San Francisco
Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area

Destinations  »  North America  »  USA  »  California

Destination: San Fransisco Bay Area, CA

Length of Stay:  3 Nights (August 2018)

Highlights: Cypress Tree Tunnel, Muir Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Half Moon Bay

Many people refer to San Francisco and its surrounding suburbs as the "Bay Area." During our trip, we learned that this general region is a lot broader than we originally thought. With that being said, our stay in the Bay Area was 3 nights and we got to see quite a few cool things to close out our tour of Northern California. All of our highlights mentioned in this post are within a 1-2 hour drive of San Francisco.

Destination: San Fransisco Bay Area, CA

Length of Stay:  3 Nights (August 2018)

Highlights: Cypress Tree Tunnel, Muir Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Half Moon Bay

Many people refer to San Francisco and its surrounding suburbs as the "Bay Area." During our trip, we learned that this general region is a lot broader than we originally thought. With that being said, our stay in the Bay Area was 3 nights and we got to see quite a few cool things to close out our tour of Northern California. All of our highlights mentioned in this post are within a 1-2 hour drive of San Francisco.

Cypress Tree Tunnel

Pacific Coastal Highway (California Hwy 1)

On our way down from Santa Rosa, we made a stop at Reyes National Shoreline to see the famous Cypress Tree Tunnel. From there we headed down to SFO to pick up Josh's cousin at the airport. He is a huge dead head so we stopped by the Grateful Dead house at 710 Ashbury St as our next destination. The house is in the heart of the famed Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the middle of San Fran. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area at Crissy Field wasn't too far away so we made a quick stop there on our way up to Muir Woods and Muir Beach.

710 Ashbury St.

Golden Gate Bridge

Crissy Field Park

John Muir, an influential Scottish-American, was sometimes referred to as "Father of the National Parks.” President Theodore Roosevelt named Muir Woods a National Monument in 1908. When I went with my friend Natalie to Muir Woods in 2016, we just parked for free and were able to go in for small fee that we paid with cash. Our family friend informed us that you now needed a prior online reservation to go. So now, two years later in 2018, the current policy is to pick a half hour time frame online in which you anticipate arriving. After paying the online fee of $8.00 for a parking spot, you will be emailed a barcode which an employee will scan either on your smartphone or printed version to allow you entrance into the lot. Please keep in mind: you will not have cell phone reception the closer you get to the woods so download your parking barcode to your phone before you lose reception. Try to avoid printing if you can have it on your phone to save the trees 🙂

Muir Beach

Muir Beach

Finally, as we made the trek south out of San Fran into Central California we had to do a photo shoot in Half Moon Bay. If you plan on doing some surfing in the area we would highly recommend wearing a wetsuit because the water is very chilly. We also found it a bit surprising that there were signs cautioning surfers about the poor water quality. Perhaps this was because it was close to a marina which smelled a lot like rotten fish, but we decided to just pretend like we were surfing and take some basic pictures on the rocks like a couple posers. But let's be real, we didn't even have wet suits to begin with. Even when we did attempt to go surfing in San Diego there was so much seaweed that we couldn't even catch a wave.

**Pro Tip**: If you're in the area, you might want to check out Maverick's Beach, the site of an annual big wave surf competition!

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Northern Bay Area

Cypress Tree Tunnel

Pacific Coastal Highway (California Hwy 1)

On our way down from Santa Rosa, we made a stop at Reyes National Shoreline to see the famous Cypress Tree Tunnel. From there we headed down to SFO to pick up Josh's cousin at the airport. He is a huge dead head so we stopped by the Grateful Dead house at 710 Ashbury St as our next destination. The house is in the heart of the famed Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the middle of San Fran. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area at Crissy Field wasn't too far away so we made a quick stop there on our way up to Muir Woods and Muir Beach.

