Things to Do Just Outside of San Francisco

Day Trips and Nearby Activities

San Francisco is surrounded by beautiful natural settings and impressive sights and attractions. If you want to get outside of the city for a day, head to one of the nearby activities below.
Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island, located in the San Francisco Bay, once served as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963. Today it is a National Historic Landmark that offers tours that cover the island's history, the former prison, and the many famous prisoners that were held here. To get here, you need to take a scenic ferry ride from Fisherman's Wharf, and it's best to book ahead, especially on weekends.
West Road, SF, California, 94133-1312
California's Great America
California’s Great America, in Santa Clara, offers exciting roller coasters and family-friendly activities that are perfect for people of all ages. The amusement park has rides and shows that everyone can enjoy. After you've had your fill of thrill rides, head to one of the park's several shows. There are acrobats, live music performances, and live action shows with some of your kid's favorite characters including Snoopy and Charlie Brown.
4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA, 95054
Interested in more travel advice for San Francisco? Check out Things to Do in the Winter in San Francisco and What to Do in the Summer in San Francisco.
Chabot Space & Science Center
Located in Oakland, this science museum and planetarium focuses on space exploration, astronomy, rocketry, and other space-related sciences. After undergoing a large renovation in 2021, the museum has a number of hands-on science exhibits which are great for children and adults. They also have an engaging planetarium, an outdoor deck space with more exhibits, and large telescope observatories.
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, California, 94619
Children's Fairyland
Children's Fairyland, in Oakland, is a lighthearted amusement park that offers young kids a fun and exciting time. The park has small rides that are perfect for young children as well as several animals, puppet shows, and magicians. The park is open on select days through the summer season.
699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA, 94610
Lawrence Hall of Science
This science center is a fun place to explore with hands on exhibits and a great science curriculum that's suitable for all ages.
Centennial Drive, Berkeley, California, 94708
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is one of the closest places to San Francisco where you can enjoy a forest of redwood trees. The park spans 554 acres, with 240 acres filled with redwoods. The park is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Center and it's a popular day trip from the city. Plan to arrive early if you're visiting on a weekend.
Mill Valley, CA 94941, CA, 94941
Oakland Aviation Museum
This large aircraft museums offers plenty to see and do for aviation lovers. Featuring a huge hangar full of historic and modern aircraft, visitors can see items from the early days of flight (Wright Brothers models), to World War II aircraft to Vietnam and modern era aircraft. Also on display are exhibits about women in aviation, Black Americans in aviation, aircraft engines, historic airlines, and more.
8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland, California, 94621
Pixieland Amusement Park
Pixieland Amusement Park is designed for kids up to 8 years old. It's a free park to explore, but you have to buy tickets to go on any rides. Popular rides include the teacups, the dragon roller coaster, and the Pixieland Express train. There's also a carousel, airplanes, and a car ride.
2740 E Olivera Rd, Concord, CA, 94519
If you're looking for more information about San Francisco, read Explore the Asian Culture in San Francisco and The Best Gardens in San Francisco.
Sausalito is a charming town in Marin County that sits across the by from the city of San Francisco. Visitors enjoy exploring the charming streets, shopping, and dining in one of the local restaurants. The town is also known for its Richardson Bay houseboat enclaves. Views from Sausalito are pretty spectacular as well, particularly as the sun sinks low.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Six Flags is a popular amusement park chain with parks throughout the country. It's known for its thrilling rides that entertain visitors of all ages. This park includes a range of rides for all ages, animal attractions, animal encounters, and live shows and performances. It also has an area for younger kids with a two story indoor playhouse that is filled with foam.
1001 Fairgrounds Dr, Vallejo, CA, 94589
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $73 to $1,765. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $399. A few of the best options are below.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Search for Travel Costs

Share This Page

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.