If you’re not feeing the redwoods and are more in the mood for desert, there’s no better place to go than Joshua Tree National Park. It might be a full eight and a half hour drive south of San Francisco — or an hour and a half by plane — but believe us when we say that the hikes, bouldering, and night views are worth it. Here’s what to do in and around this arid oasis.
Curvy Highway 1, breathtaking vistas of the ocean, lush meadows, oyster farms, small towns, local delicacies, and pristine nature is what you can expect on your drive up to Bodega Bay. Only about two hours away from San Francisco this day trip will give you the satisfaction of a faraway weekend escape.
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.