Day trips from Corte Madera to San Francisco and Berkeley are easy. The two cities are around the same distance from the small town on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay. Each have a lot to offer the Corte Madera resident or visitor, and with their close proximity, you can visit often and for a day at a time.
San Francisco is a historical city that offers a rich culture, fantastic shopping opportunities, a multitude of museums, delicious cuisine and some of the country’s most-famous sites. These day trips are suitable for adults traveling alone and for entire families since many of the attractions are kid-friendly, from Alcatraz and Angel Island to Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown.
One suggestion is to hit up Fisherman’s Wharf for a tasty sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder. Then you can hike up the 284 wooden steps to Coit Tower, which provides a stunning panoramic view of the entire city. Not looking to burn off the calories of your entire meal? Take the trolley to Grace Cathedral at 1100 California Street. This cathedral is the largest Episcopal cathedral in the nation and is a fine example of gothic-style architecture.
Other landmarks worth seeing include Pier 29, Fort Point and Lombard Street. However, the Scenic 49 Mile Drive around the city is your best bet for seeing the entire city in one day.
You’ll pass Fisherman’s Wharf, downtown San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, San Francisco Mission Church, Carmel Beach and Dolores Park on this drive. If you’re alone or with older kids, the Legion of Honor Museum, at 34th Ave and Clement St. in Lincoln Park, features European art pieces worth seeing. In addition, the Palace of Fine Arts at 3601 Lyon Street is a beautiful site, especially lit up at night. The Exploratorium nearby is also beautiful.
For a show, attend one at the Marrakech Magic Theater at 419 O’Farrell Street. Offering classic magic shows with Magician Peter Morrison and comedic shows as well, this theater is a fun time with appetizers, an intimate setting and 75-minutes of dazzling tricks that will make you believe magic is real. The Beach Blanket Babylon show at 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard is the “World’s Longest Running Musical Revue” and a terrific show. Seen by 5.5 million people, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, the Cabaret-style show is smart, funny and extravagant.
Berkeley is another great spot for a day trip. Across the bay, by way of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, this city is only 18 miles away from Corte Madera and full of things to do. From the University of California, Berkeley’s beautiful campus and art museum, the Campanile based on St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and Berkeley Marina to the Berkeley Rose Garden, the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the 4th Street Shopping District, this beautiful city on the bay will stun you with its culture and fun activities. Whether you are toting little ones or escaping to the city with friends, Berkeley offers great art and culture, as San Francisco has, but its venues are unique to this city.