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San Francisco Bay Area Places To Go

You don't need a guidebook to tell you about the best places to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our local writers have researched, explored, and compiled their favorites here, with their own insider perspective and voice. From San Francisco to the East Bay, Lake Tahoe to Silicon Valley, see what they think is most worthy of your time and your money. Read on, then go out and enjoy.

  • A Walk Around Russian Hill
    • A Walk Around Russian Hill
    • Among San Francisco's many attractions, the city's architecture has a charm that draws visitors and locals to its neighborhoods. Explore Russian Hill on foot, and you'll experience architectural gems, hidden stairways, and magnificent views of the bay.
  • Escape to Alcatraz
    • Escape to Alcatraz
    • Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco's most visited sites, reached by boat from the waterfront. Visitors enjoy its history, natural beauty, and scenic views of the San Francisco skyline, but most of all, they want to explore its history as a prison.
  • Exploring the Gardens of Golden Gate Park
    • Exploring the Gardens of Golden Gate Park
    • You don't have to be a master gardener to enjoy Golden Gate Park. There's something blooming year-round in its many gardens, from the iconic Conservatory of Flowers and Japanese Tea Garden, to its lesser-know gems.
  • Lake Tahoe Tantalizes
    • Lake Tahoe Tantalizes
    • Just a few hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe is a favorite destination for visitors as well as locals. It's a year-round playground, no matter your sport.
  • Mission: Possible
    • Mission: Possible
    • San Francisco's Mission District may be the trendiest neighborhood in the world. Accept this assignment, and you'll find cutting-edge art, music, cuisine, and shops.
  • North Beach: A Taste of Italy
    • North Beach: A Taste of Italy
    • Rich in Italian heritage, this historic and colorful neighborhood has been the home to an eclectic mix of San Francisco characters since its earliest days. It's an especially good place for nice meal, or lingering over coffee in a sidewalk cafe.
  • San Francisco Theaters: It's Showtime!
    • San Francisco Theaters: It's Showtime!
    • An important part of San Francisco 's cultural world is its vibrant theater scene, and most of the major houses can be found in and around the Union Square district.
  • The Absolutely Best Places to Go in Sonoma County
    • The Absolutely Best Places to Go in Sonoma County
    • Have a hearty breakfast, then hit the road for Sonoma County's many attractions. Whatever your interest - museums, parks, art galleries, shopping, wineries, beer (yes, even in Sonoma) - you'll find it here.
  • The Best of Pier 39
    • The Best of Pier 39
    • San Francisco's Pier 39 is home to more than 100 shops and restaurants, a carousel, an aquarium, and the famous sea lions. Find out what you can do and see during your visit to this San Francisco favorite.
  • The Best Places to Go in Marin County
    • The Best Places to Go in Marin County
    • Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County is a treasure trove of fun attractions and activities. Because of its location between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, many of these combine the area's natural history.
  • The East Bay's Unexpected Wine Country
    • The East Bay's Unexpected Wine Country
    • Travel across the Oakland Bay Bridge and you'll find the East Bay's emerging wine country. Smaller than its northern neighbors, it's also less crowded - all the better to sample some of California's best wines.
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