Half Moon Bay
Distance from San Francisco: 30 miles; 45-minute drive
Situated along the coast in San Mateo county, Half Moon Bay is an idyllic destination to spend time away from the city. Options are limitless, as the city offers horseback riding along the beach, golfing, art galleries, and a variety of stores for shopping. Pro-tip: Stay in one of the Half Moon Bay’s charming bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels during the month of October – this is when the city hosts its annual Art and Pumpkin Festival.
Distance from San Francisco: 46 miles; 1-hour drive
From the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, to countless beaches and parks, it’s easy to spend a day in this picturesque destination. The city also offers countryside venues, with places like Harley Farms and its 200 Alpine goats. Pro-tip: If you’re planning an overnight stay, reserve a spot in one of Costanoa’s gorgeous Tent Bungalows.
Distance from San Francisco: 8 miles; 10-minute drive
Minutes from downtown San Francisco, Sausalito is one of the closest places to escape the city. The Marin County destination is one of the Bay Area’s most popular weekend spots, as it is home to an exciting array of restaurants, shops, and scenic views. If you don’t feel like dealing with traffic, hop on the ferry and take in some incredible bay views while you make your way over.
Distance from San Francisco: 15 miles; 20-minute drive
Accessible by just about any mode of transportation, including BART, Downtown Berkeley is an exciting alternative to San Francisco. Aside from the Marina and the U.C. Berkeley campus, the city is known for its street vendors and musicians on Telegraph Avenue. Berkeley was built for biking – if you love to cycle, take advantage of extraordinarily wide bike lanes and biking maps throughout the city.
Distance from San Francisco: 44 miles; 1-hour drive
Closer to the city than Napa, Sonoma provides easier access to some of the best wineries and restaurants in Northern California. The town boasts charismatic architecture throughout its city center, remnant of its historic, Mexican colonial past. In addition to numerous options for wine tastings, Sonoma is also renowned for cheeses and olive oils.
By Gabrielle Hughes
Gabrielle relocated to San Francisco in 2014 from New York City, and is a lover of amusing anecdotes, knitwear, and cold-pressed juice.