Living in London it's not often you get to drive on the open road. Well, on a recent trip to Northern California, starting in San Francisco I got to do just that. After spending a few days in San Francisco with the girlfriend we rented a car and took 80 East towards Lake Tahoe which is one of the most gorgeous drives I've ever done. And when your destination is Lake Tahoe you really can't get a better package. Spending some time in Lake Tahoe, and a few nights camping was great. But we were soon on our way again down to Yosemite NP. Another breathtaking location in Nor Cal which is full of wildlife and picturesque views. Yosemite Valley is an obvious highlight. We were happy to get back to San Fran, it was a long 10 days. San Francisco remains one of my favourite cities - absolutely beautiful, even if the weather can be a bit odd sometimes!
A fantastic view of San Francisco, along with all the bridges, down to the Dumbarton, as well as much of the entire Bay Area, can be had from the top of the Oakland Hills, on the opposite side of the Bay.
You'll need a car, for this, and it's a bit out of the way, but, to get there, go east, across the Bay Bridge, and follow the signs for Highway 24. Continue about 5 miles, up and through the Caldecott Tunnel; then, take the first possible exit, get back on the freeway going west, and immediately take the exit for "Fish Ranch Road". Go to the end of the ramp, and turn rignt; then, go up to the first stop sign (four way stop), turn left, and drive about 1/4 of a mile. The road will bend to the left, and you'll find yourself looking down on one of the most stunning views of the San Francisco Bay Area you'll likely encounter outside of an aircraft. At sunset it's simply gorgeous!
When you're ready to leave, just follow the road down; and, when faced with a stop sign, always turn downhill (mostly right, but there's a left at the bottom, just before you're returned to the Highway 24). Once you reach 24, just follow the signs back to the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco. You might also stop at Yerba Buena/Treasure Island for a more close up view of the skyline.
Top of the Oakland Hills on Tunnel Road.
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