Reason number 92 why living in the Bay Area is the best: awe-inspiring redwood hikes. There’s something almost other-worldly about meandering through groves of giant redwoods, breathing in the cool damp air, and Instagramming those glistening beams of light.
Sure you could go up to Napa and dish out a bunch of dough to sit at a spa. But for those who like their relaxation outdoors, under the stars and in a beautiful setting, we recommend scrapping a ritzy mud bath and checking out some of Northern California's natural hot springs.
Head here on a mid-week morning and you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot in the Bay Area to get away from it all. The Gerbode Valley offers a hidden sanctuary mere minutes from downtown SF.
Head north over the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s no secret that in about an hour you’ll be in Wine Country. But did you know, as you head up Highway 101 through the green, grassy hillsides of Marin and Sonoma County, that you’re in cheese country?
Bikes, beer, and music come together one more time before the gloomy weather arrives, this time in Fairfax at Biketoberfest Marina 2009. Biketoberfest features live music, a vintage bike show with approximately 40 old school, American-made bikes, group rides, over 10 beers from 15 northern California brewers, and soda tasting for the kids. Beer tastings are $20 in advance, $25 at the event, and that includes a commemorative tasting glass. Brewers include Marin Brewing Company, Lagunitas, and San Francisco's own Anchor and Speakeasy.
Does anything epitomize the American independent spirit like a road trip? We think not. Plus, if you feel like getting out of town on Fourth of July but don’t yet have plans, it’s not likely you’ll get a hotel room at this point. So hop in the car, head over the Golden Gate and follow all or part of our Marin coast itinerary: from funky hippie parade to gourmet picnic to an expensive, but luxuriously relaxing, view of the SF fireworks.