San Francisco and its neighborhoods, what to see?
And above all what places and paths have excursions on – if you want even in one day, back and forth from Frisco – to discover this wonderful fragment of Northern California?
A definitely wide and variegated tourist offer among nature, culture, literature, traditions and innovation.
To make the choice easier – reckon the short time we usually have in our hands inside an even wider on the road which often includes part of California and Parks of the South West – I selected 5 different itineraries, all included in a distance between 50-150km from San Francisco, in order to satisfy the most variegated needs and curious issues.
San Francisco and its neighborhoods: visit Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay is one of those places that “worth it the journey” – literally.
If you wish to discover fairytale landscapes straight down the ocean, the fishermen villages and the wonderful forest of the Armstrong Redwoods State Park and enjoy the tastes and the smells of the sweet and luxury hills of the Sonoma County. And – above all – if you want to relive personally the real locations where one of the cult movies of the “master of horror” Alfred Hitchcock were shot – “The Birds”.
Bodega Bay keeps jealously the locations which made it famous and that still today attract tourists, onlookers and lovers from all over the world. Visit it, it means to set out on a downright journey back in time.
Enjoying the welcome and some of the most suggestive views of the Pacific Ocean that this wonderful stretch of coast is able to offer and at the same time relive the most famous scenes of the movie, also through the words and the tales of the locals.
You will run into the school and the road of the dramatic scene of the kids’ desperate run outside the school to escape the attack of murderous bird’ flight, the church on the hill, the grocery store, the call box where the female protagonist recovers, the restaurant where some important sequences of the movie take place and the area where the house on the bay’s hills was located (do you remember the last scene, don’t you?)
Everything together with quite a lot of curious issues about filming, director, locations and its actors.
Find here the detailed report about what to see in Bodega Bay, with the precise addresses and info to be able to visit all “The Birds” locations, and a few useful tips for the stay, tastings and relax included.
San Francisco and its neighborhoods: visit the Jack London State Historic Park, Sonoma Valley
Always in the bucolic and suggestive Sonoma County, fertile land of vineyards and plantations in Northern California – only one hour far from San Francisco by car – it is possible to visit the Jack London State Historic Park, the private mansion of the great American writer Jack London – author of many successful novels, the most famous ones are “White Fang” and “The Call of the Wild” – known also as Beauty Ranch, near the nice small town of Glen Ellen.
The tour of the facility includes “The Cottage”, the house where he lived (and died) together with his second and beloved wife Charmian, his grave, the unfinished and unfortunate Wolfe House and the House of Happy Walls – the house built by his wife after his death, today museum rich in relics, mostly from his travels around the world – and first published editions of many books in several languages, Italian included.
Find here further info about the tour, about where to stop to eat and other locations of the area tied to Jack London’s figure and literary activity.
San Francisco and neighborhoods what to see: visit Sacramento
From San Francisco as far as its surprising and fascinating neighborhoods.
Why don’t dedicate some days exploring the Gold County, the ancient “Californian Eldorado” and reach the capital of California, the “old” Sacramento?
Easily reachable in a couple of hours by car from San Francisco (along the route give yourselves a stop of a couple of hours to visit the Berkeley University campus), “Sac” – as the locals call it affectionately – recalls and tells the deeds of the “Gold Rush”, the saloons, the sheriffs, the “outlaws”, the building of the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Pony Express of the West, the mythical cowboys that already in 1860 delivered messages, newspapers and mail going back and forth between Missouri and California.
A downright journey into the old West with some definitely original tours!
The Victorian buildings of the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the boat tour at sunset on the Sacramento River (not to be missed!), the tour of the California State Railroad Museum and the Automobile Museum, and then the Sacramento History Museum.
And even the California State Capitol – seat of the government of California State – the very beautiful Governor’s Mansion dating back to the 19th century and the Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park which goes over the Gold Rush era and the first pioneers in California.
San Francisco and tits neighborhoods: visit Big Sur
Big Sur, California.
“The biggest meeting of land and sea in the world”, according to the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. “El Pais grande del Sur” instead is the name chosen by the first Spanish colonists arrived here at the end of 1700s.
Today Big Sur, with its 150km of road – a part of from the mythical Hwy 1 – from Carmel as far as San Simeon, among rock straight down the Ocean, inlets and small villages, constitutes the most beautiful stretch of wild and uncontaminated coast of California. Few small towns, a boundless and undisputed nature organized in several Natural reservations, landscaped oasis and state parks.
Take at least a couple of days – reaching in a couple of hours by car Monterrey form San Francisco – leaving from the 17 Mile Drive and then going towards Carmel and going down progressively southwards, have a stop at the Point Lobos State Preserve, passing by the Bixby Creek Bridge, the wonderful Point Sur Lighthouse and the Ventana Wilderness.
Stop for the sunset – and to have dinner – at the Nepenthe Restaurant and then keep going on towards Jade Cove as far as reaching San Simeon Point and the Hearst Castle, a downright castle in Spanish style dating back to the 16th century (today it can be visited), built in the early 1900s by the publisher and baron William Hearst: over the last century it hosted historic characters and international Hollywoodian actors.
A short itinerary which can be easily put in a wider on the road from San Francisco as far as Los Angeles, or vice versa.
Find here the detailed itinerary with stages, tips and practical info about where to sleep and where to eat.
San Francisco and its neighborhoods: visit Palo Alto
Palo Alto, California.
Technological and artistic soul of the south of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The greatest and eclectic village of the area, risen around the development of one of the most important American Universities, the Stanford University, in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
All this little an hour by car far from San Francisco and about half an hour from San Jose, the most ancient Spanish colony, first town and first capital – it lost its “title” for 10 days of rain – of the California State.
It’s the Google seat and also Facebook and Linkedin social networks, the HP, the Startups and the great companies of technology and information technology seat. Besides being land of ranchos and farms – farms of ancient Spanish origins with natural paths where it is also possible to stay – and some wonderful Spanish Mission Revival buildings.
Why choose to dedicate a one day excursions from San Francisco?
To visit the Stanford University and going up to the scenic platform of the Hoover Tower, to enter the GooglePlex Visitor Center, to admire with one’s own eyes The Apple Garage where Steve Jobs gave life to Apple on April 1st, 1976 – these are the exact coordinates to reach 2066, Crist Drive, Los Altos, California N 37o 20’ x W122o 04’.
And finally trekking, horse riding excursions and path swallowed up by nature into the really beautiful and still less famous (above all for the Italian travelers) Pearson-Arastradero Preserve and Rancho San Antonio Preserve.