In this episode we take you to 10 different towns within driving distance of San Francisco. We have broken this episode in two parts. The first takes you to 6 destinations for some of the best day trips from San Francisco, all within less than 2.5 hours drive of the city. For those looking for a little longer of an escape, we also included six weekends trips from San Francisco to see some of the amazing nature and mountains California has to offer.
All of the destinations on this list are under fives hours from San Francisco and let you explore northern California. This region makes for some of the best weekend trips – from wine to mountains, to national parks and beaches – knock off all four and you’ll have a true tour de Norcal while getting out of the city by the bay.
- Point Reyes National Seashore
- Bodega Bay
- Napa Valley
- Santa Cruz
- Pinnacles National Park
- Big Sur
- Lake Tahoe
- Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Mammoth Lakes
Weekend and Day Trips from San Francisco – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re taking you on the best Weekend and Day Trips from San Francisco, California. Woo!!
3 (1m 9s):
Love San Francisco, as you squad is may recall. We’ve had a previous episode talking all about San Francisco and the things to do in that beautiful city. But this episode we’re dedicating it to all the beauty and things that there is to do close to the surrounding area. So I’m really excited to get into this episode. A lot of these places are Northern Cal. Well, obviously San Francisco’s, the Northern California, but what I mean by that is it’s in Northern California, close to our hometown then to these places many, many times. But if you are a traveler coming to San Francisco, great additional options to explore California,
1 (1m 42s):
Or even if you live in San Francisco and you’re looking to explore your backyard and the surrounding areas, this list is good for you. And what’s really unique about this list is all, but two of the destinations, we have not done a full episode on, so that’s pretty unique.
2 (1m 58s):
We will have to, because I know that we’re not going to be able to talk about everything in this episode,
1 (2m 3s):
Future podcast ideas.
2 (2m 6s):
All right, so we’re going to break into our destination list here. We’re going to start with the destinations that are closer to San Francisco and expand out into a little bit of a longer drive. I think our max destination here is about four and a half hours,
1 (2m 22s):
Four and a half, five hours. I think
2 (2m 23s):
So some of them you can definitely do as day trips. Some of them may be a little bit long. You want to make into a weekend trip.
3 (2m 31s):
So we are giving you the top 10 recommendations to do from San Francisco.
1 (2m 35s):
So number one on our list is Point Reyes National Seashore. And this is just under two hours north of San Francisco.
3 (2m 44s):
Yes. And Point Reyes is a very famous region along the coast, north of San Francisco, as Brittany had just mentioned beautiful, beautiful ocean views and vistas and sea cliffs. But what it is known for specifically is its historic lighthouse along the shore built in the year 1870. This is actually a national historic area. That’s run by the national park service
1 (3m 6s):
Jamal. And I actually went earlier this year and we decided to walk all of the steps down to visit the beautiful lighthouse. It’s about 313 steps down. They’re pretty steep. It’s actually not too bad. The part that gets tricky is there’s a section of it that doesn’t have any steps and it’s just a steep slope.
2 (3m 25s):
Oh, and you made it through it. Wasn’t too treacherous.
1 (3m 28s):
No, it wasn’t too bad.
3 (3m 29s):
The steps were not treacherous. The wind out there is treacherous. I mean, you are on a Seacliff. That’s literally two to 300 feet above the ocean. I mean, you have a nice high elevation. You’re taking the steps down, but that wind coming in can be just brutal, but definitely well worth it to go and get that view in the area
2 (3m 48s):
We used to live right around this area, you know, about the same kind of driving distance from here with Sacramento. And so I went when I was, I think 22 or so before we moved to San Diego and I did a hike called Alameda falls hike. And this one is really, really cool. I would highly recommend it if you have a full day for hiking because it’s a 13 mile round trip hike. It is an out and back type of a hike. And what’s really, really cool about this is that the end of the hike, you can kind of go down from the cliff area to the beach area. And you’ll also see this huge 40 foot waterfall going from the top of the cliff down into the ocean.
3 (4m 27s):
I don’t know if you needed to have the clarification about you did this before we moved. Cause we know Kim wouldn’t do this 13 mile after 30
2 (4m 34s):
And I still do this one because you, you kind of plan it out so that you bring drinks, you bring food. When you get to the beach, you have like a nice picnic and hang out there for a while. And there are some steeper parts of it, but it’s not like a very difficult hike.
3 (4m 48s):
Oh yeah. And I’m just playing with you anyway. But other than the lighthouse, I can’t stress enough the coastline and the sea views that you’re going to get. Honestly, once you get north of San Francisco, the California coast is very isolated. So it has that nice, like serene views and everything. There’s not really any populated cities along the coast. So it’s really, I don’t want to use the word rustic, but that’s what I’m kind of coming to mind here and just real serene and peaceful.
2 (5m 15s):
So different from Southern California beaches.
