Highway 1, Giant Redwoods, Sausalito and Coastline
9 Hours | Round-Trip Transportation
Entrance Fees | Coastal Drive
Small groups. Giant trees. Gorgeous Coast.
When you’re visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, you don’t have to go far outside the city to experience some of Northern California’s most unique landscapes — giant redwoods, a stunning coastline, and beach towns off Highway 1 — in just one day. Enjoy a guided drive along the famed Highway 1 coast to see for yourself what makes this part of Northern California so iconic.
About this Redwoods and Coastline Tour
This tour is all about the drive along scenic Highway 1, dotted with uniquely Northern California beach towns and sandy bluffs.
The day starts with a relaxing walk through some of the most unique redwood forests in the world: Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve*, the perfect spot for those who want to experience the majesty of Northern California redwood trees. After a relaxing 1.5 hours to get out and walk through the redwood forest in Guerneville, we pick up lunch, and if the weather is nice, take it to the beach for a picnic.
On our way back toward San Francisco in the early afternoon, expect to pass through places like Bodega Bay where you get to see an iconic filming location of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic thriller, The Birds.
Before heading back into San Francisco, stop for free time in the coastal villa of Sausalito, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
|7:30 – 8:15 am||Pickup from your San Francisco hotel in most downtown and waterfront areas including Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Lombard, among others.|
|8:30 am||Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoying views of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sausalito, and Marin County on the 1-hour drive to Sonoma County.|
|9:30 am||Arrive at Armstrong Woods, with included admission. The well-paved trails make it easy for people to meander through this Northern California redwood grove.|
Your guide will give you the backstory of the park’s founder Colonel James Armstrong and his conservation efforts dating back to the 1870s. Trail enthusiasts can enjoy free time to explore parts of the 9.2-mile network for pathways that lead to an amphitheater, moderate hikes, and more.
|11:00 – 12:00 pm||Depending on the weather, expect a stop for lunch in Guerneville or a picnic at the beach. Afterward, sit back and relax as you enjoy the ride along the winding 2-lane highways of Sonoma County en route back to Highway 1.|
|12:30 – 3:30 pm|
Throughout the afternoon, expect stops in towns such as Bodega Bay to where Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds was filmed, or explore vantage points that yield views of rolling hills, farmlands, and the beach.
Before heading back to San Francisco, stop in one of the Bay Area’s most quaint towns: Sausalito. You’ll have about an hour to enjoy shopping and walking around the main drag’s art galleries. It’s also the picture-perfect spot with backdrops like San Francisco’s cityscape, and colorful houseboats and sailboats in the Sausalito Marina.
|4:30 pm||Start return to San Francisco with a wonderful stop in the Marin headlands for photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.|
|6:00 pm||Arrive in San Francisco back at your hotel.|
* In the event that we cannot go to the Armstrong redwoods, we will go to the iconic Muir Woods National Monument. On those days, we leave earlier in the morning to ensure that our guests enjoy the 1500-year-old forest without the crowds.
Please note: Tour times are approximate
What you can expect with Best Bay Area Tours
You get to learn more: From the time of morning pickup at your San Francisco hotel to drop off in the late afternoon, your guide shares anecdotes and history about the places you get to visit on this full-day experience.
You’ll be entertained: What’s the point of doing a tour if you can’t have fun? Every aspect of your tour has been carefully thought out so you get the most out of your visit to the Bay Area.
You get a truly local experience: Best Bay Area Tours is owned and operated by San Francisco locals. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know all the beauty and bounty of the region.
How long does it take to get from San Francisco to the redwoods?
The Redwoods stretch from Monterey to the Oregon border. After years of clear-cutting they grow primarily in preserved parks such as Muir Woods (25 minutes from SF), Big Basin (2 hours) and Armstrong Woods (1 hour). In these majestic forests, you will find some of the oldest redwoods in the world, with some dating back as far as the Middle Ages.
How strenuous is the walking on this tour of the California redwoods?
