San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities in the world for many things, including five-star dining, a happening theater scene, and its home to the GLBT History Museum. And, beyond the fifty-square-mile city, in the surrounding Bay Area, there’s so much more to explore, including Silicon Valley’s innovations, the Napa Valley’s vineyards, and Berkeley’s free spirit.

San Francisco is definitely the hub of nightlife in the Bay area. Across the bay, Oakland is home to several famous live music venues. If you prefer lower-key entertainment options, head to San Jose and other downtown districts throughout the Bay Area.

San Francisco’s Union Square is full of department stores, and almost every retail chain you can think of, and it’s not all the city has to offer. Antiques, art, and unique boutiques are in other neighborhoods as well. Head east to Walnut Creek to find many of the same retailers with fewer people and more parking. Silicon Valley’s Santana Row and Stanford Shopping Center are two other favorites as are the many downtown retail districts throughout the Bay area.

Many luxury hotels in San Francisco feature full-service spas, plus there are many independent spas that offer unique treatments. Most Silicon Valley spas can be found near major shopping centers. While wine country is home to the most destination spas that offer mineral waters, mud baths, and volcanic ash therapies, in addition to regional-themed grape seed scrubs.

The Bay Area beaches stretch from the north-reach peninsula of the Point Reyes National Seashore to the famed big-break surf beaches just south of Santa Cruz. In between are beach towns, national recreation areas, and the urban beaches of San Francisco. There are plenty of hiking trails and places to catch a glimpse of sea lions, pelicans, and other wildlife.

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