3 (5m 18s):
1 (5m 19s):
Well, Kim you’ve inspired me to do that hike because it’s on my list and we’ve kind of just put it off, but like I really want to do that. Hike sound super unique. And while you’re in the Point Reyes area, make sure to visit there downtown. They have like a cute little main street has a nice little bakery that sells out of a ton of goods. If you get there in the morning, we have a chalkboard with everything that they’re selling for the day. And as they run out, they just go out and like cross it off. So we actually got there late and like they had sold out of most of their items. And then my dad always goes to a cheese shop called cowgirl Creamery. Some of the best cheese he gets from that cheese
3 (5m 58s):
Really, really good. And if you miss the cheese shop, don’t worry. You can find cowgirl Creamery and some stores and cheese shop locations outside. But this is the original location here in Point Reyes.
1 (6m 9s):
There’s also a Cypress tree tunnel that you can visit as well. It’s just a quick photo shoot, but it’s really nice that the Cypress trees make that tunnel. And it makes a really cool shot for photography.
3 (6m 20s):
It’s one of those things where, you know, you see photos of the south and those trees that line up the streets, it’s almost like this, but with Cypress tree. So it’s not all dangly and like loose leaf, but you know, the Pines are Cypress, but it’s still really pretty and unique because those trees are prevalent in the area. But it’s a nice tunnel of those trees. Hundreds of years old, those trees are. So after you visited Point Reyes, you can go on to our next location. Number two, just a little bit more north it’s an hour and a half to two and a half hours north of San Francisco. So less than if you were leaving from Point Reyes already and why we give that one and a half, two hours is depending on if you drive the coast, it’s a little bit longer. If you take some of the inland highways, then it’s going to be a little bit quicker for you, but going on to Bodega Bay, this is a very beautiful spot in California and famous for the filming location of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, the birds.
2 (7m 9s):
Oh, I did not know that. Have
3 (7m 10s):
You ever seen the birds? Kevin? No classic movie filmed here,
2 (7m 13s):
Go, go back and watch it and think of Bodega. I’ve gone camping here and I would recommend it for that. It’s a cute little, I would say small beach town is a great way to describe it.
3 (7m 22s):
I would say it’s almost like an east coast beach town, but like with the west coast vibes.
2 (7m 27s):
Yeah. It’s naturey. And again, as you said earlier about the beaches being more desolate, isolated, this one, I would say, you’ll see, you’ll certainly see people there, but it’s not like a crowded beach.
1 (7m 39s):
Yeah. Jamal and I went in may of 2021 and we did a trail called the Bodega head trail and it brings you to the cliff edge. You get stunning views of the coastline cliff views. When we went there, there was lots of beautiful wild flowers on the trail as well. And it’s just a really nice scenic hike and you don’t get a lot of elevation. So a lot of people can enjoy this hike.
3 (8m 2s):
You’ll also see a lot of people parking their cars on the side and getting to the Sandy areas and they’re clamming out there. There’s clams in the sand and they put a little something on it and they pop up and you’re allowed to just take the clams and do all this stuff out there too. Yeah.
1 (8m 13s):
Yeah. We saw a ton of people doing that while we were there, but this being a beach town, it’s also known for its seafood. And so when Jamal and I went, we went to a food shop called the Spud point crab company and they had really good clam chowder and a crab sandwiches. So definitely go and check that out if you like seafood
3 (8m 30s):
And this place is really popular. You can expect to wait at a minimum 15 minutes, like on a weekend if you’re there on a weekday, probably not, but on a weekend for sure. And yeah, those crops sandwiches, clam chowder is a good spot to get some food. And also the Degas bay is a great spot to do some whale watching. So check out for the seasons and maybe you can take tours and do things out in that area. Also,
1 (8m 52s):
Hey travelers, let’s take a quick detour to talk all about our Travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you. We now have six different trip itineraries one week in Kauai
2 (9m 2s):
And American Southwest weekend or road trip a
3 (9m 5s):
Week in Yellowstone and grand Teton, national parks,
1 (9m 8s):
A road trip adventure featuring all three of Washington. State’s national parks,
3 (9m 13s):
Big island, Hawaii, and an Arizona road trip that features all three of Arizona’s national parks.
2 (9m 19s):
We are obsessed with these. These itineraries are 20 to 30 page PDF guides with every detail of the trip laid out. We’re talking where to fly into the exact route to take where to stay park entrance prices, where to eat and driving distance between attractions plus what things to see and do even the hikes we recommend and their mileage and the time to allow for each one and so much more.
1 (9m 40s):
We have story highlights on our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, where you can see the full guides. We’ve done all of the research and have taken these exact trips, taking out all of the guesswork from the planning. So all that you have to do is show up and have fun
3 (9m 54s):
Purchase your comprehensive Travel Squad Podcast, itinerary on our website at Travel Squad, Podcast dot com, best of all, they’re on sale right now for $30. So travel on over and get yours today.
