5 can't-miss attractions near San Francisco

Northern California is one of the most beautiful regions in the United States. The geography of the area allows for temperate weather, and there are plenty of lakes, valleys and forests to explore. Homes for sale in the Bay Area are within a short drive of the best of these attractions, so if you feel like getting away for a weekend, check out some of the following natural wonders.

Napa Valley
Everyone who has visited or even heard of San Francisco knows of the fabled wine country that lies just about 50 miles to the north of the city center. Rolling hills and green fields are a staple of Napa, and people flock here to sample local wines and new brews. A wine tasting is a great way start off a relaxing day, and many different vacation packages are available based on price range and the quality of the wine.

Highway 1 Coastline
If you don't have a particular destination in mind but would like to peruse on your own pace, rent a car and take a drive south down the winding Highway 1. This road hugs the coast and crawls pasts plenty of lighthouses, cliffs and small coastal towns. And since these attractions are so close to San Francisco, you can easily make it back on a Sunday evening.

Muir Woods
Muir Woods is a part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and is mostly known for its awe-inspiring California redwoods, which range from 400 to 800 years old and grow as high as 250 feet. The park charges a $7 dollar admission for visitors over the age of 16 and offers a café and gift shop on premises, along with the Visitors’ Center, which often hosts special exhibits and events throughout the year.

Half Moon Bay
This coastal park has been a favorite of San Franciscans for years. Located just 35 minutes south of the city, it is comprised of four main areas: the North Coast, Half Moon Bay, the South Coast and the Redwood Region. Don’t feel like you have to see it all in one visit, though. There’s enough at this beautiful Pacific park to fill your agenda for several visits. You’ll find lots of lodging, dining and activities to participate in, so check out the special events while planning your trip so you can make the most of it.

Lake Tahoe
While much farther away than the previous four attractions (189 miles), Lake Tahoe is well worth the drive. In the winter, ski down expansive trails at Squaw Valley and snowshoe around the lake area. In the summer, enjoy the hiking and trails of the surrounding Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests. Be sure to book your trips in advance, however - this is one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States.