The 12 Best Weekend Trips from San Francisco: A Local Guide
San Francisco

Weekends are the most awaited part of the week, and you definitely want to make it memorable for yourself. San Francisco has the best vibes during the weekend, especially. For a perfect weekend, San Francisco has everything that you need. From exotic beaches to impressive shopping complexes, this popular tourist destination has countless fun options to offer. 

Weekend trips from San Francisco are incomplete without seeing Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Steep Streets. To plan perfect weekend expeditions from San Francisco, you need full-fledged knowledge of nearby attractions, sightseeing charges, accommodation options, local restaurants, and much more.

Now you’re wondering how you can manage all these kinds of stuff.  Don’t worry travelers, you don’t need to stress out much. To ease your pain, we have something for you. We picked out the 12 best weekend trips that you can enjoy in San Francisco. 

These short trips can readily complete in two days. So if you leave Friday night and come back Sunday night, your weekend will feel like a thrilling vacation. 

Weekend Trips from San Francisco

Big Sur

Big Sur

If you want to spend your weekend close to nature laps, Big Sur is the perfect place for you. Big Sur is a rugged stretch of California’s central coast between San Simeon and Carmel. This breathtaking place is best known for its winding turns, seaside cliffs, and view of the often-misty coastlines. Big Sur offers numerous hiking trails and camping options to visitors.

  • Major Attractions of Big Sur
    • McWay Falls 
    • Bixby Creek Bridge 
    • Pfeiffer Beach 
    • Point Lobos
  • Best Things to do in Big Sur
    • HWY 1 Drive
    • Witnessing sunset at Pfeiffer Beach 
    • Hike to Limekiln Falls 
    • camping at Los Padres National Forest 
  • Accommodation Options
    • Post Ranch Inn 
    • Fernwood Resort
    • Riverside Campgrounds, and 
    • Cabins 
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Nepenthe Restaurant
    • Big Sur Bakery
    • The Sur House at Ventana
  • Average Cost per Person: $2000
  • Distance from SF: 2 hours 40 mins 

Mendocino

endocino

Exploring Mendocino during the weekend is one of the best things to do in San Francisco. If you are an adventurous person, who loves to hike and catch a lovely sunset, the Van Damme State Park of Mendocino is ideal for you. 

This place has a picturesque coastline of craggy cliffs and unparalleled Pacific ocean views. If you’re planning a weekend trip from San Francisco along with your partner, don’t forget to capture the lovely sunset at Glass Beach. 

  • Major Attractions of Mendocino
    • Sea Glass Museum 
    • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens 
    • Temple of Kwan Tai 
    • Mendocino Art Center 
  • Best Things to do in Mendocino
    • Organic Farming at Oz Far
    • Watching the sunset at Glass Beach        
  • Accommodation Options
    • Blue Door Inn
    •  Sea Rock Inn 
    • Mendocino Hotel 
    • and Garden Suites
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Trillium Cafe
    • Crush Steakhouse 
    • Luna Trattoria 
    • Mendocino Cafe 
    • Flow Restaurant & Lounge 
  • Average Cost per Person: $1000-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 3 hours 20 mins

Point Reyes and Tomales Bay

Point Reyes and Tomales Bay

Point Reyes and Tomales Bay is the perfect destination for weekend trips. This sleepy fishing town is best known for its natural beauty and multiple varieties of fresh oysters. If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy water-based activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, Point Reyes and Tomales Bay are absolutely the ideal choices. 

Just up the coast, Tomales Bay is lined with old-school seafood restaurants, tiny hamlets, picturesque farms, and fresh wineries. 

  • Major Attractions of Point Reyes and Tomales Bay
    • Toby’s Feed Barn 
    • Point Reyes Outdoors 
    • Gallery Route One 
    • Heidrun Meadery
  • Best Things to do in Point Reyes and Tomales Bay
    • Kayaking 
    • Paddleboarding 
    • Snorkeling 
  • Accommodation Options
    • Nick’s Cove 
    • Tomales Bay Resort & Marina 
    • Cottages at Point Reyes Seashore
  • Nearby Restaurants: Hog Island Oyster Co, Marshall Store’s
  • Average Cost per Person: $1000-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 1 hour 15 mins

The High Sierra

The High Sierra

The High Sierra is home to many natural wonders including Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, South Lake, Tahoes, and Sequoia National Park. If you’re a sunrise or sunset lover, Fresno Dome is the best place in The High Sierra for you. The 1.5-mile one-way hike gives you mesmerizing 360-degree views of the area. 