2 (10m 6s):
Our third destination on our list is Napa Valley. You’ve probably heard of Napa Valley. It’s one of the most renowned wine regions in the world.
3 (10m 15s):
I was about to say world famous. Quite honestly, I would say.
2 (10m 18s):
Yeah. Yeah. So Napa is amazing. It’s really well known for its wine. It’s about an hour and a half drive from San Francisco. So you can easily make this a day trip or if you’re doing a bunch of wine tasting, make it a weekend trip
1 (10m 32s):
And they have a lot of gourmet high-end dining experiences in Napa. So it’s a good place for foodies as well.
3 (10m 40s):
Yeah. I mean food pairs great with wine, right? Isn’t there a Michelin starred restaurant out here? Yes,
1 (10m 45s):
I believe so. Actually
3 (10m 47s):
I forgot what it’s called. So I apologize for not having that. Yeah.
1 (10m 49s):
It’s a little north of Napa. It’s called French laundry,
3 (10m 52s):
French laundry. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, Brittany. I forgot what it was, but great food destination. Great wine destination. One thing we’ve talked about on a previous episode that we all really want to do is they have a wine train out there where you can get on this train. It’s decked out like it’s a classic trades, but it’s a dining experience with your wine. It’s very expensive. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do it yet. And when I look at the price and for how long they actually do it for, I’m just still in debate of like, ah, do I want to do it? But it may be something that is up your alley. And it’s very renowned in that area. And everybody that I know that’s done it as raved about it.
2 (11m 31s):
I would love to do it. I think we looked at tickets and it was like 400.
1 (11m 36s):
It was in the four hundreds.
2 (11m 37s):
Yeah. So it is a splurge, but we’ve splurged on dining experiences before. And this one’s not only the food, but you’re on this really cool train taking you through the scenic Napa Valley. Some of them have different themes to it or different like luxury class levels. So if you’re going to really splurge, like really splurge and get the best one
3 (11m 59s):
Other than the wine train, another really unique thing to do in the area is what’s called the bike, the vine trail, it’s a biking or walking path trail system. That’s connecting the entire Napa Valley. So if you rent a bike, bring your own bike, you can just go on a nice leisurely ride through all the vineyards and just the surrounding valley. And it’s very, very scenic. We haven’t done this yet. And I really want to do that. I think that would be fun. You know, who’d really enjoy this. Brittany is your brother. Cause he’s a big biker. He loves to take his bike everywhere and do things I
2 (12m 29s):
Would love to do that. That sounds delightful
1 (12m 32s):
As a very bougie place. So other than wine tasting the wine, train the bike, the vine trail, you can also book cooking classes or spa treatments or take a hot air balloon ride. I haven’t taken any hot air balloon ride, but I’d love to do, do one big Napa would be great.
2 (12m 49s):
Okay. Let me talk crazy to you all. Talk to me, squad trip to Napa
3 (12m 55s):
1 (12m 56s):
So what I did hear about Napa though, I had a friend recently go, she posted some pictures. I was like, how is Napa? She was like, it’s really good. But you have to plan in advance all of the wineries. You have to have reservations for the tastings. And she went kind of unprepared and she only had one reservation and the other places she really wasn’t able to get into. Oh
2 (13m 15s):
3 (13m 16s):
Number four on our list. So we did a few locations north of San Francisco. Now we’re working our way south. Number four, Santa Cruz.
2 (13m 25s):
I love Santa Cruz. When we lived in Sacramento, this was a place I went to, you know, a few times for vacations. And it’s so fun. It’s a beach town, a small beach town again, but it has a big attraction.
3 (13m 37s):
Yes. It’s going to be the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. So they have a classic wooden rollercoaster out there. And then a beach side midway. This is about an hour and a half south of San Francisco, but it has a lot of things going for it. The beach boardwalk that we’re talking about along the coast, it’s stunning. It’s a college town, the university of California, Santa Cruz is there. So it has those university vibes and fun aspects of it too. And your clothes along the coastal redwoods, not the big giant ones up north, but still coastal redwoods and so many cool things about this area.
2 (14m 11s):
Even the drive from San Francisco is, is a really nice scenic drive. So even if you just took the drive as your trip, maybe did a couple of rollercoaster rides went back to San Francisco. It’d be a great day.
3 (14m 21s):
I mean, you have to do the rollercoaster. The boardwalk was founded in 1907 and it’s California’s oldest surviving amusement park. And the only one that survived on the west coast of the United States. So the east coast has them. This is the one on the west coast. Do you have to do it?
