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Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

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Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

I am going to be in San Francisco for a conference at the end of October. My Husband is joining me and we are staying an extra day after the conference, and thinking about renting a car for the day to take a day trip outside of the city.

Muir Woods sounds really interesting. Is this a full day, or a half day trip? What trails would you recommend inside the park? Any other sights/ things we should do close to Muir Woods while we have a car for the day?

Alternatively, Sausalito sounds interesting, and it sounds like you don't need a car to get there, you can just take the ferry and walk around. Is this correct? Is Sausalito something we could do in an afternoon or evening for a few hours after I get out of the conference, or is it more of an all day trip?

Any other suggestions or tips for what to do on our "free" day would be much appreciated.

Also, we are staying at the Fairmont San Francisco, are there places close by to the hotel we could rent a car just for the day, any tips for the car rental would be great as well.

Thanks!

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1. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

Muir woods is about 30 mins from SF and most would spend a couple of hours walking around the parks. There are trails that one can use if you are serious hikers but most just walk under the Redwoods for a hour or so. One can go to Muir Beach and Stinson beach

Sausalito is a ferry ride away and and most go to the city to take in the views, walk around a bit and perhaps eat. You can do this any evening . You do need to check ferry timings to get back but an hour or to walk around plus dinner would be more than enough for most

Union Square near Mason street is the hub for car rentals and so I would look there.

If you have the whole day then you can leave early am, hit Muir woods for an hour or so and then head on to Napa or Sonoma depending on what you like to do. You could also hit Point Reyes which is almost a whole day's trip

or you could do this day trip around the Sonoma coast

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c139373/San-Fr…

Edited: 28 September 2012, 16:39
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2. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

You could also combine Muir Woods and Sausalito in a single day tour. Get to Muir Woods early to avoid crowds, then go have lunch in Sausalito. Or for a jam-packed day, do Muir Woods, then drive up to Sonoma for lunch and wine tasting, then back to have dinner in Sausalito.

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3. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

Muir Wood parking lot is small.

You need to be there by 8 AM.

Otherwise you will have to park on the side of the road

and walk to ent.

No problem you will not receive parking ticket.

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4. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

<<Muir Wood parking lot is small.

You need to be there by 8 AM.>>

This is relative for the time of year. I believe Midon was here during summer. After Labor Day, summer crowds disapate a lot and parking at Muir becomes a lot easier.

Yes, the parking lots are small. On a weekend in October I would say get there before 9:30, on a weekday ... mmmm, 10:30-11:00. And of course if it's raining, go any old time you want!

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5. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

The day trip from San Francisco that belomiser gave you is my favorite way to see the coast, a real State Redwood Park and the wine country in one circle trip.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c139373/San-Fr…

Do look at it.

If you did this you would not have to worry about Muir Woods. Armstrong Grove is larger, quieter, and more ancient. No tour buses or parking problems or crowds.

belomisers advice on car rentals, since you are staying at the Fairmont is what I would recommend.

"Union Square near Mason street is the hub for car rentals and so I would look there."

If you really want to see Sausalito you could drop down there just before the Golden Gate Bridge on your way back from the day tour..

Enjoy your stay.

Edited: 29 September 2012, 05:30
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6. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

We've never been to Sausalito,it sounds like a fun place. Please report back with your thoughts if you go. :)

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions! We have a lot to think about.

If we did the Sonoma tour at the link suggested by Belomiser and Puter and going to Armstrong Grove about how long would this day take? It looks like Sonoma is only an hour or an hour and a half away without stopping? I just don't think we want to spend all day long driving since we are flying out the next day and would probably want to get back to San Francisco by early evening. Also, I think we would probably only be able to go to one winery (maybe 2 if we sit around for a while after) and still be able to drive... Is it still worth it to go all the way to Sonoma for just the one winery? Are there shops, etc. in town that we could walk around there as well? I'd love to visit Napa/ Sonoma at some time, but I'm almost more interested in the scenery/ beaches and Red Woods for this trip since we will only have a short amount of time.

Thanks for your help!

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8. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

If you drive directly to Sonoma, it is about 45 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. The day trip, which takes you on the coast, down the Russian River and over to the Sonoma Valley is not all that much driving. Lots of time for stops. I thought the mileage was listed in the trip.

You don't have to visit wineries, but they are there if you wish. This trip is more about the coast and the redwoods and the beauty of the vineyards in the Sonoma Valley.

The town of Sonoma is historic, built around an 11 acre Plaza during the Mexican era. Its historic adobe buildings now house boutiques and wine tasting and restaurants, a cheese factory, etc. A fine place to walk around.

After Sonoma you are back at the Golden Gate Bridge, as I said, in 45 minutes.

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

Thanks, it sounds like a wonderful trip, I'll talk it over with my Husband, but it may be a winner for us!

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10. Re: Tips for a Day trip from San Francisco

I think you would enjoy it. The trip makes a circle from San Francisco. Total mileage to Sonoma is 125 miles, then 38 miles back to the GG Bridge.

Did you see these links in the trip description?

www.redwoodhikes.com/Armstrong/Armstrong.html

sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-places/…

This is my favorite boutique in Sonoma. It is next to the historic El Dorado Hotel, on the Plaza.

http://baksheeshfairtrade.com/about.html

And the cheese factory has samples, also sells wine and has a deli.

http://sonomacheesefactory.com/

If you have more questions about the trip, I wrote it. I grew up in the Sonoma Valley and love Bodega Bay and Armstrong Grove and the valley.

Now that I live on the Monterey Bay I still enjoy them and often use a variation of the trip I described.