San Francisco to San Jose Road Trip Guide


A day trip along the coast from San Francisco to San Jose is an ideal way for a couple to take in a completely different environment from the cable cars, trams, and traffic that you might experience in San Francisco. You will be surprised at how one day away can refresh your love for adventure and rejuvenate your passion for life. They might say that change is as good as a holiday. Well, this trip is going to demonstrate that change doesn’t need to take a long time in order to bring its many benefits.

Along the way, we will stop off at Pescadero but first, we will pop in at Pigeon Point lighthouse. After that, we will change tack completely as we head into the hills and delve into the delights of wine country.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 1 days
Recommend rig: van
audience: couple

Point of Interest


It is a one hour hop to Pescadero and as road trips go, you will find this an easy one. Just before reaching the town, look out for the turning to Pigeon Point lighthouse where you might like to stretch your legs and look around. Built in 1871, this is the tallest lighthouse on the California west coast. The working lighthouse is classically picturesque and if you are lucky you may be able to spot seals, dolphins or even whales. The lighthouse gets its name from a ship called the Carrier Pigeon which was destroyed on the rocks in 1853 and not because it is home to birds of the same name.

Pescadero is just a few minutes away and an ideal place to have lunch. Duate's Tavern has been open since 1894 and has been run by the same family for four generations. On one side you have the ocean and on the other beautiful farmland. The restaurant prides itself on homemade American country cooking. They started making artichoke soup in 1960 and it was so popular that they still use the same recipe today. Another favorite is their ollalieberry pie.


Pescadero to Saratoga is a tranquil one hour drive that will take you away from the coast and into the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is part of the West Pacific Coastal range and is great wine country. The town was born one 160 years ago and started producing wine thirty years after that. Since then it hasn’t looked back and as far as wine tasting is concerned, you will be spoiled for choice.

One estate that you might like to visit is the mountain winery where, in 1890, Paul Masson planted the first vines from France. Masson came from a long line of winemakers and he quickly understood that the soils would be perfect for growing Pino Noir and Chardonnay grapes. In many ways, Masson was the man responsible for putting California wines on the map. In addition to being able to sample the award-winning wines, you will also enjoy spectacular valley views and there is a restaurant if you are still hungry. The final leg of your journey is just eighteen minutes so you are under no pressure.


Your road trip had taken you through a range of different California countryside. You will have experienced the picturesque ocean views and tasted the wines that the mountains in the area are so famous for. The final leg of the journey to San Jose will take just half an hour so you are not under pressure. There you can still look forward to exploring the food plaza, flea markets and many art galleries.

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