1 (14m 37s):
I used to go to Santa Cruz a lot. Like we did a lot of family vacations in Santa Cruz, Jamal and I have even camped in Santa Cruz. We camped in the woods like in the redwoods, but then we were able to like walk from our campground to get to the beach, which was really cool. And then we, we had family that lived pretty close to Santa Cruz. So we used to meet up and go to the boardwalk when we were kids as well. So Santa Cruz has a special place in my heart
3 (15m 0s):
And I would be remiss if we didn’t mention the world famous mystery spot in Santa Cruz, tucked away in those woods and redwoods that we’re talking about. What is the mystery spot? I feel that we’ve talked about this before. In another episode, I can’t even really tell you, supposedly it’s an anomaly that takes place out there in the forest, where if you put a ball on a flat surface, it will like roll up and do things. And it’s just a unique area, just
2 (15m 25s):
You’re standing, but you’re standing sideways,
3 (15m 28s):
2 (15m 28s):
It’s weird. It’s a mystery.
3 (15m 30s):
It is a mystery. Is it an optical illusion? Is it really happening out there you be the judge, you should go Google the mystery spot and see what it’s about. I would recommend doing it again.
2 (15m 40s):
Definitely real because you feel a little different when you’re there too. Like some people feel off. We also should mention, this is a great place to bring your bike.
3 (15m 49s):
Yes, I would agree. So why would you not want to bike the boardwalk,
2 (15m 52s):
The pier all around Santa Cruz? There’s a ton of really great nightlife there too, because it is a university town.
3 (15m 58s):
That’s true. And one thing I want to say is definitely lounge it up on the beach, but be mindful. Santa Cruz is known to be an area where there’s a lot of sharks in the water out there just giving that heads up to everybody
2 (16m 11s):
And it’s cold. It’s Northern. So it’s definitely cold.
1 (16m 14s):
So number five on our list is Pinnacles National Park, which is just about two hours away from San Francisco. We’ve mentioned Pinnacles and a few other episodes, but it was originally designated as a national monument back in 1908 by good old Teddy Roosevelt.
3 (16m 30s):
Absolutely. And the reason why this has now become a national park is several reasons. One, it is a release area of the critically endangered, California condor. So you’ll see the most California Condors that are in a wild location here at Pinnacles National Park and the rock formations that they have around there. It gets the name Pinnacles from the fact that an extinct volcano was native to that area. And then those Pinnacles are just the dried lava from within the volcano itself. And the exterior has now kind of a roaded away,
1 (17m 1s):
You know, and I don’t think we’ve mentioned it before, but because of the rock formation, it attracts a lot of climbers to the area as well. So if you are a climber spelunker, anything like that, you would love this national park.
2 (17m 13s):
And I would recommend you go in the winter months. Like February is a great time to go because it’ll be lush, it’ll be temperate. You might probably have it all to yourself. And in the summer, it’s not as pretty
3 (17m 26s):
1 (17m 26s):
3 (17m 27s):
It loses that greenness that is prevalent in the area because of the fact that it just got rain and snow sometimes even in that region also, but during the summer, it does get hot in that area because it is more inland and not necessarily along the coast,
1 (17m 41s):
There are two sides of the park, the west side and the east side. So make sure to do your research on what hikes you want to do in which part of the parks you’re going to be in. There’s a lot of really good trails and there are two talus caves. Those are caves that are made from boulders that have collapsed on the side of a mountain. And they currently inhabit bats. And during certain months they’re open. So you can actually go in, explore Rome there’s stairs within them. They’re actually pretty large and really cool to see and hiking.
3 (18m 10s):
Yeah. The first time we went all as a squad, we didn’t do any of the caves. Unfortunately, you weren’t there on this last trip that we went on Kim, but the cave aspect was really, really cool at Pinnacles. I liked it a lot. They even had the waterfalls and streams like flowing in there too, as we were climbing on out, that was really unique.
1 (18m 26s):
So if you want to hear more about Pinnacles National Park, go back to episode 11 it’s are not Big Sur road trip. That’s how we ended up going to Pinnacles was because Big Sur is highway one was actually closed and we had a DVD at our plans and we found out California had a new national park.
2 (18m 43s):
We just mentioned Big Sur and we couldn’t move forward without putting this one on our list too. So this is number six, Big Sur, what is Big Sur
3 (18m 52s):
Big Sur is the part of central California’s coastline. That’s known for its rugged jagged sea cliffs. It is one of the most iconic drives to do in California, if not the most iconic. And I dare say probably top 10 iconic drives in the entire world like highway one is world renowned and specifically the Big Sur portion. The Big Sur portion is from Monterrey down to what about Santa Barbara, San Louis Obispo area and San Simeon Southern California. So I don’t expect you to drive the whole stretch, but go to Big Sur it’s about two and a half hours south of San Francisco. Like I said, starting in that Monterey area and right outside of Monterey, the iconic big speed bridge, maybe the most iconic part of Big Sur, not too far away from you right there to go see
2 (19m 40s):
That drive is really beautiful to be along the ocean and seeing these cliffs. And then the little points like that one that you can stop and get out. And there’s another one as well, make way falls that you’ll want to see. It’s a very large waterfall that falls right into the ocean. Gorgeous.