Downtown San Francisco

710 Ashbury St.

Golden Gate Bridge

Crissy Field Park

Crissy Field Park

John Muir, an influential Scottish-American, was sometimes referred to as "Father of the National Parks.” President Theodore Roosevelt named Muir Woods a National Monument in 1908. When I went with my friend Natalie to Muir Woods in 2016, we just parked for free and were able to go in for small fee that we paid with cash. Our family friend informed us that you now needed a prior online reservation to go. So now, two years later in 2018, the current policy is to pick a half hour time frame online in which you anticipate arriving. After paying the online fee of $8.00 for a parking spot, you will be emailed a barcode which an employee will scan either on your smartphone or printed version to allow you entrance into the lot. Please keep in mind: you will not have cell phone reception the closer you get to the woods so download your parking barcode to your phone before you lose reception. Try to avoid printing if you can have it on your phone to save the trees 🙂

Muir Woods | Muir Beach

Muir Woods

Muir Beach

Muir Beach

Finally, as we made the trek south out of San Fran into Central California we had to do a photo shoot in Half Moon Bay. If you plan on doing some surfing in the area we would highly recommend wearing a wetsuit because the water is very chilly. We also found it a bit surprising that there were signs cautioning surfers about the poor water quality. Perhaps this was because it was close to a marina which smelled a lot like rotten fish, but we decided to just pretend like we were surfing and take some basic pictures on the rocks like a couple posers. But let's be real, we didn't even have wet suits to begin with. Even when we did attempt to go surfing in San Diego there was so much seaweed that we couldn't even catch a wave.

**Pro Tip**: If you're in the area, you might want to check out Maverick's Beach, the site of an annual big wave surf competition!

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

See how this fits into the best road trips in America

Back to USA >>

Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, CA

September 1, 2018

Utah

September 2, 2018

Alaska

June 4, 2018

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

September 7, 2018

Self Guided Tour of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

March 19, 2019

Mt. Rushmore, SD

June 22, 2018

Yellowstone National Park, WY

June 16, 2018

Glacier National Park, MT

June 13, 2018

Los Angeles, CA

August 15, 2018

Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park, UT

September 10, 2018

Avenue of the Giants, CA

August 2, 2018

Victoria, BC

July 27, 2018

Day Trip Guide to Killarney National Park

April 17, 2019

Zion National Park, UT

September 5, 2018

San Diego, CA

August 20, 2018

Banff National Park, AB

May 25, 2018

Tijuana, MX

August 28, 2018

Portland, OR

July 31, 2018

Monument Valley, UT

September 13, 2018

Horseshoe Bend, AZ

July 24, 2017

Salvation Mountain, CA

August 29, 2018

Ontario

May 14, 2018

Confusion Hill vs. Mystery Spot

August 8, 2018

Acadia National Park, ME

May 5, 2018

Montréal, QC

May 11, 2018

California

August 2, 2018

San Francisco, CA

August 6, 2018

Santa Barbara, CA

August 11, 2018

National Park Guide: Day Trip to Torres del Paine

November 18, 2018

Big Sur, CA

August 10, 2018

Arches National Park, UT

September 15, 2018

Olympic National Park, WA

July 26, 2018

North America: Best Road Trips in USA and Canada

October 2, 2018

Newport, RI

May 2, 2018

California

August 2, 2018

Montréal, QC

May 11, 2018

National Park Guide: Day Trip to Torres del Paine

November 18, 2018

San Diego, CA

August 20, 2018

Ontario

May 14, 2018

Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park, UT

September 10, 2018

Alaska

June 4, 2018

Horseshoe Bend, AZ

July 24, 2017

Acadia National Park, ME

May 5, 2018

Self Guided Tour of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

March 19, 2019

Los Angeles, CA

August 15, 2018

Monument Valley, UT

September 13, 2018

Big Sur, CA

August 10, 2018

Day Trip Guide to Killarney National Park

April 17, 2019

Santa Barbara, CA

August 11, 2018

Salvation Mountain, CA

August 29, 2018

Olympic National Park, WA

July 26, 2018

Banff National Park, AB

May 25, 2018

Arches National Park, UT

September 15, 2018

Avenue of the Giants, CA

August 2, 2018

North America: Best Road Trips in USA and Canada

October 2, 2018

Portland, OR

July 31, 2018

Victoria, BC

July 27, 2018

Zion National Park, UT

September 5, 2018

Tijuana, MX

August 28, 2018

Mt. Rushmore, SD

June 22, 2018

Utah

September 2, 2018

San Francisco, CA

August 6, 2018

Glacier National Park, MT

June 13, 2018

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

September 7, 2018

Confusion Hill vs. Mystery Spot

August 8, 2018

Yellowstone National Park, WY

June 16, 2018

Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, CA

September 1, 2018

Newport, RI

May 2, 2018
By |2019-10-14T20:25:50-04:00August 6th, 2018|California, Destinations|0 Comments

Leave A Comment