San Francisco has long been recognized for its diversity and eclectic attractions, but there’s so much more to the Bay Area, including fantastic wines and stunning scenery.
Trip Time: 7 days
Begin your trip in the heart of San Francisco. Union Square , located downtown, is a great shopping destination. Enjoy browsing department stores, designer stores, and unique boutiques. Next, head to the Ferry Building Marketplace .The ferry building, which was built in 1896, has been completely renovated into fashionable site. This is a working ferry port, but the building contains variety of stores and restaurants.
Explore cultural icons at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art . With a collection of more than 22,000, this is one of the most important modern art museums in the United States. Continue your immersion into the arts with the San Francisco Ballet at War Memorial Opera House . The San Francisco Ballet is considered to be one of the best in the United States – the season is February to May.
Cross the water to Alcatraz Island , located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Until 1963, it served as a federal prison until where the nation’s most notorious criminals were incarcerated. You can take a close look at cells where inmates including Al Capone were once imprisoned. Visit this historic site via a ferry that departs from Fisherman’s Wharf . Fisherman’s Wharf has so much to see! Head to Pier 39 , where you can find restaurants and shops; Boudin Museum , a museum of sourdough bread, San Francisco’s specialty; and Ghirardelli Square , which once was a chocolate factory and is now a fun shopping mall.
You should also visit Golden Gate Park , a perfect place where San Francisco’s residents can relax and enjoy themselves. There are museums, conservatory, an arboretum and botanical gardens in the park. Then, enjoy dinner in Chinatown , one of the biggest ones in the United States. You can enjoy authentic Chinese food at affordable price.
Start the day examining art at the Legion of Honor , known as “the most beautiful museum in San Francisco.” It exhibits more than 3000 paintings, from 2500 B.C. to present day. It is located on the cliffs of Lincoln Park, overlooking the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. Next, get on a ferry to Angel Island, the biggest island in San Francisco Bay. People come here for various activities, such as picnic and hiking.
Savor your San Francisco evening with dinner at Carnelian Room . Located on the 52nd floor of the Bank of America building, the restaurant not only offers you one of the best dinners in San Francisco, but also a spectacular panorama of San Francisco.
Explore the rest of the Bay Area, starting with the Oakland Museum of California . If you are interested in the nature and history of California, this museum is a must see. Then, stroll around Jack London Square . This waterfront dining/shopping area is popular among locals.
Next, head to UC Berkeley , one of the leading intellectual centers in the United States. The campus landmark is Sather Tower, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the entire Bay Area. The Berkeley Art Museum , which is known for its collection of modern and Asian art, and Lawrence Hall of Science , which is a fun and exciting science center, are must-sees. The college town is fun to explore, too. You will find many unique restaurants and stores.
Today visit the most famous wine country in California. With more than 250 wineries, the Napa Valley is definitely wine lovers’ heaven! Don’t miss the Robert Mondavi Winery , where after the tour, you can taste various wine in the courtyard; Opus One , built by Robert Mondavi and the late French baron Philippe de Rothschild for making the “wine of dreams”; and Beringer Vineyards , one of the oldest wineries in California, where you can enjoy tasting in beautiful Rhine House Mansion built in 1883.
After satisfying your palate, relax at the spa at Auberge du Soleil . Auberge du Soleil is a luxurious hotel with one of the nation’s top ranked spa. Indulge yourself with facial or massage, enjoy dinner at adjacent restaurant.
Today is all about learning (capped off with some fun, of course!). Visit the Children’s Discovery Museum first. This is a museum of high-technology for children, located in the heart of IT Mecca, Silicon Valley. Next, visit the Tech Museum of Innovation . This unique museum exhibits the varied technology of Silicon Valley. With hands-on and interactive exhibits, everybody can enjoy it as though it was a theme park.
In the afternoon, head to the Intel Museum , operated by Intel, a leading semiconductor manufacturer. It showcases Intel’s history and operations through unique exhibits and presentations. Only 20 minutes away is Stanford University , one of the most famous and highly regarded universities in the world. Joining a guided tour, you can take a close look at the beautiful campus. Finally, let your mind relax with a fun Major League Baseball game at AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants.
Today, play at www2.cedarfair.com/greatamerica/#actions')">Great America . The largest theme park in Northern California has everything from thrill rides to fun attractions for families. During May to August, the adjacent water park, Boomerang Bay, opens.