Bay Area Road Trips
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Three Fun Bay Area Road Trips

There’s more to the Bay Area than the Haight, Pier 39, Chinatown and the Golden Gate. In fact, some of the most exciting places to see lie in the areas around San Francisco. So if you want to see something new on your next trip to the “City by the Bay,” try one of these fun-filled ideas.

Exploring Oakland

Home of the Raiders, Oakland is more than just a bedroom community to the “New York of the West” – it’s a town filled with fun and funky finds that deserve their day in the sun. Some highlights include:

  • Jack London District. Features waterfront views, world-class restaurants and shops, plus historic relics from author Jack London’s life, FDR’s “Floating White House” – the USS Potomac, the Lighthouse Society’s National Historic Floating Lighthouse, and more.

  • Lakeside Park. With Lake Merritt, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the country, plus formal gardens, wildlife, boat rentals and Fairyland, a 10-acre storybook theme park where kids can play to their heart’s content, it’s the perfect place to get out and enjoy the sunny side of the Bay.

  • Oakland Zoo. With more than 400 native and exotic animals in naturalistic enclosures, this award-winning zoo is a feast for the senses.

Point Reyes Station

About 30 miles north of San Francisco is the beautiful – and charming – Point Reyes Station. With quaint towns to explore and a breathtaking seashore, it’s the perfect place to take a rental car for a day. A few places to check out during your journey include:

  • Point Reyes National Protected Seashore. Whether you choose to tour the historic lighthouse visitor center or take a walk in the woods on Woodpecker Trail, this beautiful location is worth as much time as you can spare.

  • Hog Island Oyster Company. This Oyster Farm on Tomales Bay has the fresh oysters, picnic tables and grills for your picnicking pleasure. (So you’re not left tableless, be sure to call ahead to reserve a spot.)

  • Town Walks. Dotting the drive to Point Reyes National Protected Seashore are towns like Inverness, Marshall, Muir Beach, Olema, Point Reyes, Stinson Beach and Tomales. All of these towns have charming downtown areas filled with shops, galleries and restaurants that offer the perfect places to stretch your legs.

Napa Valley

About 90 minutes from San Francisco is the epicenter of the California wine industry – Napa Valley. With lush, rolling hills, world-class vintages, restaurants and shops, there’s more to this delightful area than meets the eye. Some popular favorites and little-known spots include:

  • Wineries. With hundreds of vineyards peppering the landscape, no matter which varietal you prefer, you can find wonderful wineries and tasting rooms to tempt your palate.

  • Bike Tours. See wine country from the saddle of a bike and cruise quiet country roads then stop to sip tasty vintages. With several tour companies with bikes to spare, you can get out of your rental car, get some exercise and taste some of the best California’s wine region has to offer.

  • Bothe Napa Valley State Park. This 1,900-acre state park features trails for day hikes, extended hikes, pristine places to picnic, campsites, cottages, horseback riding trails, swimming and more.

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