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Before San Francisco - beach and trees

State College, PA
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Before San Francisco - beach and trees

I'm traveling to San Francisco for business at the end of September. I'll be in the city all week and one weekend so I,d like to visit someone off the beaten path the weekend I arrive. I get in to SFO at 10:30 am Saturday morning and need to be in San Francisco Sunday night - so I have some time. I'd like to see a beach (I've never seen the pacific) as well as some of the trees. Any suggestions on destinations? I'm planning to rent a car when I arrive on Saturday morning and drop it off again Sunday night before heading into the city. Thanks in advance!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

How about Santa Cruz? Visit Henry Cowell Redwoods, walk downtown, play in the chilly Pacific Ocean.

Santa Cruz - Sights and Activities tripadvisor.com/Travel-g33048-c133677/Santa-…

Other articles about Santa Cruz tripadvisor.com/Travel-g33048-s1/…Inside.html

San Francisco, Ca
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2. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

Or on the coast of western Marin county -- the Pelican Inn is near Muir Woods and you can walk to Muir Beach. (None of these beaches near SF are sun/surf/sand/swimming/Bay Watch beaches... they're beach-combing/tide-pooling/photos/walking beaches. Santa Cruz, however, is the warmest beach that we offer, if that's what you're looking for.)

Ventnor City, New...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando
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3. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

I can't say this is the best place. It's the only place I know. Muir Woods was nearly a religious experience for my family and me. Even my 11-year-old was awe-struck.

Those magnificent redwoods (evergreen sequoias) are so huge they'll make the oaks and maples in Happy Valley look like blades of grass in comparison.

San Jose, California
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for California
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4. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

I think the biggest hurdle will be the desire for something off the beaten path within a couple hours of SF. The coast between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz fits that criteria, and there area a lot of great beaches there. I can't think of any parks with old growth redwoods there though, but you could combine this area with a trip down to Santa Cruz to see Henry Cowell state park.

San Francisco
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5. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

I think the coast north of the city is more dramatic than that near Half Moon Bay. The Pelican Inn is a good choice and there is some lodging available at Stinson Beach. Just as long as you just plan to "see" the beach and not "swim" because the water will be *very* cold.

But the southern option would work as well.

One benefit to the coast south of the city is not having to deal with the cashless toll on the GG Bridge.

San Frantastic
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6. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

If you have to be in San Francisco, GO to San Francisco.

Start at Baker Beach. Lovely spot.

Head to Lincoln Park. Stroll along the Land's End trail. More ocean vistas and plenty of trees.

You can make a whole day of this at a leisurely pace. Have lunch at the Cliff House.

And you won't have the hassle of having to drive back to San Francisco for your Sunday night thing.

Pacific Grove...
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7. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

What about Drakes Beach in Inverness. About a 2 hour drive, but very relaxing spot. There may be lodging options on Sir Francis Drake Blvd IDK. Also Muir woods on the way.http://www.mapquest.com/maps?address=4+Drakes+Beach+Rd&city=Inverness&state=CA&zipcode=94937&redirect=true#a24f7c3227e6ed88a270a53d

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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8. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

Here is a north-of-SF idea that could be expanded to an overnight.......

San Francisco: Day Trip North tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c139373/San-Fr…

ohio
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9. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

Drive north to Jenner and stop at one of the many beautiful points along Sonoma Coast State Park. It's a spectacular coastline. Consider staying at Rivers End. http://www.ilovesunsets.com/lodging.html From there you can also check out Armstrong Woods to see redwoods.

ohio
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10. Re: Before San Francisco - beach and trees

Also, you will probably be able to drop you car off in the city for no additional fee.