San Francisco to Yosemite Park Small Group Tour
- Transportation included
- Duration: 15 hours
Nestled just north of San Francisco lies the wine lover’s paradise of Napa Valley. Fans of all things gourmet will rejoice in the sheer number of world-class restaurants and award-winning wineries that can be found at every turn. Peruse the stalls at the Oxbow Public Market for locally-made products, stroll along the Napa River, and hop between places like the Coppola Winery, the Robert Mondavi Winery, and Mumm Napa.
At just about 96 kilometers (60 miles) away, a day trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley is quick and easy. The journey should take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes by car, depending on the time of day you travel. If you’re making the journey by public transportation, plan for about two hours of travel time.
A day trip from San Francisco to Monterey is an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to the relaxed pace of life by the sea. Visit the internationally-celebrated Monterey Bay Aquarium to catch a glimpse of playful sea otters and ethereal jellyfish or stroll along lively Cannery Row for some souvenir shopping. Easily combine your Monterey trip with a jaunt down the coast to visit the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, with its adorable boutiques and striking vistas.
At just over 160 kilometers (100 miles) from San Francisco, traveling to Monterey by car should take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on traffic. Make sure to allow for plenty of time if you don’t have a vehicle of your own, as making the trip by public transportation will increase your travel time to almost four hours.
For those looking to have a fun day out by the beach, a day trip from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is an ideal getaway. Experience some thrills riding the coasters at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, take a steam-train ride through giant redwood trees, or visit the beautiful campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the home of the Banana Slugs. Don’t forget to check out the big surf at some of California’s most postcard-worthy beaches.
About 128 kilometers (80 miles) south of San Francisco, the journey to Santa Cruz should take about 90 minutes by car. If you plan to make the trip via public transportation, allow north of two hours to get there.
Step into the past with a trip to historic Gold Country. The epicenter of the famed California Gold Rush, you can pan for gold flakes at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park where the precious metal was first discovered in 1848, explore a replica of the original Sutter’s Mill, and stroll the charming streets of Auburn with its local shops and tasty eateries.
Making the journey to Gold Country can be ambitious, but is definitely achievable if you plan ahead. The trip of about 209 kilometers (130 miles) can be made in about two and a half hours by car with good traffic conditions.
Head out of the city and into the woods on a trip to Marin. This easy day trip is a great way to take in the natural wonder of the Golden State. Walk among the giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument or lounge on the fine sands of Stinson Beach, and don’t miss a chance to shuck and grill fresh oysters on the rugged coast in Tomales Bay.
Only about 64 kilometers (40 miles) away, Marin is one of the easiest day trips from San Francisco. By car, it should only take 45 minutes to an hour, while it is also easy to reach by bus and by ferry in about an hour.
The train network for the greater San Francisco Bay Area doesn’t extend far beyond the main urban centers. For this reason, the train may only be a viable option for one leg of your day trip.
Several different municipal bus companies run service out of San Francisco. If you’re willing to add a little travel time, a bus trip can be a great adventure. It allows you to see the sights as you drive past and save money on travel expenses. There are also many great bus tour options beginning in San Francisco, many with convenient local pick-up.
A car is probably the most convenient option for traveling around the San Francisco Bay Area. While the city itself offers excellent public transportation, getting out of town can sometimes be a bit inconvenient without your own vehicle. There are many different car rental and car share options around San Francisco to give you the freedom of car travel during your stay.
For a day trip out of San Francisco, a guided tour is a wonderful option. Avoid the hassle of a car in the city, and have an expert plan out the optimal experience wherever you want to go. Nothing beats an adventure with door to door service.
If you opt for a guided tour, they may provide all you will need for the day, including your transportation. However, the San Francisco Bay Area is notorious for unpredictable weather, so no matter where or when you go, dress in layers and bring a jacket.
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Great sites, driver was super friendly. We weren’t able to eat at our leisure in the vehicle due to Covid which was a challenge in a 15 hour trip. We also could have condensed some of the sites. We never got to stop and take pictures at overlooks for those iconic Yosemite park views— that was a big disappointment. Only pics we took were up close to Points Of Interest like El Capitan, etc. Definitely does not need to be an 8 hour tour. Felt like driver was dragging it out a bit bc that’s what we paid for, but I would have preferred getting back earlier. That’s me though. Maybe provide a variety of trip lengths; 3 hour, 5 hour and 8 hour..... Also would suggest updating the excursion description regarding the waterfalls — as being a point of interest during the seasons when they are dried up— would have liked to know that ahead of time. Maybe plan on stopping at the river instead so people can get a water feature of some sorts when the falls are dry. Add a restaurant stop to tour.
This was the best tour I’ve ever experienced. Phil is knowledgeable, kind, and friendly. The tour was entirely safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I felt comfortable the whole time. I highly recommend the tour and Best Bay Tours in general. I would love to take another tour the next time in the the Bay Area.
Wonderful tour through Yosemite! You get to see everything you want to see at this grant National Park. Brian, our guide went above and beyond to make sure you have the best experience ever! Very interesting and informative! I would book this tour with Brian again in a heartbeat!
Great tour guide! Kim really made the trip awesome with all her knowledge of the national park as well the routes ! Of course Yosemite speaks for itself! Overall a wonderful tour & well worth your money.
We had a great time on our tour to Napa and Sanoma. We had Geoffrey for our guide and he did not disappoint. He was so knowledgeable about wine and the city! Would definitely recommend this tour!