Best Day Trips from San Francisco

Black Stallion Winery in Napa California
Winery in Napa

You can spend weeks visiting San Francisco and never run out of things to do and see. There are some amazing places around the city that are worth visiting, though. If you can tear yourself away from the City by the Bay, these are some of the best day trips from San Francisco:

Day Trips East of San Francisco

Berkeley – Berkeley makes a great day trip from San Francisco. Easily accessible by public transportation on BART, Berkeley has great restaurants and shopping as well as a beautiful university campus. Don’t miss the famous Telegraph Avenue or the “Gourmet Ghetto”, as locals call the excellent foodie area around Shattuck Avenue north of University Avenue.

Day Trips North of San Francisco

Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley – The best wineries in California make for some of the best day trips from San Francisco. Napa and Sonoma Valley are packed with top-notch places for wine tasting, and a visit to one or more is a must on any trip to the area. While Napa’s wineries are bigger and more commercial, Sonoma’s are more intimate and often family-run.

Tiburon and Sausalito – Just north of San Francisco, the picturesque towns of Tiburon and Sausalito are great places for a day trip. Wander around the small streets and go window shopping at the myriad boutiques by the by. Do as the locals do and have a beer on the pier at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon before taking the ferry to San Francisco.

The Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, and Muir Woods – If outdoor pursuits are your thing, don’t miss a chance to go hiking in the hills just north of San Francisco. The Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, and Muir Woods all offer miles of excellent hiking trails for those that want to leave the urban bustle behind. After your day of hiking, stop by Stinson Beach for some relaxation by the ocean.

Day Trips South of San Francisco

Half Moon Bay and Pescadero – If you like beaches, surfing, or just being by the coast, Half Moon Bay and Pescadero are the best day trips from San Francisco. These quiet farming towns are flanked by some of California’s most beautiful coastline along the famous Highway 1.

Stop by Pescadero for a slice of California history and lunch at Duarte’s Tavern before heading north to Half Moon Bay for golf, surfing, beaches, and coastal trails. If you want to stay the night, the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is the perfect romantic getaway. The best time of year to visit this area is from September to November, when the summer fog rolls out and the California sunshine graces the shores.

Silicon Valley – The vast stretch of peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose is the birthplace of some of the world’s most famous technology. Visit the Intel Museum in Santa Clara, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, or have breakfast at Buck’s of Woodside to rub shoulders with Silicon Valley’s famous venture capitalists.

Day Trips West of San Francisco

Whale Watching – One of the best things about San Francisco is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. During whale watching season, head out on a boat to see the famous Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, and Gray Whales. If you’re lucky, you might spot an Orca Whale as well.

The Farallon Islands – 27 miles away from the Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands are one of the best day trips from San Francisco. Accessible by boat from the city, the islands are a famous national wildlife refuge. Visitors can see all kinds of seabirds, whales, seals, sea lions, and sharks.

Buses from JFK to LaGuardia Airport

Observation Deck Sign at the Empire State Building in New York City
New York City

Buses from JFK to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are a great way to transfer airports in New York City. The NYCAirporter bus shuttles passengers between the airports, making connections simple and relatively quick.

Bus Q-53 runs daily from outside of the arrivals halls at JFK airport. The bus stops at all terminals, making transport easy on passengers arriving on both domestic and international flights to JFK.

Buses from JFK to LaGuardia Airport start running at 5:00am and end at midnight. Departures take place every 30 minutes throughout the day. Buses leave on the hour and the half hour.

All passengers are allowed to bring two suitcases and one carry-on when traveling on the shuttle between airports in New York. If you have more than that, or if you are traveling with a large item like a bicycle or skis, you must purchase an additional ticket.

Tickets for Q-53 buses to LaGuardia Airport cost $12.50 one-way and $25 round-trip for adults. Seniors (over 62), college students (with ID), children (4 – 17), airport employees, and military personnel pay $10 one-way and $19 round-trip. Children under 3 ride for free.

You can purchase tickets for buses from JFK to LaGuardia Airport online before you travel. Alternately, you can buy them from a uniformed agent outside of the airport terminals before you board the airport shuttle in New York. Special discounts are often available if you book your tickets online, so make sure to check before you travel.