San Francisco has a lot of offer its residents in the way of history, breathtaking views, restaurant options, and more. Also, with a central location to many travel destinations, it’s simple to arrange weekend getaways from San Francisco. And some of the locations are only hours away, so you won’t have to use any vacation days. Here are some ideas for the first trips you can take if you’re a new resident of the city.


Napa Valley

vineyard in Napa Valley California

Referred to as California’s Wine Country, Napa Valley is home to many world-famous wineries and restaurants. It’s only a short distance away from San Francisco. If you plan to drive, it takes less than one and a half hours. While driving, take in the beautiful countryside with lush green hills and rows of vineyards that never seem to end.  

Before leaving home, consider booking a ticket on the Napa Valley Wine Train. It will take you on a 36-mile round trip tour while stopping at several wineries along the way. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. Another option you can consider to reach Napa Valley is the shuttle bus. This is a great way to go when planning an outing with friends or a large party. The price includes pick up in SF, breakfast, lunch, three winery stops, and drop off back in SF.


Lake Tahoe

clear waters of Lake Tahoe

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this blue lake straddles the border of California and Nevada. Here you can take in the fresh cool mountain air, stunning views, hiking trails, and water sports. When you come to visit, stop at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. They can give you a map showing you how to access the most scenic trails Tahoe has to offer.

Because many mountains surround Lake Tahoe, it is a popular travel destination for many skiers and snowboarders. There are more than a dozen ski resorts in Tahoe. One such resort is Northstar. Located on 3,100 acres, you’ll find lots of ski trails, ice skating, several restaurants, shops, and lodging options. Although this weekend getaway from San Francisco is a three and a half-hour drive, it’s a trip worth taking.

Best beaches in Lake Tahoe

  • Sand Harbor in North Lake Tahoe. One of the best places to go swimming and snorkel
  • Lester Beach on the West Shore. Water is turquoise blue and the white sands are soft. Visit this beach if you’re interested in going kayaking. It’s considered one of the best beaches in Tahoe
  • Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe. A long beach to spread out and relax under the sun. There are some areas with shade, but if you need to cool off the water is shallow, for easy swimming



view of Yosemite National Park

One of the most famous National Parks in America, Yosemite welcomes four million people each year. It’s admired because of its diverse attractions and vast landscape of sequoia trees. Heading east from the city, the drive to Yosemite takes about three and a half hours.

Features and attractions of Yosemite

  • The Sierra Peaks, such as Mt. Lyell, which is 13,114 feet tall
  • Yosemite Valley features landmarks like El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls
  • Merced River is great for swimming, fishing, rafting, camping, and gold-panning
  • Yosemite has some of the highest waterfalls in the world, including Sentinel Falls, at 2,000 feet
  • Yosemite National Park spreads over 747,956 acres, of which 95% of that land is classified as wilderness



a bridge at Monterey California beach

Making your way south of the city, you’ll arrive at this Pacific Coast beach town in two hours’ time. The weather here is much like San Francisco: chilly with occasional fog. It’s home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, historic Cannery Row, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Activities include wine tasting tours, kayaking, fishing, golfing, shopping, and whale watching.

If you have spare time, take a short 15-minute drive to Carmel. There you can explore some of the town’s 100 art studios, galleries, and antique stores. Also, consider taking the picturesque 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach.



a lighthouse at Mendocino beach

Also located along the Pacific Ocean’s Coast, Mendocino is home to redwood tree forests and several beaches. Only three hours from San Francisco, you can hike, whale watch, or visit art galleries, and charming boutiques.

Things to do in Mendocino

  • Russian Gulf State Park features an ocean and forest terrain with woodlands, tide pools, a waterfall, camping and hiking paths
  • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is situated on a clifftop garden, where you can take in the ocean views, have a picnic, or walk the trails
  • Vichy Springs and Orr Hot Springs is the place to rejuvenate your mind and body while on your weekend getaway from San Francisco


Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles in California

With roughly 292 days of sunshine, Los Angeles is a great escape from San Francisco’s cooler weather. Because of the warm, sunny days, you can spend your afternoons at the beach. And at night, you can choose from hundreds of dining and entertainment options that this city offers. Reaching L.A. from SF is convenient with the 40 non-stop flights that leave SFO to LAX daily. The flight time is a mere one and a half hours to a city full of hidden gems.


With 75 miles of coastline, beaches stretch from Malibu to Long Beach. Some of the nicest and most beautiful beaches are in Malibu, including El Matador and Surfrider Beach. These beaches are great for romantic getaways or surfing the waves.

South of Malibu you will find the historic Santa Monica Pier and Beach and the ever-popular Venice Beach boardwalk. These beaches are great for swimming, playing a game of sand volleyball, or catching some rays. While strolling the Venice Beach boardwalk, you can buy souvenirs, or enjoy shows from the variety of street performers.

Entertainment options

There are many great entertainment options in L.A., including:

  • Comedy shows
  • Concerts and events at the infamous Hollywood Bowl
  • Universal CityWalk attractions
  • Symphonies at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Music and athletic events at LA LIVE

Similar to planning a getaway, moving to a new city, like San Francisco, requires preparation and hard work. It takes time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings, and learn the ins and outs of your new city. When you move into a turnkey apartment offered by Blueground, this leap becomes easier. As a tenant, you’ll have access to a Guest App showing you the nearest grocery stores, gyms, and pharmacies. Other valuable information on your apartment is also provided so that you have support during your relocation.

Rate this article


Share article

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept