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Waterfront Wonderland: San Francisco to Santa Cruz

Waterfront Wonderland: San Francisco to Santa Cruz
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Circle the bay to explore cities, shoreline, and foodie favorites.

Trip length: 4 days
Total distance: 261mi/420km

DAY 1
SAN FRANCISCO. Watch yachts race during the America’s Cup (Jul to Sep). Visit Pier 15’s spectacular new Exploratorium science learning center. Shop at PIER 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf ; find more fun at California Academy of Sciences . INFO San Francisco Visitor Information Center ; 415/391-2000

POINT REYES STATION (43mi/68km; 1hr13min). Watch cheese being made at Cowgirl Creamery , then visit kid-favorite Bear Valley Visitor Center in Point Reyes National Seashore. INFO Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 415/925-2060

PETALUMA (19mi/30km; 32min). Enjoy fresh ice cream at Lala’s Creamery , or ponder a bazillion kinds of candy at Powell’s Sweet Shoppe . INFO Petaluma Visitors Center ; 877/273-8258

DAY 2
SANTA ROSA (18mi/29km; 22min). Tour the Charles M. Schulz Museum , showcasing all things Peanuts. Chill out with ice-skating at Snoopy’s Home Ice . INFO Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 800/404-7673

NAPA (41mi/66km; 56min). Get sweet treats at Three Twins Ice Cream at Oxbow Public Market . Visit family-friendly Black Stallion Winery . INFO Napa Valley Welcome Center ; 707/25105895

VALLEJO (14mi/23km; 25min). Thrill to dolphins and acrobats in Cirque Dreams Splashtastic show at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom . INFO Vallejo Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 800/482-5535

DAY 3
OAKLAND (26mi/41km; 31min). Tour the new natural sciences wing of Oakland Museum of California . Sample soul food at Brown Sugar Kitchen . Play at tot-perfect Children’s Fairyland , near Lake Merritt. INFO Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 510/839-9000

LIVERMORE (33mi/53km; 38min). Let the kids play bocce while you sip varietals at Garré Vineyard & Winery . Sample local olive oils at Victorine Valley Farms . INFO Tri-Valley California Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 925-846-8910

DAY 4
SAN JOSE (34mi/55km; 41min). Tour 160-room Winchester Mystery House . Play electronic music at The Tech Museum of Innovation. See newly renovated Happy Hollow Park & Zoo . INFO Team San Jose ; 800/726-5673

SANTA CRUZ (33mi/53km; 44min). Ride the new Undertow spinning coaster at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk . Head east to ride zip-lines at Mount Hermon Redwood Canopy Tours . INFO Santa Cruz Conference & Visitors Council ; 800/833-3494 

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