  • Major Attractions of The High Sierra
    • Mono Lake 
    • Kings Beach 
    • Cave Rock 
    • Rainbow Bridge 
    • Minaret Vista
  • Best Things to do in The High Sierra
    • Paddling 
    • Hiking 
    • Rafting 
    • Camping
    • Snow tubing (winter activities
  • Accommodation Options
    • Virginia Creek Settlement 
    • Emporia High Sierra Hotel 
    • Hyatt Residence Club Lake Tahoe
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • The Epic Cafe 
    • Vivac Sierra Nevada 
    • Restaurante La Antorcha
  • Average Cost per Person: $1500-$2000
  • Distance from SF: 4 hours 

Napa 

Napa 

Napa is one of the most breathtaking cities in California. It is a seat of Napa County in the heart of the Napa Valley wine region. Napa is well known for its premium quality wines, old-era houses, riverfront shops and restaurants, and Napa Valley Opera House. Come here with your partner and spend a lovely weekend with them and a glass of wine. Napa’s wine country is a favored getaway for wine lovers. 

  • Major Attractions of Napa
    • Oxbow Public Market 
    • Buena Vista Winery 
    • Domaine Carneros 
    • Trefethen Family Vineyards 
    • Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
  • Best Things to do in Napa
    • Wine tour 
    • Wine Country Trekking 
    • Silverado Resort Golf
  • Accommodation Options
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Charter Oak 
    • Celadon 
    • Grace’s Table 
    • Allegria
  • Average Cost per Person:  $1500-$2000
  • Distance from SF: 1 hour 15 mins

Sausalito

Sausalito

Sausalito is the perfect weekend getaway from San Francisco. If you want to make your weekend trip memorable and enjoyable, Sausalito is the place that will help you in this manner. 

Sausalito is globally recognized for its Richardson Bay Houseboat enclaves. It is also home to one of the best museums in San Francisco called the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  On the other side of Golden Gate is a laid-back hub for hiking, dining, and farmer markets. Even reaching there is a treat. 

  • Major Attractions of Sausalito
    • Golden Gate Bridge 
    • Golden Gate National Recreation Area 
    • Marin Headlands 
    • Bay Area Discovery Museum 
    • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Best Things to do in Sausalito
    • Watching the sunset at Golden Gate 
    • Watching a live marine mammal show at Marine Mammal Center 
  • Accommodation Options
    • Inn Above Tide 
    • The Gables Inn Sausalito 
    • Waters Edge Hotel 
    • Hotel Sausalito & Suites 
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Bar Bocce 
    • Scoma’s of Sausalito 
    • Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib 
    • Saylor’s Restaurant & Bar
  • Average Cost per Person: $1000-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 30 mins

Alcatraz Island 

Alcatraz Island 

There is nothing better than spending a lovely weekend at the shore of the sea along with your beloved. Alcatraz Island is a paradise for all nature lovers. This off-beat location is full of natural beauty. From stunning shorelines to rich marine life, Alcatraz Island has all the things that you need for a relaxing weekend trip. 

  • Major Attractions on Alcatraz Island
    • PIER 39 
    • Exploratorium 
    • Coit Tower 
    • Ghirardelli Marketplace at Ghirardelli Square 
  • Best Things to do on Alcatraz Island
    • Snorkeling 
    • Scuba diving 
    • Sunset watching 
    • Fishing 
    • Cruise ride
  • Accommodation Options
    • Annie’s Cottage 
    • Francisco Bay Inn 
    • Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco 
    • Hotel Riu Fisherman’s Wharf 
    • Alpha Inn & Suites 
    • Hotel Zephyr 
    • Travel Inn
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Wipeout Bar & Grill 
    • Blue Mermaid Restaurant 
    • Fog Harbor Fish House 
    • Hard Rock Cafe 
    • Capurro’s Restaurant 
    • Frankie’s Pier 43
  • Average Cost per Person: $1300-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 13 mins

Santa Cruz

anta Cruz

If you are looking for short trips from San Francisco with your entire family, Santa Cruz is your spot. You will be amazed after knowing that Santa Cruz is one of the best coastal towns in Northern California. 

Being a noted coastal town, Santa Cruz is best known for water-based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, parachute jumping, parasailing, kayaking, banana boat, and much more. 

