A Guide to a Weekend Getaway North of San Francisco

A Guide to a Weekend Getaway North of San Francisco

Weekend 2024-02-12 ParkingNearAirports.io

A trip to bustling San Francisco offers a delightful experience for the senses, with top-notch food and urban attractions that are to be expected in one of the country's liveliest cities. However, once you've explored the city, it's worth considering extending your itinerary and venturing north of the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy a more relaxed and outdoor-focused experience. Take a break from the constant excitement and fast pace of one of the world's most captivating cities, and instead immerse yourself in leisurely activities like hiking, beachcombing, visiting galleries, and indulging in wine tasting. All these await you just a short drive away from the vibrant "City by the Bay." Let's get started!

Departing San Francisco

Source: Joseph Barrientos/Unsplash

When in San Francisco, it would be a shame to leave without taking a leisurely walk across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Even if you only make it halfway and back, it's worth it. Begin your adventure by parking at the vista point lot at the north end of the bridge. From there, you can safely stroll along the pedestrian walkway, separated from the traffic, and enjoy stunning views of San Francisco. As you look down at the water's 220 feet below, keep an eye out for dolphins or even a majestic whale passing by. Also, don't forget to admire the postcard-worthy sight of Alcatraz Island across the bay. Remember to dress warmly, even in the warmest weather, as the wind on the bridge can be fierce and chilly, adding to the excitement of the experience.

For a more urban and less windy outing, make your way to Sausalito's waterfront, just a quick five-minute drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Sausalito offers a charming walk along Bridgeway Street, right beside the water, where you can explore galleries, shops, and restaurants. Don't miss the chance to visit the Hanson of Sonoma Tasting Room and indulge in a taste or two of their artisanal organic spirits, particularly their flavored vodkas. As you wander along Bridgeway, you'll come across various delightful and eclectic art galleries that line the street by the water. If you're looking for a picturesque waterfront lunch, Fish, Le Garage (housed in a converted auto shop), The Spinnaker, or Scoma's of Sausalito are great options. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll around the Waldo Point Harbor community, where you can admire the range of unique and luxurious houseboats. It's an opportunity to imagine what it would be like to live right on the water.

Explore the Redwood Forest

Source: Billy Huynh/Unsplash

In Sausalito, a charming town known for its trendy streets and shops, you should definitely make your way to the west towards Muir Woods. When you arrive, take a moment to visit the quaint visitor's center, where you can learn all about the fascinating ecosystem of California's redwood trees. Once you're informed, you'll have the option to choose from several loop trails that span a total of six miles, offering you a delightful hiking experience through the forest and alongside Redwood Creek. As you delve deeper into the grove, you'll be surrounded by majestic tall trees, lush ferns, enchanting mushrooms, and the soothing earthy aroma of the woods. This ancient forest, protected as a National Monument since 1908, has a remarkable ability to rejuvenate your spirit and bring tranquility to your soul. Before you make your journey, be sure to make arrangements for parking or a shuttle, as well as obtain an entrance ticket in advance. This cherished grove is carefully monitored to preserve its untouched beauty. Don't forget to stop by the shop and café for a worthwhile visit.

Experience Muir Beach

Source: Alex Le Moëligou/Unsplash

Afterward, proceed a short distance of just three miles to Muir Beach, a charming inlet well-liked by locals. Towards the northern end of the beach, there is a section that allows clothing-optional activity. It's important to remain cautious of the waves, as there are no lifeguards present and the shores of Northern California can experience unexpected powerful waves. The beach is accessible through a wooden footbridge from the parking area, and it serves as an ideal location for swimming, having a picnic, flying kites, or taking a leisurely walk along the shoreline. During the autumn, you may also have the chance to catch sight of Monarch butterflies that migrate to the Monterey Pines and create a beautiful sight at Muir Beach.

