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Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Caroline from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania asked

Best things to see between San Francisco and Petaluma

I am traveling from my family to Petaluma and we are staying in San Francisco and then Petaluma. What should we make sure to see between the two? Kids are 14 and under.

San Francisco (California)

6 Answers
answered by
Jeanne from Sonoma

Hi Caroline- There is SO much between San Francisco and Petaluma.  Here are a few:

Marin Headlands-

Stinson Beach- spectacular windy road over the mountain to get to the beach.

Mount Tamalpais- spectacular windy road to get to the top of the mountain and stunning views

Sausalito- a charming town right on the Bay looking back at SF

Tiburon- a charming town right on the Bay looking back at SF- just a bit further down hwy 101

These are all in Marin County, which extends from the Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma County, which is where Petaluma is.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)
  2. Petaluma (city)
  3. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  4. Stinson Beach (city)
  5. Mount Tamalpais (attraction)
  6. Sausalito (city)
  7. Tiburon (city)
  8. Marin County (region)
  9. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  10. Sonoma County (region)
  11. Petaluma (city)
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answered by
Michele from Southern California

In San Francisco, they would probably enjoy the Exploratorium.  There are plenty of good places to eat there, including the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.  The map is not loading the location correctly. The Exploratorium is walking distance from the Ferry Building.  They might also enjoy the Steinhart AquariumCalifornia Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  Try eating at nearby Nopalito.

There is great hiking around Sausalito around Fort Baker.  You can grab sandwiches at Golden Gate Market or eat at Cavallo Point.  A fun place to eat is Fish. if you like sea food.  The food is fantastic & it's not too touristy.

There are great hikes in Muir Woods National Monument.

Enjoy your trip!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Exploratorium (attraction)
  2. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (attraction)
  3. Steinhart Aquarium (attraction)
  4. California Academy of Sciences (attraction)
  5. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  6. Nopalito (restaurant)
  7. Sausalito (city)
  8. Golden Gate Market (attraction)
  9. Cavallo Point (hotel)
  10. Fish. (restaurant)
  11. Muir Woods National Monument (attraction)
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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  2. Presidio (neighborhood)
  3. TWiT, LLC (attraction)
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answered by
Andy from San Francisco

There are too many things to do in SF so I'll just focus on the things you can do North of the city. 

Once you're over the Golden Gate Bridge, try to stop by the town of Sausalito. There are some great restaurants with amazing views of the bay. One highly recommended place is Fish.In Sausalito you can also go kayaking or paddle boarding in the bay. Try the Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center

If you go to the Ocean side North of the city, you can hit Muir Beach and the Pelican Inn. Both are great places to spend a few hours enjoying the beach and Muir woods. 

My favorite spot in Petaluma is Lagunitas Brewing Company. It is a great outdoor space to have lunch and enjoy the nice weather. There's live music on certain days. There is space for kids to run around so it's also good for kids. 

There is also the Petaluma Creamery which has a great selection of cheeses and ice creams. It's a great pitstop on a warm day. 

About 20 minutes North of Petaluma there is the town of Santa Rosa (California). The town center is a nice place to spend an afternoon browsing galleries or shopping. You can also find the Russian River Brewing Company there. They have an amazing selection of award winning beers and pretty decent food as well. 

And if you're in the mood for more food, there is Thai House. The atmosphere there is very nice and the food is superb. 

Hope you enjoy your trip!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  2. Sausalito (city)
  3. Fish. (restaurant)
  4. Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center (attraction)
  5. Muir Beach (city)
  6. Pelican Inn (hotel)
  7. Lagunitas Brewing Company (attraction)
  8. Petaluma Creamery (attraction)
  9. Santa Rosa (California) (city)
  10. Russian River Brewing Company (restaurant)
  11. Thai House (restaurant)
answered by
Andrea from Truckee, California

Here are my favorites: 

1. Giant redwoods Muir Woods Visitor Center

2. Stinson Beach

3. Golden Gate Bridge

4. Alcatraz

5. Forbes Island (Don't tell your kids what's happening! The looks on their faces will be priceless as you go up to an unmarked phone, get onto a shuttle boat, and ride out to the bay for dinner at a underwater restaurant).

6. Chinese brunch - Dim Sum at Yank Sing

7. Planetarium in Golden Gate Park 

8. Shollenberger Park

9. Charles M Schulz Museum

10. Marin Headlands


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Muir Woods Visitor Center (attraction)
  2. Stinson Beach (city)
  3. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  4. Alcatraz (attraction)
  5. Forbes Island (restaurant)
  6. Yank Sing (restaurant)
  7. Planetarium (attraction)
  8. Shollenberger Park (attraction)
  9. Charles M Schulz Museum (attraction)
  10. Marin Headlands (attraction)
answered by
Liz from Austin (Texas)

Check out Bay Model Visitor Center .  Its a large scale model of the bay.  The US Corp of Army Engineers use this to build replicas of proposed docks or piers to determine how it will affect the water flow.

And best of all - its free!

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