One of the best things about the City by the Bay is its proximity to breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant, diverse, neighboring communities. In less than 30 minutes from San Francisco, you can feel on the edge of the world at the cliffs of the Marin Headlands, look up the trunk of a 600-year-old Redwood, or explore the scenic waterfronts of Sausalito and Tiburon. And to the east, Oakland and Berkeley are destinations in their own right for their fantastic restaurants burgeoning art scenes. Plus, if the fog’s got you shivering, any of these locations are worth the trip just to warm up!

From San Francisco, you can reach any of these points in an hour or less by car. Public transportation options are also listed throughout the chapter. Another option is to hitch a ride with San Francisco Sightseeing (tel. 888/428-6937 or 415/434-8687;, which runs regularly scheduled bus tours to neighboring towns and the countryside. Half-day trips to Muir Woods and Sausalito, and full-day trips to Napa and Sonoma are available, as are excursions to Yosemite and the Monterey Peninsula. Phone for prices and schedules.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.