At Best Bay Area Tours, we try to make sure all of our passengers can get the full experience of the Giant Redwoods, so remember to wear comfortable walking shoes for the one-mile trail that is flat and wheelchair accessible.
Are there bathrooms on the bus?
We do not have bathrooms on our buses but we can make a stop on the drive, which shouldn’t be more than 1.5 hours one way.
What should I bring to the Northern California redwoods?
On a tour of the redwoods from San Francisco, expect to be picked up from most San Francisco hotels. Please do not bring lunch, we will take you to one of our favorite spots for sandwiches in Guerneville.
Does this tour go to Armstrong Woods or Muir Woods?
Weather advisories, Covid guidelines, and changes to air quality can affect which of the redwoods groves we visit. Typically, this tour is intended to go to Armstrong Redwood State Park, which is a less crowded and just as magnificent attraction as Muir Woods. In the event that Armstrong is closed to forest restoration following certain weather events, we will go to Muir Woods. This itinerary is planned to arrive early at Muir Woods before the crowds to enjoy giant, ancient redwoods.
What’s the difference between Armstrong Redwoods and Muir Woods?
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is an impressive and lesser-known alternative to Muir Woods, where you’ll still get millennia-old redwoods stretching from the canopy floor to the sky. The state park was established in 1908, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places one hundred years later in 2008.
How is this San Francisco redwoods tour unique?
This tour is meant to take you off-the-beaten path to experience Sonoma County and its surroundings including Armstrong Redwoods, the Russian River Valley, and towns such as Guerneville and Bodega Bay. This tour is designed for the outdoor lover who wants to take a relaxing drive along the Pacific Coast with stops to get out and enjoy the surroundings.
Is this California Redwoods Tour wheelchair accessible?
For people who would like to use a collapsible wheelchair, we are more than happy to accommodate that. Just let us know at the time of booking. Every stop on our visit, including the Armstrong Redwoods, features flat walking paths that are well maintained.
Are masks or vaccinations necessary?
We have been following the CDC gudielines during this time for Covid19 safety. Abiding by the current policy our requirements are as follows:
Masks are required for people who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people may choose to wear a mask at their discretion.
Additionally, we are not screening for proof of vaccine.
|Adults||Children (under 12)|
*Price includes all park entrance fees (unlike other tour companies).
Always Small Groups
We don’t do big bus tours. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know
the Bay Area and its surrounding region.
Check out our other tours.
Redwoods and Coastline Reviews
The redwoods and wine country tour was perfect. Phil picked us up from hotel right on time, early actually. Taken straight to golden gate photo op which was perfect, 2 other cars in parking lot, fabulous photo…
opportunity. Decent ride, about an hour to Armstrong woods = AMAZING. Quiet, beautiful, awe inspiring — everything you have ever imagined a redwood forest should be. Spent around an hour or more wondering around and enjoying the forest. Then of to the wineries, about a 15 minute drive to the 1st winery — Small, quaint, authentic, enjoyable. Second winery was little bigger, some very nice wines, bought some to take home. Final winery was more mainstream, beautiful tasting room, a few extra samples on the house/ This tour is worth every penny. What made it priceless was Phil our guide/driver. Phil loves his job and it shows. Very informative, keeps things moving, great tunes and jokes. Definitely want to try the other tours offered.
Brian was AWESOME! His knowledge of the history of the area was great. Some great stories and never a dull moment. His ability to read the room and engage when needed was really a compliment to his obvious love for the area…
I recommend his tour for anyone looking to go off the beaten bath for a great pic…which he will take for you if needed. Just a great guy and tour without being on top of you. Great experience. Thank you Brian!!
I cannot say enough good things about this company!!! They were amazing to work with! We were actually scheduled the week that California shut down, and their tour guide was extremely helpful! The coast and redwoods were…
amazing to see!
This company takes customer service to the next level, and is never too busy to answer questions. I can’t wait to visit the area again for this tour! 5 stars!