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Grab a van in San Fran and hit the road


San Fran is a wonderful place to visit. It’s an even better destination to hire a campervan and head out for a day trip to one of these hotspots.

Santa Cruz
With 46 kilometres of stunning coastline, Santa Cruz Country is the place to be if you want to experience some of California’s greatest beaches. Just under two hours from San Fran you can go surfing, play some beach volleyball, or just simply kick back and relax in the sun. There are also plenty of great beachside cafes and restaurants.

Big Sur (pictured)
Keep driving a bit further, for about another hour, and you’ll come to the tiny seaside town of Big Sur. This particular road trip is all about the journey. Highway 1 winds along the rugged coastline, offering spectacular views of cliffs towering over the ocean for as far as you can see.

Lake Tahoe
Just a four hours’ drive inland from San Francisco is the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It’s where California and Nevada meet. The large freshwater lake offers stunning scenery of beaches, pristine water and snow-capped mountains in the background. Some of the popular activities here include canoeing and fishing.

Yosemite National Park
The views of grand mountains, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls have made Yosemite National Park one of the most popular adventure playgrounds for thrill-seekers from across the world. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore. Rock climbing, camping and bird watching are other popular activities here.

Anderson Valley

Head north to Anderson Valley for incredible scenery of green rolling hills. It’s also the perfect destination if you’re looking for an authentic wine-tasting experience. The valley is known for its Pinot Noir, and some of the best places to stop include Goldeneye Lula Cellars and Phillips Hill. The best thing about Anderson Valley is you won’t find as many tourists as Napa and Sonoma.

Gold Country
Journey to the heart of California’s Gold Country. Drive two and a half hours northeast of San Fran and you’ll find the historic town of Grass Valley. Base yourself here to explore nearby attractions such as the Empire Mine State Historic Park. There, you can discover the history of the state’s once-richest gold mine.

Drive about two hours south of San Francisco off Highway 101 to explore California’s newest national park. The Pinnacles is heaven for any adventure-seeker. It has several hikes, including the High Peaks Trail, which offer panoramic views of rock formations and vast grasslands. There are also ancient caves waiting to be explored.

Half Moon Bay
Just under an hour from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a convenient and leisurely drive. Locals say it’s the perfect place to be if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Browse some local shops or art galleries, or perhaps ride a horse on the beach as part of a guided tour. Whatever you choose to do, it should be relaxing.


Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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