San Francisco is a city heard ’round the world.
While it may not boast New York City’s “Capital of the World” bona fides, tens of millions of travelers from around the globe visit The City by the Bay each year. From its arts and culture to shopping and fine dining opportunities, it’s easy to see why.
That said, everyone deserves a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco’s city streets now and then, including visitors. While it may be the crown jewel of California’s Bay Area, the regions surrounding San Francisco have plenty to offer those seeking a relaxing respite.
Don’t believe us? Just ask the locals.
Unwind in Wine Country
Ashley Kane, the editor and photographer of Brunch on Chestnut and current resident of San Francisco’s Marina District, knows just what the doctor ordered. Hint: The doctor ordered wine.
“Wine Country is pretty much our second home,” she said, referring to her, her boyfriend and their labradoodle Scout. “We make weekend visits quite frequently. I also love being able to drive over the bridge to Marin for lunch, or if we’re feeling like a longer road trip – Carmel or Half Moon Bay. One of the many reasons I don’t think I could ever part ways with the Bay Area is having easy access to some of my absolute favorite places in the world.”
From fresh vino in Sonoma to the smaller towns dotting California’s coast, the Bay Area was seemingly created in a lab by scientists in search of the perfect day trip.
Bocce Across the Bridge
In search of a haunt outside the city to hang your hat? Kara and Tracy of lifestyle blog Two and the City have you covered.
“There are so many quick getaways within an hour of the city,” they said. “[Sausalito] is a cute seaside town just over the Golden Gate Bridge with amazing cafes and restaurants. Bar Bocce has a really cute outdoor patio right on the water with a bocce court and fire pits!”
Kelly Egan, San Francisco lifestyle blogger and mastermind behind A Side of Sweet, agreed. She detailed what her and her husband do when they need to get away.
“We either ride our bikes across the bridge to Sausalito or really get out of town by driving down to Santa Cruz,” she said. “Santa Cruz is a fun beach town with great food, awesome biking and an overall relaxed and friendly vibe.”
There was a time when Alcatraz offered its “guests” some solitude, but those days are over. If you need a little “me time” within the city, check out San Francisco’s serene Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S. Located inside Golden Gate Park, the Japanese Tea Garden provides a beauty and tranquility any other spot in the city would be hard pressed to rival.
Feeling rejuvenated? Good, now it’s time to head back into the city proper and explore everything California’s foggy metropolis has to offer.