10 Cities Near The San Francisco Bay You Have To Visit

San Francisco Bay mountain shore beach You Have To Visit

Did you know Super Cheap has a location near the San Francisco International Airport (SFO)? Super Cheap Car Rental San Francisco is located right across the street from the BART and CalTrain Stations, meaning you’ll have easy access to some of the most beautiful cities in Northern California if you use one of our affordable car rental San Francisco specials.

Since there’s so much to see, renting a vehicle is definitely the best option when you visit the San Francisco area. We have plenty of San Francisco car rental packages available to suit your travel needs. And once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll have hundreds of miles of beautiful destinations to explore. We recommend starting with these 10 cities.

 

  1. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is a small coastal town that’s about a 50-minute drive from San Francisco, and it’s absolutely idyllic for anyone looking to relax and enjoy the scenery. From the wildflowers to the art to the oceanfront trails, this is the perfect spot to slow down your pace and live in the moment.

Catch a perfect sunset from the Ocean Terrace Bar at the Ritz Carlton, which has delicious specialty cocktails to go with the stunning views. Or schedule a tour with Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and explore the tidepools with the pros.

 

  1. Carmel-By-The-Sea

Speaking of charming beach towns, Carmel-By-The-Sea is a nice, romantic spot about 120 miles south of San Francisco. This sweet little city will give you a small taste of all the best things Northern California has to offer: White sandy beaches, excellent restaurants, European-style streets, a thriving art scene, and even celebrity sightings.

 

  1. Sonoma

In just under an hour, you can drive from San Francisco to one of our most famous wine country spots. While there are plenty of smaller and less touristy towns in the area with some wonderful wineries, Sonoma truly is worth the hype.

Even if you don’t drink vino, you’ll love the other attractions like the historic Sonoma Plaza, the Jack London State Historic Park, and Safari West, an African-inspired safari and nature preserve with 900 exotic animals.

 

  1. Mendocino

Known for its cliffside hiking trails, unique beaches, and Victorian homes, this little coastal city is absolutely magical. This is truly a Northern California destination—it’s a good 160 miles north of San Francisco, but it sometimes takes close to four hours to drive there because of all the winding roads and mountain passes. But once you arrive, you’ll fall in love.

 

  1. Sebastopol

Looking for something quirky and a little unconventional? Sebastopol is a small town in Sonoma County surrounded by apple orchards and vineyards, but it’s far from traditional. Take in some unusual street art, pick your own apples, or check out Aubergine Vintage Emporium, where you truly never know what you’ll find.

 

  1. Gilroy

Who wouldn’t want to visit a place that has proclaimed itself to be the Garlic Capital of the World? Gilroy is about 78 miles away from San Francisco, but you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different world. California’s largest state park, Henry Coe State Park, is here, offering 250 miles of trails. We weren’t kidding about the garlic, either… there’s a Garlic Festival in July and a store called Garlic World.

 

  1. Santa Cruz

In some ways, Santa Cruz is the quintessential beach town―it’s got the classic Beach Boardwalk, the long stretches of shoreline, and some tasty eateries with world class views. It also happens to have a thriving indie music scene and a few impressive historic hotels that date back to the 1800s.

 

  1. Sausalito

Sausalito is a mere 30-minute ferry ride away from San Francisco, and some would say it’s one of the best little seaside towns in the world. Although it’s small in size, Sausalito has everything you could want: wine tasting, art galleries, shops, walkable neighborhoods, and great waterfront dining options.

 

  1. Los Gatos

Located near San Jose, Los Gatos is a small upscale town with plenty of shops and eateries to explore. The Town Plaza is charming and often bustling, making a perfect starting point for a self-guided walking tour. The town is well-known for its enjoyable Farmers Market, which is held on Sundays from 8-12.

 

  1. Capitola

This historic resort town is quite a charmer, and it’s only about 76 miles from San Francisco. Its unusually pleasant weather, natural beauty, and atmosphere led to it being a designated resort town called Camp Capitola in 1869, making it the oldest seaside resort town on the Pacific Coast. Capitola Beach is right in the middle of town, and it has a pleasant Mediterranean vibe you won’t find anywhere else.

Capitola is more of a getaway spot for California locals than tourists, so you won’t find as many attractions as you will in other nearby coastal cities. But it has so much natural charm that it doesn’t need them.