San Francisco Outdoors

  • wareagle99

    Posts: 65

    Sep 30, 2012 8:08 PM GMT
    I am headed to San Francisco Thanksgiving week.

    I am more interested in outdoors and day trips than I am sites in the city. (been there before)

    will have my two sons with me (21 and 22). like to hike and climb- anything outdoors that doesn't require too much skill. probably travel up to 2 or 3 hours away.

    We will probably spend nights in SF - but could stay a night or two away.

    Thanks for any ideas and also interested in restaurants , bars, brewpubs and any entertainment the college guys would like in and around SF.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 752

    Oct 01, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
    Of course, you have the coast which is spectacular. You could do a drive down to Carmel and to Big Sur which is great, about 2.5 hours. Some cool places in the area including Pfeifer Beach.

    You have the Marin Headlands and lots of hikes/trails just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. Dipsea Trail is a great trail between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach. Some great views as you climb Mt. Tamalpais. I would google trails in Marin County and you will see that you have lots to choose from.

    You also have Muir Woods, which is a forest of redwood trees about 35 minutes away from the city near some of the Marin trails.

    Staying in the city can be cool too. You have Land's End along the coast with some fascinating history of the Sutro Baths and amazing views. There's also Golden Gate Park which is filled with all types of treasures..from a field of American Bison to some beautiful lakes and countless trails.

    For an overnight trip, I would recommend Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, both easy drives from SF, 4-5 hours away.

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    Oct 01, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
    Great suggestions from IronMan...also just a short drive in the East Bay, you could go to Tilden Park in Berkley, amazing Redwoods for a long or short hike, and then stop within Berkley for lunch what about Mexican...a great authentic Mexican restaurant is Picante, amazing food.
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    Oct 03, 2012 6:34 AM GMT
    For interesting terrain and hiking, try Pinnacles National Monument (until recently a state park, I believe). About 2-1/2 hours south of San Francisco - sort of east of Carmel/Monetrey/Salinas area.
    You should bring (or stop on the way for) water and food. If you're lucky, m you jay see some condors or eagles.

    If driving down the coast (not necessarily to Pinnacles), for interesting food, stop in Pescadero at Duarte's - hearty food and famous for their cream of artichoke soup.

    Another possibility is to hike up Mt. St. Helena (only 4,000 ft) - an easy hike. It is just east of the Sonoma County wine region.
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    Oct 03, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    Point Reyes is a good place for hiking, it's north of SF across the bridge. Off the top of my head you could go to Henry Coe State Park, Sunol Del Valle (or Sunol Regional Wilderness), Big Basin, Mt. Diablo, Mission Peak.. All of them within 60 miles of SF (I think, I might be wrong). If you really want you could check out It has reviews and very useful information about a ton of bay area hikes.

    Big Basin and Point Reyes both have trails to the beach (Point Reyes has a beach campsite too). Someone made the excellent suggestion of Pinnacles NM. If you don't mind a bit of a longer drive it's great. Most people from the bay make it into a camping trip since it's a longer drive. But it has some great hikes, you can explore some of the caves there. The rock climbing there is a bit more extreme, scaling cliff faces and what not. However one of the trails (it has steps and guide wires) takes you up and you can watch them as they climb up the other side.