1 (19m 57s):
Yeah. And waterfalls that fall into the ocean are actually called tide falls. This one, you can either take a trail to see it. You can’t actually get onto the beach or you can also just see it from the road when Jamal and I went and we just stopped on the side of the road, got out and we were able to view and see the falls very, very gorgeous, but there’s so much to see in Big Sur it’s so scenic, we talked about Monterey Jamal and I had the best calamari we’ve ever eaten in our lives at a restaurant on the Monterey pier.
3 (20m 25s):
Yeah. And we’re not listing Monterey specifically on this list because you know, the Big Sur portion starts and Monterey, but you could even add that as a little bonus here for you on that weekend trip. If you didn’t do Big Sur, I mean, Monterey is a great place. They have the peer, the great food. Kalamara like, you talked about the famous Monterey bay aquarium also cannery row. So lots of stuff do in the area. And most of the stuff that we’ve mentioned here of that Big Sur drive, which is going to be, you know, make wave falls, the big speed bridge. We didn’t even talk about this. There’s like the key whole arch at five for beach. These places are more on the Northern end of Big Sur. So not too far from me from San Francisco
1 (21m 4s):
Keyhole arch at Pfeiffer beach is so, so, so pretty. It’s a big rock formation that has what looks like a doorway or like a key hole. And during certain times of the day around sunset in certain months, like winter months, the sun will, aluminate directly through that keyhole. And it’s very popular for photographers.
2 (21m 24s):
1 (21m 25s):
It’s very, very pretty. So you get the coastline, but then also if you’re a little inland, you get the redwoods to like at Julia Pfeiffer burns state park, and there’s a lot of really good hiking trails in Big Sur.
3 (21m 37s):
So those first six that we list for you are in the closest proximity to San Francisco. Anything that we’re listing here now, seven to 10, I would maybe say it could be a good weekend trip to do you’re in San Francisco drive, spend the night and spend a couple days there before you come on back into the city. Number seven, one of my personal favorite places on earth, Lake Tahoe,
2 (21m 59s):
Everybody loves Lake Tahoe. It’s great in the summer. It’s great in the winter. It’s amazing. It’s right on the border of California and Nevada. So you get a little twofer in this one and it’s like you said, it’s world renowned. Truly. You’ve mentioned this on a few podcasts in the past about how it was almost a national park. Definitely should be ahead of some of these other crazy decisions they’ve made.
3 (22m 23s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. So they, Tahoe is three and a half hours away from San Francisco and a little bonus. I mean, we gave a bonus when we talked about Big Sur and said Monterey, if you’re driving from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, you’re going to pass through California’s Capitol Sacramento, make a little stop in there along the way we got to wrap our hometown and home area in that sense of things. But you are correct. Kim Lake Tahoe should have been a national park. The reason why they didn’t is somebody was already logging in the area and he had a lot of money and he lobbied Congress to not make it so he can continue to make money. But the good news is Lake Tahoe is preserved now, not at national park status, but they have very, very strict rules on development area. So it’s still very nice, very pristine, the largest Alpine lake in north America and nestled in the mountains, clear blue, amazing biking during the summer skiing or snowboarding during the winter, like you said, you’re on the border.
3 (23m 13s):
So you can cross over, go into Nevada, have a little bit of nightlife in the casinos. And while you’re at it, great place Lake Tahoe.
2 (23m 20s):
It’s a perfect balance of nature and nightlife. The casinos are obviously gambling, but there’s a ton of restaurants, bars, nightclubs shows you could go see the smaller little downtown area that they have. They have restaurants there as well. So Tahoe’s always a good time.
3 (23m 36s):
I celebrated my 21st birthday in Lake Tahoe and went to the nightclub at Harrah’s hotel up
2 (23m 41s):
There. Yeah, very nice.
3 (23m 43s):
That was what I did, but they have great events and festivities for new year’s Eve. 4th of July, always fireworks shows along the lake. Absolutely amazing.
1 (23m 52s):
There is so much to see only Tahoe. I mean, driving the lake itself as even an activity, which would take several hours to do, but there’s a lot of hidden beaches. There’s a beach that I want to go to that has these beautiful, big boulders and the water super clear. And you can get those glass bottom kayaks. I would love to do that. And even though we’ve gone so many times when we grew up in that area, there’s still so much to do when see, and hike and enjoy.
3 (24m 18s):
Have any of you ladies ever driven fully around the lake in one go? No, really? Oh gosh. Well, my parents did that quite often when we went. So I’ve driven around the lake hole, maybe like six times in my life.
1 (24m 31s):
How long does it take
3 (24m 32s):
A long time? Probably like five plus hours to do the whole lake in one go.
2 (24m 36s):
There are also hot Springs near the lake. So that’s really cool. Summer or winter. I was actually just there, back in December and everything I did was things I did for the first time.
1 (24m 48s):
Really? That’s amazing. Love it. Always something new to do and Tahoe.
