Discover the San Francisco Bay Area
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

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April
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Mar - May
23°
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June - Aug
27°
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Sept - Nov
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Dec - Feb
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A crimson bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes—San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. 

"I left my heart in San Francisco, High on a hill, it calls me to me."  –singer Tony Bennett

The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation. 

San Francisco's cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Golden Gate Bridge
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Golden Gate Bridge

See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

With towers soaring 746 feet into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted fire-engine red, the...

San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
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Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-colored pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State....

California's Celebrity Chefs
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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in...

9 Family-Friendly Wineries & Craft Breweries
John/ Flickr
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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot...

Big City Hotels & Lodgings
Lynn Gately/Flickr
San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
Ultimate Northern California
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
San Francisco

It may measure less than 50 square miles, but San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world. Famous for grand dame Victorian homes, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront and a soaring crimson bridge, the  'City by the Bay' is the perfect place to...

Muir Woods National Monument

Tucked into an ocean-facing fold of Mount Tamalpais, the signature peak just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Muir Woods National Monument protects the last stand of uncut old-growth coast redwoods in the Bay Area, where loggers had all but denuded the region by the late 1800s....

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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local...

10 Top Farmers Markets
Laura Flippen
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From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the...

Must-See State Parks
Amy Meredith/Flickr
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Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm...

12 Great Beaches for Kids
Alex Farnum
May

America's largest and most prestigious cycling event brings many of the world’s top riders to the Golden State. The 8-stage race changes it up...

Amgen Tour of California
Amgen Tour of California
It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
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Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that seriously knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin...

Dining Hot Spots
George's at the Cove
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Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city-park charmers, boisterous adventures—smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array...

Smaller Theme Parks & Attractions
Tai Power Seeff
According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
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Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain...

Family-Favorite Science Centers & Museums
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
San Francisco Bay Loop

Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

San Francisco Bay Loop

Discover this something-for-everything loop tour around an iconic bay
Golden Gate Bridge

Start your trip with a visit to one of the most iconic spans in the world. With towers soaring 746 feet into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted fire engine red, the Golden Gate Bridge makes a dramatic destination, and a great way to begin a tour...

San Francisco

End your road trip by exploring one of the world’s great cities. Famous for grand dame Victorian buildings, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront and a soaring crimson bridge, the 'City by the Bay' truly has it all. Trend defining cuisine ranging from Michelin...

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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks...

Special VIP Tours
Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here...

Shopping Hot Spots
Prayitno/Flickr