Iconic San Francisco is the centrepiece of the San Francisco Bay Area, but add in cities like Oakland and Berkeley, as well as the Point Reyes National Seashore, and you have a diversity in culture, cuisine and recreation that is hard to beat.
Wine lovers will eagerly make the 1.5-hour drive north from San Francisco into Wine Country. The region is a true haven for connoisseurs of all levels with many Michelin-starred restaurants and of course hundreds of vineyards. With 400 wineries in Napa Valley, wine lovers can follow the Silverado Trail to exceptional vineyards and tasting rooms, stopping in towns like Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Neighboring Sonoma County also boasts over 400 wineries with world-class towns and regions like Healdsburg and Alexander River Valley. You may be surprised that the wine region is not just about wine. Visitors can enjoy many distilleries and breweries in downtown Napa or Sonoma and survey the beautiful countryside from above with a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.
The 7.2kms Bay Bridge connects San Francisco to the East Bay where visitors can visit the Muir Woods National Monument and experience the hip culture at the University of California Berkeley. Nearby Oakland is trending with an explosion of arts, live music venues, coffee houses, and urban wine and ale trails, many of which can be enjoyed at Jack London Square on the waterfront.
South of San Francisco is San Jose, the financial and tech hub of Silicon Valley, where giants like Apple, Google and up-and-coming startups call home. Ghost-hunters know San Jose as the setting for the notorious Winchester Mystery House. This sprawling 160-room Victorian mansion was built by the heiress to the Winchester fortune in an effort to appease the spirit world and release her family from a curse by those killed with Winchester firearms.