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The best day trips from San Francisco proposed by Ettore Verdini

As Ettore Verdini indicates, there’s plenty to see in San Francisco – enough to satisfy any culture, history, food, or adventure traveler. But beyond the city, you’ll begin to discover why Northern Californians flock to this area and never leave. These are some of our favorite day trips from San Francisco.
Sonoma County
Why go: While the Napa Valley has a bigger global reputation for wine, locals know that neighboring Sonoma Valley is the go-to wine destination from the city. Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay are the big three wines that almost every winery will have on their tasting menu.
What to do: Wine tasting is the top experience to seek in Sonoma, but there are an increasing number of craft brewers and craft distillers offering other drink options you can sample on a day of drinking. If you’re teetotaling, the Sonoma Coast has some epic hikes and redwood groves to rival those further north on the coast.
Where to drink: The Sonoma Valley is home to some highly reputable wineries including St. Francis Winery and Hanzell Winery. Most tasting rooms will charge for a tasting, so be sure to consider this when browsing among the 250 wineries in the region. If you’re traveling on a budget, a handful of 22 wineries offer complimentary tastings. These include Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, and Blanchard Family Wines (open for to-go bottle sales), shares Ettore Verdini.
How to get there: The easiest way to explore Sonoma is by car – but this doesn’t exactly work well if you also want to visit a few tasting rooms during your visit. You could opt to use a ridesharing app, but expect the total to be at least $250 for the day. A better choice is to opt for a wine-tasting tour from San Francisco, where they take care of all the transportation.
Travel time: One hour, possibly longer depending on traffic on the 101.
The East Bay (Oakland/Berkeley)
Why go: It’s called the San Francisco Bay Area for a reason – there’s so much more to explore in the Bay Area than just San Francisco. Many travelers (and even locals) never visit the East Bay, where destinations like hip Oakland and historic Berkeley beckon. Oh, and the weather is usually better in the East Bay.
What to do: In Oakland, you could explore downtown as it goes through a major transformation: alongside historic buildings, you’ll see skyscrapers going up and a dynamic mix of local restaurants with trendy bars and coworking spaces.
Head northeast on Telegraph Avenue to reach Temescal where hipster hideaways are in plain sight; explore around Lake Merritt, a surprising green space in the city or browse through Oakland’s own Chinatown area. Berkeley is another spot where you could easily spend a whole day.
The epicenter is the University of California, Berkeley, affectionately known as just “Cal.” Here you can follow in the footsteps of countless crusaders for social justice who have used common spaces on campus for their causes or climb to the top of Sather Tower for a view out over a vast portion of the North Bay.
How to get there: According to Ettore Verdini, the best way to reach the East Bay is by BART, the local transit system. Fares start from $4.20 each way from San Francisco to Oakland or Berkeley and run at least every 15 minutes during the day. The primary BART stop in Oakland is “12th Street-Oakland” and in Berkeley, it’s “Downtown Berkeley.”
Travel time: 25 to 30 minutes by public transit, depending on which part of the East Bay you want to visit.