Jetset Christina Vidal
Jetset Christina

The Best Bay Area Getaways to Extend Your Business Trip

Coming to San Francisco on business? Whether you’ve seen San Francisco one time or ten times, there is always more to explore in Northern California. And if you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the wealth of destinations that lie just outside the 7×7 square feet that make up San Francisco, what better excuse to do so than extending your business trip to the west coast? Whether you’re looking to de-stress by relaxing on the beach, biking, kayaking, golfing, or wine tasting, these Bay Area getaways are the ideal way to turn your business trip into a true vacation.

Here are San Francisco-based blogger Jetset Christina’s favorite getaways around the Bay Area:

Napa Valley

Distance: 1 hour
Want to end your workweek with rolling vineyards, delicious cabernets, and world-class farm-to-table restaurants? Extending a business trip for a weekend in wine country is a no-brainer.

Book a luxurious weekend at one of the beautiful sophisticated boutique hotels like Andaz Napa or Villagio Inn & Spa, stay close to the nightlife at Napa River Inn at Historic in Napa Mill, or head over to Sonoma and stay at the award-winning Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, which has one of the best spas in wine country.

Head up to Domaine Carneros in Sonoma for champagne-tasting in a show-stopping french chateau. From there, learn about the production of wine at Beaulieu Vineyard or spend a few hours wine tasting on the terrace of Duckhorn, or on the rooftop of world-famous Opus One.

In between tastings, grab some breakfast at Boon Fly Cafe, lunch at Gott’s Roadside, and dinner at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch for some gourmet, farm-fresh American cuisine (and the best ribs in Napa Valley).

Bonus: If you’ve been racking up your TravelBank points, you can redeem them to hire a Lyft or Uber to take you from winery to winery wine tasting all day. We’ll cheers to that.

Half Moon Bay

Distance: 40 minutes
Spreading out with jagged cliffs and rolling green hills along picturesque Highway 1 only 28 miles south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay feels like a million miles away. This beautiful town boasts big-time draws like coastal hikes, stunning golf courses, long stretches of majestic NorCal beaches, and a 5-star Ritz Carlton, but, make no mistake, it is still very much a small town. With a population of only 11,000, and an 1800’s-built Main Street of only a few blocks, Half Moon Bay feels undeniably quaint. Making it the perfect beachy escape.

Kick off the day with a paddleboard or kayak rental at Half Moon Bay Kayak Co., then take a lunchtime picnic to Pelican Point Beach, and finish the afternoon with a wine tasting at local La Nebbia Winery. In the evening, enjoy a delicious Italian feast at Pasta Moon (don’t miss out on the lasagna), then retreat to the Ritz Carlton for some nighttime s’mores at one of their many outdoor firepits.

Monterey, Carmel & Pebble Beach

Distance: 2.5 hours
Head south on the 101 and check out the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Afterwards, take out a kayak and see the playful Monterey otters in the wild. Cruise down to Carmel for scenic beaches, romantic bed and breakfasts, and a relaxed artist community. Don’t forget to stop and grab lunch overlooking the 18th hole at the Lodge at Pebble Beach. Golfer or not, this is one golf course you just have to see.

Aquarium

Sausalito

Distance: 25 minutes (by ferry or by car)
For a picturesque seaside escape from the city that is just a short Lyft or Uber ride away, Sausalito is your spot. Rent a bike or drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and head to Bar Bocce, a busy waterfront pizzeria and bar, where you can get a delicious lunch, play a round of bocce, and watch the sailboats in the bay. From there, stroll down and wine taste at Bacchus and Venus, where Marcy, the owner, will tour you around her exceptionally chosen boutique California labels. Finish with dinner at Le Garage or The Trident and stay the night at Cavallo Point for an absolutely luxurious hotel that will make you feel a million miles away.

Boats

Angel Island

Distance: 30 minute ferry
For views that can’t be beat and a more active San Francisco day getaway, check out Angel Island, often considered Alcatraz’s less famous (and much less crowded) little sister. You can take the ferry from the Embarcadero for stunning views from the water of the City. Once you’re on the island, it’s the one stop shop of day trips, with hiking, biking (bike rentals available on the island by the hour), historical tours and an adorable cafe and bar right on the water. This island’s got it all, and is easy to do in a half or full day.

How to get there: Take the Blue and Gold Fleet Ferry from Pier 41. The journey takes about 30 minutes and ferries depart at at 9:45 AM and 12:20 PM daily. An extra weekend ferry departs at 2:00 PM each Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $16 round-trip and can be purchased online or at Pier 41.

Whale

Marin County

Distance: 20 minute drive
Marin county, with it’s renowned Marin Headlands and gorgeous coastline, is the perfect getaway from San Francisco that’s only a short car ride away. Spend the day hiking & biking in Muir Woods, soaking up the sun at Stinson Beach, or climbing the stunning cliffs of Point Reyes National Seashore, and be sure to head to the Point Bonita Lighthouse before sunset.

Golden Gate Bridge
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