9 days in San Francisco Bay Area & Marin County Itinerary

9 days in San Francisco Bay Area & Marin County Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive
3
Guerneville
— 1 night
Drive
4
Mill Valley
— 1 night
Drive
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Carmel

— 2 nights
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. On the 12th (Fri), view the masterpieces at Carmel Art Association and then take in the exciting artwork at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop.

Plan my day in Carmel using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Newark to Carmel is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. April in Carmel sees daily highs of 64°F and lows of 48°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Nature · Shopping · Beaches

Side Trip

Calistoga

— 1 night
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Valley of the Moon Pottery & North Eagle Gallery, learn about winemaking at Prager Winery & Port Works, learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, look for gifts at Dean & DeLuca, then do a tasting at Modus Operandi Cellars, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Calistoga trip planner.

Drive from Carmel to Calistoga in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in April: highs in Calistoga hover around 71°F, while lows dip to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to drive to Guerneville.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries · Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

Guerneville

— 1 night
Guerneville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California, United States. On the 16th (Tue), take in the exciting artwork at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, learn about winemaking at Porter Creek Vineyards, then look for gifts at Big John's Market, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Guerneville sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Calistoga to Guerneville takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 71°F in April, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can go by car to Mill Valley.

Things to do in Guerneville

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

Mill Valley

— 1 night
Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States, located about 14mi north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): look for gifts at Book Passage, hunt for treasures at Marin Country Mart, then shop like a local with Art Works Downtown, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Muir Woods National Monument.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Mill Valley day trip planner.

You can drive from Guerneville to Mill Valley in 1.5 hours. April in Mill Valley sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 46°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Mill Valley

Shopping · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 18th (Thu), step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, then hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, then browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, and finally wander the streets of Union Square. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Fri): get a taste of the local shopping with City Lights Booksellers, then stop by Fisherman's Wharf, then snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, and finally get great views at Twin Peaks.

For ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco road trip app.

Traveling by car from Mill Valley to San Francisco takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April, daytime highs in San Francisco are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. On the 20th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks

Sonoma County travel guide

4.8
Wineries & Vineyards · Wine Tours & Tastings · State Parks
Less than an hour from San Francisco, Sonoma County bills itself as the "Number 1 Wine Destination in the U.S." for good reason. Though not as famous as the neighboring Napa Valley, Sonoma County features a rolling landscape dotted with over 250 wineries. The county ranks among the country's most agriculturally productive regions. It turns out not only some of America's finest grapes, but also hops, prunes, and apples. The county manages to cling to its leisurely way of life--which is how the local nickname "Slow-noma" got started (despite the fact that the valley attracts nearly 8 million tourists annually)--and is really more about simple enjoyment than a jam-packed sightseeing itinerary. Napa may be better known, but as the crowds of visitors continue to clog the roads there, Sonoma's appeal as a vacation destination only grows.

Marin County travel guide

4.4
Forests · State Parks · Lookouts
Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the natural beauty of Marin County provides an optimal setting for the oldest cross-country running event in the United States. The area's first European visitors arrived as early as 1579; less than 20 years later, Portuguese explorer Sebastian Cermeno lost his ship while he was exploring the coast. Some of the Spanish influence can still be seen in the city of San Rafael, the county seat. Trails that ribbon through the mountains and along the coast inspired the first mountain bike. Artists have also garnered inspiration from the redwoods, mountains, and shores. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the county's civic center, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.