Embark on a hiking adventure

Source: Michael Rosner-Hyman/Unsplash

If you're looking for a more challenging hike, consider Mt. Tamalpais. Begin at Stinson Beach, just six miles north of Muir Beach, and follow the Dipsea Trail. This trail takes you up through grassy headlands with amazing coastal views, then into ravines and along ridges, past majestic redwood trees and babbling creeks crossed by moss-covered wooden bridges. You'll even encounter a waterfall that requires climbing a ladder to reach its top. Along the way, you'll come across the Historic West Point Inn, a remote destination accessible only by hiking or biking. Mount Tam reaches an elevation of 2571 feet, and at the summit, there's a snack kiosk in the parking lot to satisfy your hunger after the climb. When you make your way back down on a different trail, remember it's all downhill. This hike covers a total of fifteen miles and is quite challenging, taking experienced hikers up to seven hours to complete. However, the views from the top are breathtaking and even more rewarding knowing you've earned them. While you can drive most of the way to the top of Mount Tam, wouldn't you prefer to have the satisfaction of completing the hike? Plus, when you return to Stinson Beach, you can reward yourself by dipping your toes in the water. You deserve it.

Indulge in wine tasting

Source: Zan/Unsplash

If you have enough time, you should consider extending your stay in Sonoma and Napa Counties to explore the various wineries, galleries, restaurants, shops, and spas. There is so much to see and do that it's hard to mention everything here. The charming towns of Sonoma, Napa, Sebastopol, Guerneville, Windsor, Healdsburg, St. Helena, Calistoga, Occidental, and Geyserville are all located close to world-class wineries and offer a delightful experience. You can also venture off the beaten path to visit smaller boutique wineries that provide a more personalized experience, often with the winemaker personally pouring the wines.

If pampering yourself is a priority, you can visit the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa or indulge in a mud bath in Calistoga. If you're up for more hiking, you can explore the coastal trails, sandy beaches, and ocean at Point Reyes National Seashore or enjoy a seafood lunch in Bodega Bay. For an exciting adventure, consider booking a whale-watching tour at Bodega Head, one of the best spots for whale-watching on the West Coast.

Make memories, not parking mistakes: choose us – ParkingNearAirports.io – for a perfect travel experience!

Source: Jose Rago/Unsplash

Along with our ultimate travel guide, we would like to share an additional valuable suggestion. This advice will prove beneficial for individuals who opt for air travel.

If you get to the airport by car, you always need to find a good parking space for your vehicle to leave for the period of a trip. In most cases, airports have special on-site parking for that purpose. However, such a parking lot is pretty costly most of the time, and people aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of a trip. So is there any solution?

The best way to solve this problem is to choose off-site parking. Why, you may ask? We will explain.

There are many reasons which can prove the benefit of this parking type. Here are some of them:

  • Affordable Rates. Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose between short-term and long-term airport parking. Anyway, an off-site airport is much cheaper, so you can save your money and spend the most considerable amount on things you really want to see or try while traveling.
  • Fast Service. In contrast with on-site airport parking, which can take quite a long time, off-site parking offers you the convenience of driving directly to the entrance and having a staff member pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle. Then they will park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It's a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
  • Convenience. When people travel, they may be stressed about making it to the airport on time. If you use off-site parking, you will definitely make your travel experience more convenient, as you use the service of a private company. Even though you may be able to park on-site at the airport in a short-term or long-term airport parking lot, consider using an off-site parking lot service.

Source: Reinaldo Kevin/Unsplash

We are glad to say that our booking platform, ParkingNearAirports.io, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are convenient and affordable. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.

With our platform, it only takes a few clicks in the app to reserve a parking spot. Guests receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking space upon arrival at the off-airport parking. In addition, the app helps customers locate the most convenient lots to the airport. Cancellations are easy if plans change with hassle-free, refundable cancellations.

Besides this, we also offer services for top cruise ports in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas.

Now let's take a good example. Imagine that you're planning a trip to San Francisco, California. This state is located in the western United States. So if you're flying from Denver, Colorado, you can use cheap Denver off-airport parking. If you're coming from Seattle, Washington, you can choose affordable airport parking near SeaTac. It just depends on the place you're flying from.

You can always find everything you need on our official website: the best deals for parking near US and Canadian airports, domestic airport parking charges, and much more.