Unique Adventures in San Francisco and Northern California

A Sweet Tooth's Delight   You'll definitely want to go to some of San Francisco's hidden neighborhoods. But if you've got a real sweet tooth, plan your days so you can hit as many bakeries and confectionaries as your conscience will permit.

Backroads Wine Tasting   The Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valleys are great wine appellations. But most tourists don't go there. It's worth the extra half-hour drive to visit vineyards producing some of California's best vintages.

For the Kids   The Bay Area is home to a number of museums designed for children. If you are bringing the kids, you will want to take them to these special places.

Alta California   Are you a history buff? Stop at some or all of the five 18th and 19th century Spanish and Mexican missions in the Bay Area.

Mother Nature's Marvels  

  • See nesting Blue Heron and Snowy Egret chick's being fed by their attentive moms.
  • Travel to a lovely ocean-side park and see mating elephant seals. You haven't lived until you have seen a 2-ton sea mammal in heat.
  • Visit the "city of trees," another ocean-side park, where 100,000 Monarch butterflies spend the winter.
  • See injured sea mammals being nursed back to health.
  • Take a whale watching trip or go to our favorite spots to look for grey whales migrating up and down the coast.

Aphrodisiacs by the Bay   Are you an oyster lover? If so, take a bottle of sauvignon blanc and shuck your own as you picnic overlooking beautiful Tomales Bay. Too much work? How about a lunch of barbecued oysters, sourdough bread, and some fresh-cut French fries? Top it off with a cold beer or a crisp white wine.

Public Art   Of course, you'll want to go to San Francisco's great museums, and maybe to some of the galleries. But how about some great hidden displays of public art: beautiful Depression-era murals and mosaics, contemporary Latino murals, Diego Rivera murals, Victorian architecture, and buildings by architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Morgan, Bernard Maybeck, and Willis Polk.

Tragedy on the Hilltop   If you're a Jack London fan, a visit to his hilltop estate overlooking the Valley of the Moon is a must. Even if you're not, it's beautiful and well worth a stop. Learn all about the tragedy that befell his beloved Wolf House and then drown your sorrows at some nearby wineries.

Guardians of the Gate   There are six lighthouses within a day's drive of San Francisco. Two require a boat ride. One is a bed and breakfast on an island in the Bay. See a part of our maritime history.

The Most Beautiful Urban Walk In America   We kid you not. This one hour roundtrip walk has the most spectacular views of any city walk in America. Even many San Franciscans have never visited this piece of heaven. This walk is eerily beautiful in the fog too. You just won't be able to see who you are walking with.

Famous Americans   Go to playwright Eugene O'Neil's home, Tao House. If you're an environmentalist, you must make a pilgrimage to John Muir's Home. We already talked about Jack London's house in the country. How about a visit to the hotel where Mrs. Harding allegedly murdered her husband, the President? Take a walk and follow in the footsteps of that famous detective Sam Spade.

Walking Tours   San Francisco's a great walking city. Yes, the hills can get to you, but it's the best way to see the city. You can sign up for a tour of just about any neighborhood. And many of them are free!

For Gourmets   If you love to eat, and if you're coming to San Francisco it's required, let us suggest great markets and restaurants for you to enjoy. And they need not be expensive. We know the great five-star restaurants for those special occasions, but we can also suggest wonderful neighborhood spots. Like to picnic? We know the best markets where you can pick up your fixings, as well as many beautiful spots for a lovely meal outdoors.

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