Get the most out of the City's most famous highlights in a limited time...
Day 1, San Francisco City Highlights:
Spend your first day in the City by the Bay visiting iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, The Presidio, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Union Square and the Embarcadero. These sites offer fantastic photo opps and plenty to see and do. And along the way be sure to stop for some of San Francisco's classic culinary experiences, like authentic pizza in North Beach, dim sum in Chinatown, or sourdough bread, tasty crab or the original Irish Coffee in Fisherman's Wharf!
Day 2, Golden Gate Park, Pacific Heights and Alamo Square:
San Francisco's cultural and recreational heart, Golden Gate Park, is the great urban oasis of the West, offering countless miles of trails that meander past waterfalls, ponds, meadows, statues and beautiful Cypress, Pine and Eucalyptus groves. The Park features a wealth of cultural attractions like the DeYoung Art Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences. Plus the beautiful Botanical Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers and outdoor recreation like tennis, golf, soccer fields, and much more. The park runs from the heart of the City to the beach - an ideal place to take in the crashing waves of the Pacific. On the way, you might stop for a photo at Alamo Square, known for its iconic row of Victorian homes, made famous in countless postcards, movies and tv shows. The nearby Pacific Heights neighborhood features some of the most beautiful (and expensive) homes in the City.
Day 3, The Northern Waterfront:
For your final day in San Francisco, you might want to take in some of the best views and scenery, from Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf all the way to the Golden Gate. It's easy to rent bikes here, or just stroll along the waterfront from historic Fort Mason, past the gorgeous Marina Green all the way to Crissy Field in the Presidio, as you enjoy incredible views of the Bay, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Golden Gate. The trail takes you all the way to the Bridge, where you can venture out as far as you want onto the walkway - but be sure to bundle up when the late afternoon breeze ushers in our famous Northern California fog. If you are on a bike, its a short ride to quaint Sausalito, where you can enjoy more great views as well as dozens of inviting shops, cafes and galleries before taking a relaxing ferry ride back to the City.
San Francisco highlights and the best of the Wine Country - a great combo adventure!
Day 1, San Francisco City Highlights Tour: Like our 3 day itinerary's first day, this day can be spent enjoying some of the most famous landmarks of the City.
Day 2, The Napa Valley:
With over 1000 wineries to choose from, the Sonoma and Napa Wine Regions offer something for everyone looking to experience the famous "Nectar of the Gods" that has drawn worldwide acclaim for nearly a century. During the summer growing season, evening breezes gently cool vineyards that can warm to over 90 degrees in the afternoon sun. This daily heating and cooling creates a complexity of flavors that is on par with some of the greatest and most historic wine regions in the world. In creating your own personal Wine Country adventure, choose from legendary names like Robert Mondavi or Charles Krug, or historic wineries that catapulted the region to acclaim like Chateau Montelena and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Or, if smaller, "boutique" style spots are your preference, there are literally hundreds of small, charming and intimate growers that continue to set the standard for vintages and varietals that are on par with the world's best. Tasting some of the best wines here, like Napa's legendary Cabernet Sauvignon, rises to a new level when experienced in the very place where it is grown and made. And not to be outdone, the area's culinary scene provides the ideal complement to the amazing wines. Choose from the many wonderful markets or delis for a memorable vineyard picnic!
Day 3, Golden Gate Park, Museums, and the Waterfront: As in our 3 day suggestions, on this day you might visit the cultural highlights of the City, then enjoy outstanding views and beautiful scenery along the waterfront. Twin Peaks is also worth a visit for amazing panoramic views from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge, and stunning at night!
Day 4, Sonoma Wine Country:
Like Napa, Sonoma is a town, a county, a valley and an entire wine region that offers a tremendous variety of experiences for visitors. The area is much larger and generally features more wide open spaces than Napa, and is made up of at least 4 distinct areas, each with its own unique character. Choose your region and your varietals, from jammy Zinfandel to delicate Pinot Noir or fruity Chardonnay - whatever your palate or mood craves!
Day 5, Carneros Wineries or SF Culinary highlights:
If you are hankering to visit more great wineries, there is plenty to choose from in both Napa and Sonoma. A good option is the wonderful and close by Carneros Wine Region, the only wine region that includes parts of both Napa and Sonoma. Generally cool due to its location on the Northern edge of the Bay, it is blessed by fog and ocean breezes that roll in each evening from the Golden Gate. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the standouts - and some of the best examples of these varietals anywhere!
