You don’t have to leave the States to find a little slice of paradise. Located off the southern coast of Florida, the Florida Keys are a string of islands brimming with indigenous flora and colorful marine life, serving as a tropical vacation destination not too far from home. Explore the Upper Keys to minimize drive time and maximize the amount of time you spend soaking up the sun.
the United States Travel Insights
The San Francisco Bay Area might be best known for its urban sprawl and technology industry, but it also features amazing natural beauty and countless charming destinations across its many microclimates. You just need to know where to look. This list will help you uncover and experience the best Bay Area day trips with detailed suggestions on where to stop, what to do, and where to eat.
The drive to Pinnacles National Park from San Jose (less than 2 hours) is worth its weight in gold. The drive itself isn't anything special, but the destination makes up for that, and then some. The rock pinnacles that give this park its name are truly spectacular, and hiking on the trails that wind along and between these sheer rocks is an unforgettable experience.
The stretch of coast between Santa Cruz and Pacifica (known to locals as the Slow Coast) is packed with amazing views, charming small towns, and beautiful beaches, yet despite its proximity to San Francisco is much less crowded than Big Sur and other famous sections of California's dramatic coastline. The adjacent Santa Cruz Mountains also contain a number of fun diversions for outdoor lovers, allowing for the creation of a jam-packed day trip loop.
Just over an hour from the South Bay, the cypress trees and cool ocean breezes of the Monterey Peninsula feel a world away. Here's how to make the most of a day trip to this scenic stretch of coast.
Bring the whole family to two of the most fun and scenic spots in the East Bay: Mt. Diablo State Park and Tilden Regional Park, wrapping up with a delicious (yet kid-friendly) local favorite restaurant for dinner.
Forget the wineries in Napa or Sonoma: for those that live in the South Bay, the Santa Cruz mountain wine region is much closer and gives its better-known cousins to the north a run for their money. With its mountainous terrain and marine influences, the Santa Cruz Mountains offer ideal soil and growing conditions for world-class distinctive wines.
Dillon Beach is a quirky beach town about 60 miles north of San Francisco, worth visiting for its coastal small town vibe (think baby cousin of Santa Cruz, with less tie dye), nice beach and great views of the tip of the Point Reyes peninsula.
Across the Golden Gate Bridge to the north of San Francisco you'll find beautiful and rugged nature in Marin County. In a whirlwind of a day, you'll visit Mt Tamalpais ("Mt Tam") with sweeping views of San Franscisco, the white sand at relaxed Stinson Beach, and the towering redwoods at Muir Woods.
Today your destination is Point Reyes National Seashore, located about 1.5 hrs north of San Francisco. We selected the best spots in this large geographic area to give you an immersive experience in just one day.
About 60 miles (1 hours and 10 minutes driving time) south of San Jose you'll find an under-appreciated gem of Californian history and natural beauty, Fremont Peak. This peak, formerly Mexican territory, was named after General John C. Frémont after he raised an American flag there in 1846 in defiance of the local Mexican authorities.
This day trip covers approximately 60 miles of scenic, windy roads and leads you to charming small towns, impressive redwoods and Pacific beaches. You’ll also pass through many of the Bay Area's micro climates and see diverse vegetation. Total driving time is a little over 2 hours, but plan for half a day to a full day in order to relax and enjoy the various stops along the way.
The adventurous route will take you around the jagged peaks of the Chugach Mountains and across the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, into some of Alaska's most scenic and less touristy areas. It bypasses the Denali area, thus allowing for shorter drives and ample time for activities ranging from hiking to dog sledding.
There may not be that many roads in Alaska, but the ones that run through the south-central region are spectacular. Spend almost two weeks driving from North America's tallest peak to the icy fjords of the Alaskan coast, from the immense glaciers of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park to the bear habitats on the southwest coast. Go glacier hiking, sea kayaking, and jet boat cruising through these expansive natural landscapes.
Spend two weeks exploring both the deep fjords and fishing towns of southeast Alaska along with the natural parks and scenic drives of the south-central region. Go bear viewing, glacier hiking, sea kayaking and more, as you see some of the highest peaks in North America along with wildlife, glaciers, and stretches of true wilderness.
Explore southeastern California's Mojave Desert by bike and experience its arid desert landscapes. You'll ride through Joshua Tree National Park, the Anza-Borrego Desert, and Yaqui Pass, rewarding yourself with breathtaking views of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains, and the Yucca Valley.
Experience Northern California's wine country and the Pacific coast on this six-day cycling itinerary of Sonoma County. Ride through world-class vineyards, redwood forests, and along the captivating California coast.
Hike and bike your way through southern Utah's national parks, including Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Snow Canyon. You'll cycle through barren landscapes, past unique multi-hued rock formations, switching gears to experience the scenery up close by foot.
Explore the diverse sights of Death Valley National Park in the company of an expert guide with this active and educational week in the desert. In addition to visiting the park's canyons and viewpoints, you’ll learn about the area's geology and remarkably hardy flora and fauna. After each day’s exploration, take advantage of Death Valley's designation as an "International Dark Sky Park" with some of the world's best conditions for stargazing.
This six-day biking itinerary is perfect for any adventurous cyclist looking to experience California's Big Sur coastline. You will start in Monterey, cycle the 17-Mile Drive, and continue south along the Pacific Coast Highway before turning inland through wine country to Paso Robles.
Nature lovers will enjoy this wintery seven-day itinerary exploring Yellowstone's National Park. Start in Bozeman, Montana and work your way through Yellowstone, stopping to explore its natural wonders and wildlife. You will hike, snowshoe, relax in hot springs, and marvel at nature's snow-covered allure.
Enjoy two of the many sides of Alaska on this eight-day wilderness itinerary. You will explore the forests, rivers, and snow-capped mountains of Denali National Park and the fjords of Kenai Peninsula. Spot wildlife, kayak amid ancient glaciers, and trek into the heart of the Denali wilds.
Discover the highlights of Utah and southwestern Colorado's National Parks and Monuments on this eight-day itinerary. Perfectly combining natural landscapes with cultural histories, you will hike and drive from Mesa Verde to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon, ending in Zion National Park.
Start in Rocky Mountain National Park to see alpine lakes and towering peaks, then continue to Colorado National Monument to see red rock canyons and the ancestral land of the Ute people. Stop in Gunnison National Park to see the 2,000 ft deep sheer walls of the Black Canyon, then head to Great Sand Dunes National Park to climb 700+ ft tall sand dunes.