Unique Day Trips in San Francisco

San Francisco has a lot to offer to both tourists and locals. Take a ride on a cable car, be awe inspired by the ingenuity of the Golden Gate Bridge, eat a noodle bowl in Chinatown- there are so many places to explore and experience. These sites attract thousands every year, but they may not be the type of memories everyone is looking for. Are you a resident of San Francisco who wants to find something new to do for the weekend? Or perhaps you are planning a trip to the Golden Gate city and want to skip the typical tourist attraction? No matter the reason, the following two day trips are sure to make your time a little more memorable.

Wine Barrels - Photo by Jon Starbuck

Do you like to stay active? Are you likely to be found sipping wine at home with friends a couple nights a week? If the answer is yes to one or both of these questions, consider taking a bicycle tour of Napa Valley. With Gears and Grapes Getaways, you can combine your love of wine with your athletic skill as you spend the day exploring vineyards and sampling their offerings. This company is unlike any other business in the tour guide industry.

First, the guides are experienced with both the area and the wine. Not only will they guide you to the different locations on the itinerary, they will be able to give you some background information about the city and vineyards as well. The guides are also experienced cyclists and welcome tourists of all fitness levels, from expert bikers to couch potatoes. The speed and tour can be adjusted to fit your physical condition. There is even a support vehicle that travels with the bikes so that anyone who would rather be chauffeured around can still be a part of the trip.

These tours will definitely take you off the beaten path to little known wineries. While the locations you visit may not be the most popular wineries, you can be sure they will still offer some of the best wine from the area. You may even get a peek at what goes on behind the scenes during the wine making process. These vineyards are not only chosen for their fantastic wine, but also their sustainability. Bicycle - Photo by Shig ISOGears and Grapes Getaways is very passionate about being Green. One of these all inclusive trips would be great for anyone who thinks taking care of our home planet is a necessity. The usual price for one of these tours is $269, but you can often find great deals online, such as 50% off the normal price.

If bicycles or alcohol are not your cup of tea, or if you simply want something that is more family friendly, consider spending the day exploring the Conservatory of Flowers’ newest exhibit- Wicked Plants: Botanical Rogues and Assassins. Based on the bestselling book by Amy Stewart, this garden display allows guests to get up close and personal with various poisonous and dangerous plants, some of which caused the death of well known people throughout history, such as Socrates and Abraham Lincoln’s mother. The plants featured in this collection are not only poisonous; some can strangle animals and others can cause paralysis or permanent derangement.

The exhibit was created to look like an unkempt garden one would have found during Victorian times, complete with an old house that has clearly seen better days. One look through the window gives guests a dramatic background story: a man, who is obviously dead, is seen sitting at the table with a cup still grasped in his hand while a woman escapes through a back entrance. The garden is filled with lovely flowers, bright berries, and green leaves. While these plants are undeniably beautiful, do not be tempted. Their names often offer clear warning of the dangers they hide beneath their attractive appearance, such as deadly nightshade and poison hemlock.
Deadly Nightshade - Photo by Rosada Prada
With over 30 different plants, you can spend the day learning which plants you should avoid in the future. Not all of these plants will be weird and unknown to you; many can be found in yards throughout the country. Along with the plants, excerpts from the book are placed on signs around the garden to give guests interesting facts and past victims of these devious botanical killers. Admission is $7 per person. If you browse the internet, you may find some coupons for a discounted entry fee.

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About the author: Amber Watkins

Amber Watkins always knew she wanted to be a writer. After revealing her first novel at the tender age of seven, a fantasy story all of ten pages long, she was confident she had the skill and determination to reach her goal. Over the years she dabbled in various genres, pausing for almost ten years on poetry. Once her teenage angst had passed, she moved on to article writing so she could actually support herself and her family. Now she focuses on honing her craft as she takes on new challenges.

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