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how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

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Houston, Texas
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how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

I have two work assignments that brought me to S.F. during Memorial weekend. I will have one week in between where I have no plans, any suggestions for make some trips in the area? I have already seen most of the city, would like to do something outdoor, e.g. hiking? I don't mind driving (perferablly within 5 hours) is there any good tour package offered? I heard lake Taho (?) is close enough to drive to, is there any tour group to go visit from SF? any suggestions would be appreciated!!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

There are tons of outdoor and hiking options within 5 hours of San Francisco in pretty much every direction but west (the ocean). For hikes in the actual bay area see http://www.bahiker.com/ which lists many places to hike.

A few hours south you can get to Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur. You may want to hike the north coast http://www.hikespeak.com/north-coast/ or maybe go east to Lake Tahoe or Yosemite. All of these areas are beautiful in different ways, though I suspect the hikes away from the coast will be warmer than the coastal areas.

Do I understand you're looking for an organized tour? If so, your options might be more limited, though tours to Yosemite seem more common than to some other places. With a car rental, you should be able to go where you want when you want. Companies such as Green Tortoise offer longer backpacker/camping-type tours with groups, though it's probably unlikely that their dates will exactly fit your dates.

san mateo CA
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2. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

To quote the late great Bill King "Holy Toledo". The possibilities are endless.

I personally like the possibilities in Marin. A walk from Phoenix Lake to the top of Mount Tam and back is fun. Point Reyes National Sea Shore has multiple opportunities. China Camp has its charms, watch out bicycles are allowed on the trails.

Sawyer Camp Road on the peninsula can be fun.

I do not know walks in the Santa Cruz area but there are several areas there that are highly recommended by others. The link above should give you multiple good recommendations.

You say that you know the City well. Have you ever hiked from Dolores Park to the top of Twin Peaks than down to the Haight through the back side of UCSF, where Ishi lived out his life. A very interesting walk that can end with a beer in the Kezar Club.

You ask a very broad question that has virtually an infinite number of answers, more specificity may give better answers.

Corona del Mar, CA
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3. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

I would get a car and do a few days at North Lake Tahoe, which I think is the nicer of the two ends of the lake, but the South Lake has the casinos. If you golf, the Lake Tahoe area has some great golf courses. It is about a three hour drive if you miss city traffic.

Here are the two Lake Tahoe pages:



I'd also consider some time in the Napa Valley, there are good places to stay and hike, rent bikes, etc.

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4. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?


Plenty of day trips.

Bloomington, Indiana
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5. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

Close to the city, but somewhat off the radar of many is Angel Island. It would probably be a day hike combining nature, views, and some history. I'm trying to remember if you can overnight or not, and I'm just not sure.

It is on my short list, something I never did when I lived in SF nor in my many visits (maybe next time?).

Will try to list some other (further flung) suggestions tomorrow,


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6. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

(Edit - didn't see the 'something outdoors' part of the OP's post. But maybe this will help a lurker or something.)

If you've already seen most of SF, that to me implies that you like cities. In which case I have two urban suggestions - first, let us know what parts of SF you HAVEN'T been to; there are neighborhoods that visitors rarely go to but are well worth seeing. For example I highly recommend going to West SF (Sutro Baths, the Sunset, etc.) if you haven't been.

The other city suggestion is to do the East Bay, which is (to me) the cultural gem of the Bay Area. A good start would be going to Rockridge in Oakland, if for nothing else to see that parts of the city are ridiculously safe (although the area is somewhat sterile). It's right near a BART stop with the same name. Or take the ferry from SF to Jack London Square, also in Oakland - lots of great restaurants and another 'Oakland for beginners' neighborhood. I would also recommend Berkeley, especially the area surrounding the UC - the university of course is known for it's progressive politics, and the area is a match to that; very cool college town in an urban setting.

As far as Santa Cruz, a benefit to seeing this city is that you can do it without a car - odds are you'll want one, but taking Caltrain south to San Jose's Diridon station and catching the very nice, Amtrak operated 17 bus over the mountains (which you probably wouldn't want to drive anyway) will drop you off right in downtown and within walking distance from the beach, the area that's best for viewing the surfers (and the beach where you can go to 'surf school' and learn to catch waves yourself), and the best restaurants and shops SC has to offer.

If you have a car, the possibilities are a little more endless. North to Pt. Reyes or the Russian River, south to Monterey and Big Sur, or drive the coast south of SF which has numerous accessible beaches (and is on the way to Santa Cruz).

A note on safety in Oakland - if you have been to any third world countries (Latin America, for example, or even European spots like Marseille), take that mindset to the East Bay and you'll find it to be several levels up from international 'danger' standards; Rockridge, Jack London Square and Berkeley are all very safe - as safe as, say, Chinatown in SF - but Oakland has a higher degree of danger than SF and indeed most urban areas. Just keep that in mind if you do go.

Also if you go to Tahoe make sure to take the Delta route to Sacramento. Other people will have a better idea of hikes and that kind of stuff.

Have a great trip!

Edited: 05 May 2013, 22:57
7. Re: how to spend 1 week around S.F.?

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