3 (24m 52s):
Oh yeah. And we can’t not mention Emerald bay. You’ve been Emerald bay. Have you not? Yes. So there is one bay and Lake Tahoe. The name’s Emerald bay, if you didn’t catch onto it, but it’s famous because a very wealthy person built a home down at the lake level called Viking’s home. It’s called that because it has the Scandinavian architecture and there’s only one island in Lake Tahoe also. And that island is an Emerald bay and she built a tea house out there. So it’s like a little castle on the island and Emerald bay, but Emerald bay is now a state park and they have a nice waterfall that goes down there too. So great views for you at Emerald bay.
1 (25m 30s):
Are they accepting reservations for high tea at the tea house?
3 (25m 33s):
If they were, you know, Kim would have been in it by now.
1 (25m 37s):
So number eight on our list is Lassen Volcanic National Park with a side trip to MC Arthur, Bernie falls,
2 (25m 45s):
Lassen Volcanic National Park is about four hours from San Francisco. So this would be a great weekend trip. You can go hiking, you can see waterfalls that are gorgeous waterfalls here. And what’s also really cool about this national park is it has this hydro geothermal activity. So you’ll see like bubbling mud pots.
1 (26m 5s):
You’re going to smell the sulfur as you hike around. There’s an area of the park that I haven’t explored, but I want to it’s called a Bumpus hell. And it’s like a elevated trail boardwalk that will get you over. A lot of those bubbling mud pots and hydrothermal site.
3 (26m 20s):
Yeah. Lassen is an active volcano. It happens to be dormant right now. One time Brittany and I actually did a hike all the way to the top. It’s over 10,000 feet. We definitely got short of breath. But even though the volcano itself is dormant, all that hydrothermal activity is still going on. You could see those boiling mud pots, you can smell the sulfur. You can see the, you know, like when we’re at Yellowstone and you have the colorations, like in the pools, like you could see that in some locations do it. It’s not as grand as Yellowstone. I mean, I can’t act as if it is, but you get some of those features when you’re there and it’s a really awesome national park.
2 (26m 55s):
Do you have any idea when the last time it erupted?
3 (26m 57s):
I think it’s like early 19 hundreds, like 19 10, 19 20, something like that,
2 (27m 2s):
I think was the last time we’re due for
3 (27m 4s):
It. Maybe I don’t know the schedule of the volcano, but probably,
1 (27m 8s):
You know, who else hiked Lassen peak with us who Nashua Jamal sister, shout out to Nash, making it to the top,
3 (27m 15s):
To the top with us
1 (27m 16s):
Over 10,000 feet, we were all short of breath, but we were enjoying the stunning views from the top. And there’s just so much to see within Lassen national park. I mean, there are beautiful lakes that you can just walk around, get beautiful pictures, that stunning mountains, the flower fields are great. And then of course the mountain backdrop as well.
3 (27m 38s):
Yes. And we also mentioned MC Arthur Bernie falls. So this is not in the national park. It is about 45 minutes away. But if you’re going to take the effort to come to Lassen, you should go to MacArthur. Bernie falls. It’s a great waterfall. You can just stand at the top and look down, or there’s a small little hike that you can do to the bottom, but it is a very nice hike to go see it. And just stunning. You should Google Nick Arthur, Bernie falls, and it will inspire you to go. I’m sure of it.
1 (28m 6s):
You know, what’s really funny and kind of off topic, but we took your mom there, Jamal and your dad stayed behind in the park and we were trying to take some really nice photos of your mom and she was posing it up. She put her leg on the rocks.
3 (28m 17s):
Oh yeah. She posed that she did like the highlight little lift. I didn’t know my mom being in her seventies could put her leg up so high and she rocked it. She’s given the hard poses out there. She had a really good time at MacArthur Bernie falls
1 (28m 29s):
And there were young men hitting on her. And Ooh, it was hilarious.
2 (28m 34s):
Number nine is Yosemite National Park also about four hours from San Francisco in a different direction than Lassen.
3 (28m 42s):
So I mean, if you have not heard of Yosemite National Park, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sure we’ve all heard of it. This should be on anybody’s bucket list to do it is located in this year in Nevada mountains, south of Lake Tahoe, but a little bit longer of a drive. Like you said, Kim, about four hours famous for its granite cliffs and peaks half dome El Capitan Yosemite falls, which is the tallest waterfall in what north America, Brittany, is it not so very, very iconic. And I would highly recommend if you’re going to make the drive out here. I mean, it really needs to be a spend the night and spend two days in Yosemite in the evening or afternoon when you get there. And then obviously in the morning before you head on back,
1 (29m 22s):
I mean, this is a great weekend trip. You could easily spend a week in Yosemite and not run out of things or hikes to do so. There’s a lot to see some of my favorite things are to view Yosemite falls. I really want to hike it Jamal and I have that on our list to do this year, go hike the mist trail up to Nevada falls and to Vernal falls. Those are some really, really good waterfalls. If you’re visiting Yosemite, be sure to visit in spring or early summer. Cause that’s when you’re going to get the best waterfalls, they’re gonna be full force later in the season, they’re going to slow down to more of trickles.
