is ok. Similarly, no hiking or skiing or anything like that.
-Two of us did a trip a few months ago to see the 17-mile drive, Cannery Row, and Carmel, as well as Napa, so we’d like to avoid repeating those spots.
-(optional) We usually like to cook something fun for Christmas but aren’t great at planning before we leave, so someplace with decent grocery stores reasonably close would be nice.
posted by The Notorious B.F.G. to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco Bay Area, CA (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The 1st production of The Nutcracker in North America was in SF and is still A Thing at Xmas.
posted by brujita at 6:10 PM on September 25, 2016

Rent a big place on Stinson Beach. Not Seadrift, the gated community, but straight up Marin County old school beachfront Stinson Beach.

Bring delicious bread and pastries from Arizmendi, lots of coffee, and books.
posted by zippy at 6:26 PM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

We did christmas in the bay one year and it was cold, gray and rainy. I suggest no matter where you go in the area, you find a house with a fireplace and a hot tub, near to indoor activities you'd be interested in (movies? theater?) and like zippy mentioned, hunker down with some books.
posted by Toddles at 7:08 PM on September 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Point Reyes Station would be a nice spot. It's been pretty glammed up in recent years with nice food, drink, shopping, and sightseeing that doesn't depend on walking/hiking. The main grocery is fantastically stocked. Easy access to the rest of Pt. Reyes, which is great for a drive out to the actual point and estuary, along Tomales Bay, etc. Wonderful opportunities for sailing on Tomales Bay.

Mendocino, too. We went camping up there one year for Thanksgiving and had a blast.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:31 AM on September 26, 2016

I would suggest a vacation at beautiful Dillon Beach except that you would need to stock up on groceries in Petaluma, which has regular, decent supermarkets and is a half hour drive away. Dillon Beach is about 60 miles north of San Francisco and sits on the extreme north end of the Marin County coast line.

However, to just look at the ocean for hours, no matter the weather, is always a treat, in any season.
posted by Lynsey at 12:48 PM on September 26, 2016

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