San Francisco is one of my favorite cities. Not so much for its nightlife or great city vibes, although those are great too, but for what surrounds it. Head off in almost any direction from downtown and you find a deluge of outdoor fun, not to mention great restaurants, wine and some of my favorite small towns in the state. Best part of all is that many of these great escapes can be totally car free. So grab your bike or your favorite walking shoes and come across the bay with me to the quaint seaside town of Tiburon.
My morning began leisurely on this warm and beautiful fall day. After a coffee and a scone at Tartine I headed over to San Francisco Bike Rentals located near Pier 41. I grabbed a bike and hopped on the Ferry dubbed the Blue and Gold Fleet which was destined to take me across the bay to Tiburon. Camera in hand I passed some of San Francisco’s most iconic sites, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge on my short trip across the bay.
The Channel Islands are an island chain located off the Southern California Coastline. The national park consists of 5 islands spread across 160 miles of ocean, reachable only by boat or seaplane. Their isolation has left them almost totally undeveloped, offering beautiful landscapes, nature and tranquility. One of the least visited parks in the US, if you are wanting to explore sea caves, glimpse at jutting rock cliffs and sea nature you can't anywhere else, plan a visit to Channel Islands National Park.
As an Angeleno I am always in awe of how different San Francisco is from its Southern sister. While the city itself is a bustling metropolis the towns and wilderness surrounding the city offer a never-ending amount of adventure and exploration. Whether you are a forest dweller, a beach lover, a hiker, photographer, artist or adventure junkie there is enough in this area to keep all of you mesmerized. Here are a few places I would add to your list of San Francisco day trips.
Located just a few miles over the Golden Gate bridge, Muir Woods is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area is a popular place to come and view some of California's old growth Redwood trees. Multiple trails wind their way through the forest floor on well maintained paths easily accessible to all. Several other trails climb high up above offering views of the Pacific Ocean and Mount Tamalpais. Don't miss the huge trees in Cathedral Grove and make sure you wander along Redwood Creek where you can sit and listen to the birds chirping. See more of this beautiful place in the video below.
For many; there isn’t much better than a tantalizing weekend sipping wines, exploring vineyards and indulging in enriching cuisine. As a wine enthusiast it is easy to strictly think about the taste and quality of the grapes that go into our favorite wines. What if you knew that the wines you drank were grown sustainably on organic farms, and the food you ate was sourced from mere footsteps away. More wine growers are making the leap to be sustainable and Sonoma County is leading the way.
If you are unfamiliar with Sonoma County, it is one of the premier wine regions in Northern California. Located next to Napa Valley, Sonoma has almost twice as many vineyards and a plethora of other things to do. As a wine region it is known for its amazing chardonnays, sparkling wines, pinot noir’s and red blends. Sonoma blended seamlessly with nature, runs along the Russian River. Following the Wine road you can start on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, wind your way through Redwood forests, kayak down the Russian River, stay in a solar powered B & B, eat locally farm raised foods and sip on a delectable selection of organic wines.
Sonoma County recently announced their commitment to become the first 100% sustainable wine region in America by 2019. Already 60% of the Sonoma vineyard acres have been certified sustainable as well as 40 wineries themselves.
Join Alice on a Sonoma Coast Organic Wine and Adventure tour.