2 (29m 54s):
You also have the best chance of seeing a bear like I did. It was epic.
3 (29m 59s):
Oh yeah. It’s spring. They want to be out. They got a forage for food and everything like that. So I mean, Yosemite is just a great, great national park and you can do so much there. I mean, we can hype it up so much and just sound like a broken record. But I mean, it really is the truth. Yosemite is well worth the visit from San Francisco, the four-hour drive away. And I feel like that perfectly transitions us into number 10, which is going to be Mammoth Lakes. So Yosemite is on the Western side of the Sierra Nevada’s Mammoth Lakes is on the Eastern side of it and why it’s a perfect end and transition is because from Yosemite, there is a road called Tioga pass that you can drive through Yosemite out and get to Mammoth Lakes, which is a little bit more south.
3 (30m 44s):
But again on that Eastern slope. So it’s about a five-hour drive from San Francisco, but do keep in mind during the winter season, they close Tioga pass. So you won’t be able to go that way through. And it’s going to be a little bit longer if you go during winter and have to go around the opposite way
2 (30m 59s):
And you probably would be going in winter because it’s a big skiing and snowboarding destination.
1 (31m 4s):
Yeah. There’s a lot to do in winter, but there’s also a lot to do in summer and spring. Like in spring, there’s a lot of hiking. You can swim in a lot of the lakes, paddleboard camp. We did a trail while we were there. We did it covered in snow, but it would also be very beautiful and spring or summer called the crystal lake trail. And it brought us out to a beautiful lake. Would we went, like I said, there was snow on the ground. So the lake had the thinnest layer of ice and it just made it just glisten. And it was so beautiful. We had it all to ourselves, highly recommend doing this hike.
3 (31m 38s):
Yeah. And it’s called Mammoth Lakes for a reason. I mean, there’s literally over a hundred lakes in the area from the snow melt in the region of the mountains here. So tons of trails for you to go ahead and do an area where they have a high concentration of lakes. They actually have a lot of paths that are paved. So another good spot for biking, but you could obviously do the hiking and put your boots in the dirt if you will, or in the snow for that matter. And I absolutely loved Mammoth, you know, Brittany and I went very recently and for living in California, our whole lives, that was the first time we actually went. And you know what, Kim you’d love it. Cause they have hot Springs in the area.
1 (32m 15s):
Yes. We went to some hot Springs after one of our hikes and they had a nice boardwalk plank that you walk out to them. It’s probably like a five minute walk from the parking lot. And we timed it perfectly. I don’t know how we got so lucky, but we got the hot Springs to ourselves.
2 (32m 31s):
How big are they? They’re
1 (32m 32s):
Actually pretty small. I’m the one that we were in probably can fit like five to seven people comfortably, but there are different areas. And depending on how much water is running, the deeper they get.
3 (32m 44s):
Yeah. So we were sitting in the biggest pool all alone. There are other pools in the surrounding area from that boardwalk plank that Bernie was talking about, but they’re not as big and less people can fit in them. But it’s definitely very, very nice, very unique. What’s funny is, you know, Mammoth Lakes. It is in the mountains on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, but where these hot Springs are, is in the valley area. So you’re actually like in flatland looking up into the mountains when you’re out there, very serene and beautiful.
1 (33m 13s):
And I haven’t done this yet, but I really want to go to devil’s post pile national monument, it’s famous for its basalt columns. And then it has rainbow falls flowing over as well. I hear it’s very, very beautiful, but it’s a very short season to visit it. This part of Mammoth Lakes is only open like June through early October. So short window to visit.
3 (33m 35s):
And there you have it squaddies that is our top 10 recommendations for day trip. Or we can trips from San Francisco. And I highly recommend that if you ever go to the city, you at least do one of these. If not the closer ones, you’re definitely going to enjoy it and give you another beautiful view of different locations in California.
2 (33m 56s):
All right. It’s my favorite time of the week
3 (33m 59s):
Questions of the week.
2 (34m 9s):
All right. So we have a question coming in about this episode specifically, you know, we do put up stories on our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, announcing what we’re going to be recording and seeing if people have any questions. So this one actually came in from there and they’re asking, how is the public transportation to these day trips and weekend trips?
3 (34m 29s):
Unfortunately, I hate to break it. The reality to you is not very good at all. You’re going to need your own vehicle for this public transportation. And San Francisco is good, but getting out of San Francisco and going to any of these places, not so much, if you’re staying in San Francisco, you could probably find a company that will do charters or day trips into Napa, because it’s just so popular. But any of the other places, I would say, you need your own vehicle and you got to drive yourself.
2 (34m 54s):
Yeah. And you will want to, because you’ll want to get off on the side of the road and look at this or
3 (34m 59s):
Take your time seeing the sites.
