Venture Outside San Francisco for Wine, Relaxation, Outdoor Adventures

Author: Curt Wagner       

San Francisco

Bike tours through Napa Valley wine country are a popular activity in the area just north of San Francisco. (San Francisco Travel Association)

Meeting professionals attending PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2020, Jan. 5-8, will get a good taste of San Francisco — The Moscone Center sits in the heart of one of its most dazzling neighborhoods. But day-trippers find that regions beyond the City by the Bay offer a lot of adventures, too. Convene has narrowed down your options to three regions outside the city to experience before or after Convening Leaders.

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This small village on Monterey Bay is about two hours south of San Francisco. The Monterey Bay Aquarium , considered one of the top aquariums in the world, houses sea otters, jellyfish, a giant Pacific octopus, and many more examples of marine life. Day-trippers also can shop, eat, golf, relax on Cannery Row, sample local wines at wine-tasting rooms, or set out on a whale-watching tour.

How to get there: Rent a car and drive. Taking the inland highways is faster, but driving Highway 1—the famed Pacific Coast Highway—is more scenic.

San Francisco

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of many attractions in Monterey, just a few hours south of San Francisco. (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Napa Valley

Welcome to the wine lover’s paradise of Napa Valley. To get a good taste of the region’s more than 450 wineries, you might want to plan to stay a few days in one of Napa’s many B&Bs, inns, or spas. Of course, there’s more to do than taste wine. You can pedal on a bike tour, soak in a natural hot spring, and float aloft in a hot air balloon, among other activities.

How to get there: It’s a 90-minute drive whether you go east across the Bay Bridge or north across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sonoma County

There are more than 500 wineries in Sonoma County. Beyond wine, Sonoma is home to the Mission San Francisco Solano, the only mission built in Alta California after Mexico gained independence from Spain. The city of Santa Rosa is also where you’ll find the Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center, two blocks away from the “Peanuts” creator’s former studio. Other activities including kayaking, fishing, biking, or ziplining through 2,000-year-old redwood trees on a Sonoma Canopy Tour.

The recent Kincade Fire in Northern California has been fully contained, Sonoma County Tourism reports, and the fire damaged less than 8 percent of Sonoma County’s 1 million-acre land mass. No fatalities have been reported. The CVB says hospitality venues are open for business.

How to get there: A 90-minute drive north of San Francisco.

For more suggestions and a directory of partners who can assist with extending your stay, visit San Francisco Travel.

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