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Known for the beautiful Golden Gate bridge, the city of San Francisco is one of the most lively cities in the United States. Located near the Pacific Ocean, the city offers so much to the people living here with places like Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and Golden Gate Park. However, if you are looking to get out of the bay area and spend a day or weekend away from the city, there are limitless options for best day trips from San Francisco 2023.

10 Thrilling Day Trips You Can Take From San Francisco In 2023

Read on to know more about all the day trips you can take from this joyous city with your family and friends. Which of these will you try first?

1. Big Sur

big redwood forest

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One of the most amazing weekend trips from San Francisco in November, Big Sur is may be the best stretch of Pacific Coastline. Spread over ninety miles, the area is a big redwood forest. Add to that the beautiful sandy beaches, deep blue waters of the Pacific and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and this becomes the perfect recipe for a one day trip. Take a walk along the river Big Sur which flows in the park or simply camp on one of the sites near the beach, this weekend trip will bring your family closer and inspire you all. Believe us, day trips from San Francisco to Big Sur are all they are hyped to be.

Distance from the city: 146 miles

Must Read: San Francisco Shopping: 10 Places That’ll Help You Pamper Your Heart & Upgrade Your Style

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2. Yosemite National Park

Peak of mountain

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The first national park created in the world back in 1864 – need we say more? Awe-inspiring granite cliffs, a number of waterfalls and joyous wildlife – Yosemite National Park day trip from San Francisco is a bucket-list item for most. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain, this park is a must-visit when you are in the bay area. Take a one day trip from San Francisco and witness the majestic cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. You can hike or bike around or simply take alone walk in the wilderness. The nearby Yosemite village has a number of bars, museums and cafes to visit as well.

Distance from the city: 192 miles

3. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

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Chances are you have already heard about or visited this infamous prison. As a federal penitentiary, Alcatraz has been home to criminals like Birdman and Al Capone which adds to the aura (or eeriness) of the island. Located 2 kilometers away from the mainland, you will find many guided tours here which will cover everything from the inner compounds to the grounds. One of the must-do day trips near San Francisco, this island will not only give you an insight into the functioning of a mysterious federal prison but also tell you the lives lived here by the prisoners as well as the staff.

Distance from the city: 3.4 miles

Suggested Read: 10 Beautiful Places To Visit In San Francisco That Ought To Be On Your Itinerary

4. Carmel-by-the-Sea

Sea view

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This much-loved celebrity beach town has an old-world European charm. It is one of the most preferred romantic day trips from San Francisco. Think sandy beaches and beautiful mansions and, you have Carmel-by-the-Sea. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, the townhouses a whaling museum, Carmel Heritage Society Museum or a library. You can also walk up to Point Lobos and spend a romantic evening with your partner looking over the Pacific. Or simply go to Carmel beach and surf! A day trip from San Francisco to Carmel is all that and much more.

Distance from the city: 122 miles

5. Napa Valley

Beautiful Valley

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If you are looking for day trips from San Francisco without a car, then head here. The beauty of Napa is unbeatable, no doubt. And if you are a wine lover, you have all the more reason to visit. A day trip from San Francisco to Napa can cover one of the famous wineries here where you will see how a grapevine is converted into a drink you enjoy so much during balmy nights. The passion for winemaking in this valley is contagious and by the end of the day, even a novice will end up falling in love with the process and the drink. You can also take the Napa Valley Wine Train exploring the extraordinary beauty of the landscape, which is one of the most romantic and perfect ways to plan your Napa Valley Day trip from San Francisco.

Distance from the city: 67 miles

Suggested Read: 10 Best San Francisco Beaches: The Most Dramatic Havens Of The City

6. Santa Barbara

City view

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One of the best San Francisco day trips by train, you can hop on one of the Amtrak trains, Coast Starlight, to cover the beauty of the Western Coast of the States. Going through the amazing landscapes, the train runs from Los Angeles to Seattle, going through the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara, Portland and Sacramento. The city of Santa Barbara itself has a number of sandy beaches, Santa Ynez Mountains and other historic buildings to visit. One of the best weekend trips, the city will make you instantly feel like you have landed in the Mediterranean.

Distance from the city: 325 miles

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7. Lake Tahoe


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Hands down one of the best 2-day trips from San Francisco, Lake Tahoe is incredibly beautiful and inspiring. You can go for a gondola ride or head to Heavenly for skiing. Simply go for a drive around the lake and spend the best weekend away from the city surrounded by nature and beauty at its purest. Go for a hike or enjoy some smores by the lakeside, this weekend getaway from San Francisco in USA is your answer to all the vacation questions during summer or winter.

Distance from the city: 205 miles

Suggested Read: San Francisco Nightlife: Best Places To Eat, Drink, Dance, And Repeat!

8. Disneyland California

Disneyland of California

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What says family trip better than Disneyland? The theme park located in Anaheim, California, is one of the best places to visit with your kids. Take your family for a visit here or stay in one of the resorts, this weekend trip is going to be one of the best family day trips from San Francisco that you can take ever. Don’t forget to ride on all the star attractions of the park and do converse with the characters walking down the road.

Distance from the city: 409 miles

9. Los Angeles

Los Angeles City view

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Coming down to LA is going to be the best extended weekend trip from San Francisco. The weather is sunny and warm and although the city is too big to cover in just a few days, you still can do so much. Make sure to go up to the Griffith Observatory to click panoramic pictures of the entire city. One day can be spent easily hiking the Runyon Canyon. Spend time exploring the cafes and restaurants of the city or bike around the posh colonies, Los Angeles offers the perfect 4 day trip from San Francisco when the weather up there is all foggy and cold.

Distance from the city: 383 miles

Suggested Read: 10 Surreal Churches In San Francisco That You Shouldn’t Miss!

10. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Volcanic National Park

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The biggest lava dome on the planet, Mount Lassen was assumed to be extinct until last century when it exploded. The place features on the bucket list of every nature lover with places like Subway Cave, Burney Falls and Bumpass Hell. Take hikes around the park on its one-of-a-kind terrain and camp here in the night, trip to Lassen is one of the best 3-day trips from San Francisco you can take in this lifetime.

Distance from the city: 236 miles

Further Read: 10 San Francisco Hotels You Can Make Your Temporary Abode

All ready to pack your bags and set off on these riveting day trips from San Francisco? Don’t forget to check our website for the best deals and full exclusive USA tour packages while planning your getaway. Happy Tripping!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Day Trips From San Francisco

Which are fun day trips from San Francisco?

Fun day trips from San Francisco are to Sausalito and Half Moon Bay.

What is there to do at Half Moon Bay?

One can enjoy camping, sunbathing, and fishing at Half Moon Bay.

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Category: Bot, Places near, USA

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