The Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area encompasses a bonanza of natural vistas and wildlife. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County and visit wizened ancient redwoods body-blocking the sun, and herds of elegant tule elk prancing along the bluffs of Tomales Bay. Gray whales show some fluke off the cape of the wind-scoured Point Reyes peninsula, while hawks surf the skies in the shaggy hills of the Marin Headlands.

On the cutting edge of intellectual thought, Stanford University – near the tech powerhouse of Silicon Valley and the University of California, Berkeley – draws academics and students from around the world. The city of Berkeley sparked the state's locavore food movement and continues to be at the forefront of environmental and left-leaning political causes. South of San Francisco, Hwy 1 traces miles of undeveloped coastline and sandy pocket beaches as it slowly winds south to Santa Cruz.

Explore The Bay Area

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Bay Area.

Featured videos

The best US cities to explore with your dog

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Guidebooks

Learn more about The Bay Area

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Coastal California