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5 Quick Getaways Outside of San Francisco
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5 Quick Getaways Outside of San Francisco

Picture of Gabrielle Hughes
Updated: 24 April 2017
It’s nearly impossible to find yourself without something to do in San Francisco, but every once in a while, escaping the hustle and bustle is necessary. Making a quick getaway is relatively easy, as there are plentiful options in every direction.
Landscape at Half Moon Bay | © caccamo/Flickr
Landscape at Half Moon Bay | © caccamo/Flickr

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.

Sausalito, CA | © psyberartist/Flickr
Sausalito, CA | © psyberartist/Flickr


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.

Downtown Berkeley

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.

Sonoma Plaza | © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar
Sonoma Plaza | © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar


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.