2 (35m 1s):
Yeah, exactly. So we have another question that came in on a review actually on apple podcasts. So thank you all for leaving us reviews. You know, that really, really helps with being able to be more discoverable in there, help other people find this important travel information. That’s really why we do the podcast. So thank you very much. And in fact, if you do leave us a five-star written review and you screenshot it and send it to us, either email Travel Squad Podcast at gmail.com or Instagram, we will send you our hack for how to get upgraded on an airplane for free.
3 (35m 34s):
Yeah. It’s a very, very good hack. You’ve probably heard us talking about it before. If you’ve listened to several of our episodes, we do mention it quite often. So go ahead and send us in those written reviews. We love it again. Key is five star and written reviews. You send us a five star review with no writing, no hack coming your way. Sorry to say.
2 (35m 56s):
So we had a question come on on a review. And it’s actually the only negative review we’ve ever gotten. And it’s funny when it came in, I was like, wow, it took two years to get a negative review. That’s crazy. And I remember when we were planning our podcasts back in June of 2019, I was like, you know, when we create content, we will get haters. That’s a guarantee that will happen. Are you going to be able to handle it? If someone’s saying something negative about us and we’re like, it’s fine, whatever we can deal with the haters. So we finally got one. I’m excited to share this with you all Because it’s interesting. So the question is really, did I hear it right in the London episode?
2 (36m 36s):
Jamal says, Kim you’ll love fish and chips. It’s a white fish and Kimra replies with I’d rather have a black fish. What, that’s another question. Third question. And then the F words come on. So disappointed information is great. Let’s take out the expletives. So let me answer your question. Katie C M M M. You did not hear it, right? I’m not sure what about a white fish or a black fish and a bad joke is a, is a racist nudge, but you definitely didn’t hear it. Right. And the F words. Yes. Actually, in fact, if you listen to our trailer, we explicitly say that we do cuss in this podcast. We are ourselves. We cuss in real life. We’re who we are on the end of this mic.
2 (37m 18s):
So if you don’t like F words, you don’t have to listen to the episode.
1 (37m 23s):
Yeah. And if you’ve listened to other episodes that we’ve posted, you would know Kim is not a seafood fan in general. And Jamal always tries to talk him into try,
3 (37m 35s):
Not just seafood, a white fish, because it is very mild in its flavor and not fishy. So that was my thought process in saying it that way. So, you know, I do apologize that you heard it a certain way and took it in a negative, but that’s not what it was meant to be.
2 (37m 53s):
But I want to read some of our good reviews because I love the reviews. Every time one comes in, we share it with each other. We get so excited. Like we love hearing this and this one’s really good. It’s actually kind of long. So I’ll kind of just skim through it, but they say, I freaking love this podcast. They’re going back to the very first episode and listening to all of them said that we make travel fun and easy, which is what we set out to do, make this podcast fun. We didn’t really see like entertaining travel podcasts on the market. So we didn’t want to be boring. We wanted to tell jokes and laugh and show you like the inside tips to make trouble possible for you. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that. And so this just, this review is really sweet.
2 (38m 35s):
They they’re actually asking you for opening up applications to join the squad or create a travel tour company of our own. And we are actually looking to do something like that and starting to put together some initial plans around hosted weekend trips that include breakfast buffets,
3 (38m 53s):
And God had the breakfast buffet, what the trip without a breakfast buffet.
2 (38m 56s):
Right. It’s amazing. And just like some element of travel and nature involved in these weekend trips. So stay tuned for more info on that as they come out and thanks for the review. It was a really sweet review. I want to read one more.
1 (39m 11s):
Go for it, Kim.
2 (39m 12s):
Okay. This is a short one coming from Kelly 22. I enjoy listening to those podcasts. I’ve gotten great ideas and tips for several trips out west. The members of the squad are just fun to listen to too.
1 (39m 24s):
Heck yes we
3 (39m 25s):
Are. Thank you. I like to think I’m fun. Sometimes.
2 (39m 28s):
Sometimes we can be fun and I think podcasts should be fun. You don’t want to hear someone monotone and quiet on the other end of it. You want to laugh. You want to feel like this person is in your house telling you about their trip. And so, yeah. I’m glad that that’s coming through on the other end for y’all.
1 (39m 43s):
Well, thank you guys for writing all of these amazing reviews. If you haven’t written one yet, please go ahead and do so we hear that recently, Spotify is allowing you to put in reviews that wasn’t something that was in the past when we originally started our podcast. So we’re excited to see that grow as well. And if you have any questions, just DMS, I love responding to you guys. We love talking with you and just getting your ideas and hearing what you like about our show. So hit us up.
2 (40m 12s):
All right, squadies. Thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week. Keep the adventures going with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube, a Travel Squad Podcast, and tag us in your adventures. We want to see where you’re going to,
3 (40m 24s):
If you found the information, this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,
1 (40m 37s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.
3 (40m 43s):