If you prefer to spend a final day in San Francisco, a great option is to explore some of the City's great culinary destinations. Start at the Ferry Building Gourmet Marketplace, home to dozens of outlets from some of Northern California's best purveyors. Here you will find everything from fine meats and produce to wine, tea, dessert and cafes to enjoy a delicious lunch. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and especially Saturdays, an excellent farmer's market here offers even more delectable delights! If you wish to visit Alcatraz, one of San Francisco's most famous attractions, the Pier is just a short walk or drive from the Ferry Building and worthy of a detour. Next, nearby Chinatown offers authentic cuisine from all over Asia. Across Columbus Avenue from Chinatown is North Beach, San Francisco's historic Italian neighborhood and a great place to discover fantastic Italian restaurants, coffee houses and more. Between these 2 ethnic neighborhoods, there are more small restaurants than almost any similar-sized area in the entire country. Next, head to the Mission District, where cultural experiences and cuisine from Mexico and Latin America await, including the famous SF Mission Burritos!
Visit the best of San Francisco, Wine Country, Monterey and more of Northern California for a rewarding and memorable tour experience
Day 1, San Francisco City Highlights:
Again, use your first day to tour some of the grand highlights of the City and prepare for a great week of adventure and excitement.
Day 2, Parks and Museums of the City and the Waterfront:
On this day, Golden Gate Park and its cultural attractions or a bike ride along the waterfront are just a few of the great activities to choose from.
Day 3, Wine Country -
Napa or Sonoma:
Plenty to choose from with more than 1000 wineries plus culinary excellence in the Wine Country!
Day 4, The Monterey Peninsula:
This beautiful destination has been called "the most stunning meeting of land and sea". Start with a visit to the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Here, hundreds of exhibits await that are dedicated to the ecology of the Earth's oceans. Then, stroll along Cannery Row, a great place for souvenir shopping or a delightful lunch. Next, head to Pebble Beach and the famous 17-Mile Drive that rolls past multi-million dollar estates and some of the best ocean views in California, including the iconic Lone Cypress. Another stop is the Pebble Beach Lodge at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. This pristine postcard-worthy locale is the most famous golfing destination on the West Coast, and the scene of some of the most famous specatcles in the history of the sport. Treat yourself to lunch or a drink overlooking the famous 18th hole adjacent to the Pacific, and visit to the many shops that feature a wide range of golf-themed mementos.
Finally, your Monterey Peninsula adventure can conclude with a stroll along the charming cobblestone streets of delightful Carmel-by-the-Sea, as you take in the galleries, shops, cafes, inns and ambience that make this quaint seaside enclave one of Northern California's most treasured destinations.
Day 5, Muir Woods and Sausalito:
Today, a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge is often followed by a stop at the North Viewpoint before continuing to the most accessible grove of California’s native redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument. Here, you can spend an hour or 2 strolling along park paths that meander through the forest as some of most majestic trees in the world tower above. Next, head to the nearby enclave of Sausalito, for shopping and lunch in the bayside town known for quaint and charming galleries, cafes, shops and great views of the Bay, harbor, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate.
An option is to then travel by Ferry back across the Bay to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf or Embarcadero.
Day 6, Silicon Valley "Tech Tour":
In recent years, a global explosion of technology has brought the world to the suburban area an hour south of San Franicisco known as "Silicon Valley". Originally known as home to renowned Stanford University and sleepy bedroom communities, the past 50 years has seen an explosion of growth as sprawling office complexes resembling college campuses were built to house thousands of workers drawn here by a new world of innovation, creativity and opportunity. Our "Tech Tours" will take you past headquarters of many of the companies that have paved the way for the technology of the last 50 years, and are creating the future in ways that we can only dream of. Google, Apple, Facebook, and hundreds more are just some of the companies that were founded or expanded here due to the tremendous financial and human capital available in the region.
Highlights of the area include walking tours of the beautiful Stanford University Campus, the unique Computer History Museum and the fantastic Tech Museum of innovation in downtown San Jose, Northern California's largest city.
Day 7, Alcatraz and the Waterfront
A final day in Northern California might be spent with a bike ride or stroll along the path that runs from Fisherman's Wharf to the Golden Gate. A visit to the famous island of Alcatraz requires advance reservations but the experience is definitely worth it. Tours feature the famous penitentiary and the self-guided audio tour that tells the story of some of the former prison's most notorious inmates as well as the still-unsolved mystery of the escape attempt that has long been a favorite subject of Hollywood movies and stories. Finally, a walk along the City's famous hills can take you to Lombard Street, the "World's Crookedest Street" and Coit Tower, 2 of San Francisco's most iconic attractions. Make sure you allow time to take a ride on the famous Cable Cars - the country's only MOBILE officially designated national historic monument.
For your final night in San Francisco, a meal at one of the great restaurants that continue to set the pace for America's Culinary landscape would be excellent conclusion to your grand Northern California experience!
Details coming soon!
Details coming soon!
During this unprecedented time, we are all dreaming of places to explore, or making plans to visit a long-desired destination.
Welcome to California Journeys by Bay Magic Tours - a place to share ideas and explorations into the undiscovered corners of the state. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for all that California has to offer. From Bay Magic Tours - your source for private tours or customized itineraries.