  • Major Attractions in Santa Cruz
    • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 
    • Santa Cruz Wharf 
    • Natural Bridges State Beach 
    • West Cliff Drive
    • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
  • Best Things to do in Santa Cruz
    • Witnessing sunset at the beachside 
    • cycling at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 
  • Accommodation Options
    • Santa Cruz Hostel 
    • Bay Front Inn Hotel 
    • Hampton Inn Santa Cruz 
    • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Santa Cruz 
    • an IHG Hotel
  • Nearby Restaurants
  • Average Cost per Person: $1300-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 1 hour 22 mins

Lassen Volcanic Park 

Lassen Volcanic Park 

Lassen volcanic park is a natural wonder of San Francisco. It is one of the most popular and rich national parks in the United States. This place offers incredible geological wonders, including natural hot springs, volcanic vents, bubbling pools, and also four types of volcanoes, some of which are accessible via hiking. 

  • Major Attractions in Lassen Volcanic Park
    • Lassen Peak 
    • Manzanita Lake 
    • Bumpass Hell 
    • Kings Creek Falls 
    • Sulphur Rocks 
    • Lassen National Forest
  • Best Things to do in Lassen Volcanic Park
    • Hiking to Lassen Peak 
    • Snowboarding 
    • Skiing, and other winter activities
  • Accommodation Options
    • Mill Creek forest 
    • The Village at Highlands Ranch 
    • Highlands Ranch Resort 
    • Drakesbad Guest Ranch 
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Lassen Cafe & Gift 
    • Manzanita Lake Camper Store
  • Average Cost per Person: $1500-$2000
  • Distance from SF: 3 hours 37 mins

San Luis Obispo 

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is one of the best weekend getaways in San Francisco. To make your weekend trip more fascinating this Central Coast region has ancient Spanish architecture, museums, hiking trails, and much more to offer. If you are looking for a nearby location from San Francisco, then San Luis Obispo is just 231 miles away from San Francisco. 

  • Major Attractions in Lassen Volcanic Park
    • Bubblegum Alley 
    • Madonna Inn 
    • Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa 1772 
    • Bishop Peak 
    • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
  • Best Things to do in Lassen Volcanic Park
    • Explore Thursday Night Farmer’s Market 
    • Enjoy water-based activities at Pismo beach 
  • Accommodation Options
    • The Downtown House 
    • San Luis Creek Lodge 
    • Apple Farm Inn 
    • La Cuesta Inn
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Eureka! 
    • Taste! Craft eatery 
    • Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica 
    • Novo 
    • Flour House
  • Average Cost per Person: $1200-$1500
  • Distance from SF: 3 hours 24 mins

SFMOMA

SFMOMA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is known as one of the best museums in San Francisco. To make your weekend trip more interesting, visiting SFMOMA is undoubtedly the best option. For the modern art admirers, there is nothing better than the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

  • Major Attractions of SFMOMA
    • 33,000 works of painting 
    • Photography
    • Design 
    • Sculpture 
    • Architecture 
    • Art and 
    • Media
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10 am to 05 pm
  • Entry ticket: $25 per adult 
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Delarosa 
    • Cesario’s 
    • The Grove – Yerba Buena 
    • The Keystone Social House 
    • RT Rotisserie
  • Accommodation options
    • Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown Soma 
    • Hotel Abri 
    • Galleria Park Hotel 
    • The Mosser Hotel 
  • Distance from SF: 7 min

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is another spectacular vacation destination in San Francisco. It is well known for its wonderful landscapes, coastlines, and sunset. Half Moon Bay is a small city on the California coast, but still one of the most diverse cities in terms of ecology and biodiversity. This city has the best day spas and family resorts for outdoor enthusiasts. You can also go bird-watching, and play golf overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

  • Major Attractions in Half Moon Bay
    • Dunes Beach 
    • Polar Beach 
    • Miramar Beach 
    • Lemos Farm
  • Best Things to do in Half Moon Bay
    • Scuba diving 
    • Snorkeling 
    • Paddleboarding 
  • Accommodation Options
    • Half Moon Bay Lodge 
    • The Miramar Inn & Suites 
    • Beach House Hotel 
    • The Ritz-Carlton 
    • Half Moon Bay
  • Nearby Restaurants
    • Past Moon 
    • Mullins Bar & Grill 
    • Sam’s Chowder House 
    • Miramar Beach Restaurant 
  • Average Per-person Cost: $1500-$2000
  • Distance from SF: 35 mins

San Francisco is an ideal destination for a short weekend trip. Its impressive locations, food junctions, natural wonders, and exciting nightlife is best for an unforgettable weekend getaway. So if you’re looking for the best weekend getaways from San Francisco, these 12 places are absolutely worth visiting. 
So get ready for new adventures, and book your cheap flights to San Francisco to spend the unbelievable weekend with your close ones.