Detour to Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley often gets ignored by San Francisco bound tourists and this might be the right decision for the first-time visitor, but when you've had your fill of the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Union Square and Fishermen's Wharf, head south to the Valley for something completely different. Yes, the restaurant scene is booming, with outstanding spots like Evvia, Reposado, Tamarine bringing the same obsession to their specialties that techies bring to their products, but there's more than eating. An active and youthful population rejoices in the great outdoors, with the parking lots at parks and open spaces filling up as quickly as downtown spots in San Francisco. Gorgeous gardens appeal to all ages at spectacular private homes like Filoli. The best of the retail brands have a presence at attractive outdoor malls like Santana Row. While in the area, visitors can learn the hows and whys of this unique startup environment by taking a tour with one of several passionate docents at the Computer History Museum. And no visit is complete without a visit to the icon of the Valley, Apple Computers. Plan for at least two days and a 45-minute drive from San Francisco.