Travel - Anyone visiting the San Francisco Bay Area should consider staying north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin, Sonoma or Napa Counties to enjoy the glorious northern California countryside, sea coast, farms and wineries that sprinkle the geography. While Napa is the best known gastronomic location, the restaurants and wineries in Sonoma are on a par with Napa and a bit less expensive. Marin County to the south has the best views of any part of the state, including Mount Tam State Park and Point Reyes National Seashore. Over 75% of the terrain in Marin County is public land and will never be built on, so there is a wilderness aspect to this spectacular area that will remain unspoiled. Consider visiting the State Parks in Marin, like Mount Tamalpais State Park or China Camp State Park for an outing or a hike. Consider also visiting Tamales Bay in western Marin to see a long, narrow bay under which runs the San Andreas Fault. The lands of the Marin Municipal Water District are my favorite, and while they may be a little hard to find for the casual visitor, they are worth the trouble. Drive along Ridgecrest Blvd. overlooking Stinson Beach and drop down to the beach by a series of gently twisting curves. Spectacular! Visiting Bodega Bay on the Sonoma County coast is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or travel a little farther up Route 1, the Pacific Ccoast Highway, and come to a road that is suspended hundreds of feet above the ocean, similar to Big Sur but much less well known. As long as you're this far north, drive up to the town of Mendocino in Mendocino County. It's hard to believe that you can have this many photo opportunities in one day.
There are some. but not many, drawbacks to travel in the area. You definitely need to make reservations ahead of time, because there aren't a lot of good hotels and motels, and they tend to fill quickly in season. For the purely business traveler, who has appointments in San Francisco, the commute across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco can be a hassle. So postpone your tasks until 10:00 AM and take the Golden Gate Ferry across the bay, watch the seabirds and have another cup of coffee. There's one more problem. North Bay counties do not have an airport with services linking them to other locations, so the long-distance traveler needs to go a long way to Oakland or San Francisco for their return flights. A small price to pay for a paradisiacal getaway.
Read all 11 Reviews
Write a Review