questionswhat should i be sure to do on a quick trip to…

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Morro bay. http://www.morrobay.org/

Redwoods (different from Yosemite)

Chinatown (my favorite, of any city I've been in)

If you have time, go see the painted ladies (ask for directions at your hotel). These are houses, not people...

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If you have time for a mini road trip, take the highway through the Sierra Nevada Mts, stop at the Donner Pass memorial (big statue and what's left of the Donner Party site) and head on into Reno or cut through and visit western (California side) of Lake Tahoe. It always took me 4 hrs from SF to Reno (did get a speeding ticket once, so maybe your GPS will be a better judge).

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Oh, and if you are geeks and LOVE science, go to the Exploratorium. I went into science overload. http://www.exploratorium.edu/
They are the museum that launched Pi Day :)

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Have an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe (near Ghiradelli Square), where it first originated.

Stop at the Ferry Building along Embarcadero the end of Market Street. Hang out at Wine Merchant for a drink and eat a burger at Prather Ranch's American Eatery. Check out the other shops in there.

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@mellielou: +1 for Donner Pass. Truckee FTW!
also I'll second the monterey area (monterey, carmel & big sur). Just driving up hwy 1 in general is pretty amazing.

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@wilcononomous: ...and yes, I got the "Donner's Party Mix" Woot! shirt. Funny how some people don't get it. "Serving your fellow man -- est 1846"

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Well, I would assume you guys have seen the Golden Gate bridge already.

+1 on Lake Tahoe and Redwoods. Definitely something I'd have on a bucket list to see (if you've been living in the city like me for a lifetime).

You can try some themeparks like Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (for bigger kids), Gilroy Gardens (small kids) and Paramount's Great America (between small and big kids).

Also try Japan town as well. It's a fairly large centre kind of like china town.

Have you guys tried out Lombard Street yet? Those are always fun.

Golden Gate Park is a pretty cool place too (you can go boating there) for the views.

Thee are other things to do like the 49 mile drive which basically takes you around all the landmarks in San Francisco but you'll probably be interested in twin peaks for the view (if its not foggy right now).

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Good answers on here so far, if you go south to Monterey for the aquarium, you can also do the 17 mile drive, takes you through private roads, along the beach, past Pebble Beach Golf course as well as a few others, tons of scenic views.
SF Zoo is pretty good, but a zoo is a zoo for the most part.
Golden Gate park has a few Buffalo hidden, kind of peculiar.
Love Garlic? Head to Gilroy.
Want to see a natural black sand beach? Shelter Cove (long drive north though)
You're a little early for Elephant Seal season at Ano Nuevo, but always a possibility.
Also a little late for Great White Sharks off of the Farallones, but you can always go on a whale watching boat and may see a shark.
Santa Cruz for a small surf town, has the Boardwalk on the beach and a pier (touristy but much smaller then SF)
A good drive, but Tahoe is of course an awesome place to see and be outside.
If you're headed to Napa, next door is Calistoga, with a handful of natural hot springs.

And nice weather too!

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Have some fries at Frijtz.

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Sometimes the best excursions and sightseeing opportunities may be unplanned detours along the way (e.g., a local festival, antique shop, street market, etc.).

Have a safe trip!

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Oooh! Great ideas! Let's see what I can already check off:

@mistamoose: We had breakfast at Buena Vista yesterday. I had the Irish Coffee andCcrabcakes Benedict. I'm not usually an Irish Coffee fan (considering it a waste of good coffee), but theirs was pretty darn good! The best part of the breakfast was sharing a table with strangers. Great conversations!

@joshobra, @wilcononomous and @mellielou: LOVE Tahoe! We've been there a couple of times, most recently last March when we took the kids! The first time I stood above Emerald Bay and looked out I told DH that all I could think was "Good job, God!" Oh, and we are heading to Yosemite in a couple of days so I mentioned Donner Pass to DH. He asked if the memorial was a barbecue pit.

We're heading out shortly to drive across the Golden Gate to wine country. I'm actually more interested in the drive and in seeing the area than in tasting the wines. You've all given us some terrific ideas! I think I need to stay here longer!

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Have you visited Hearst Castle? There are several different tours and we've done all of them except the evening tour:

http://www.hearstcastle.org/

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Another vote for Hearst Castle and I would like to add that driving down PCH through Big Sur is breathtaking.

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In -N -Out Burgers. Once in a lifetime experience.

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Sequoia & King's Canyon National Parks. They have some BEAUTIFUL redwoods there and some great trails! Check it out: http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

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If you decide to go to Monterey, consider taking highway 1 along the coast. It might take a little longer, but it's beautiful!
If you like beer I highly recommend Beer Revolution in Oakland! It's got ~30 beers on tap, and three fridges full of bottled beer in the back. If you want to try some quality spirits, I suggest going to St. George's distillery in Alameda and going for the tour and a tasting (in that order)! They make Hangar One Vodka, and some of the best spirits you'll ever taste. You won't regret it.
While you're in San Francisco I'd recommend Ritual Roaster's Coffee. Their drip coffee is unique. A little...sour? but not over roasted, and with hints of hazelnut!
And like @miquinn said, feel free to contact me for some ice cream (or beer)!

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Also, if you're short on fun and cheap things to do and need to waste time, get a flavor for how much random stuff their is to do in SF: http://sf.funcheap.com/
Darn, @mellielou beat me to the Exploratorium recommendation.

I hope some of these recommendations fit your tastes! Let me know if you're looking for something else.

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Jelly Belly factory tour.

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Whew! I'm needing another vacation to recover from THIS one! Muir Woods and Sonoma yesterday. For all of you wine.woot addicts, how many wines can you sample before your palate goes on overload? I lost count, but on the drive back I could only think of one word: TANNINS!! Should have stuck to the whites. Ravenswood tastings were my favorite, but the Benziger tour was fascinating. Muir Woods were GLORIOUS!! Wish I could bottle that smell!!

Today we are doing Alcatraz, then heading toward Yosemite for a few days. Thanks for all of the suggestions. My list is growing!