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Scenic drives, charming places outside of, but near, San Francisco?

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We've been to San Francisco and areas around it a few times before. So we've seen this city's major sites already a couple of times. This time we'll be arriving at SFO on a wkday morning, then staying just one night at a hotel near SFO since we'll have to check in at noon the next day for a very long int'l. flight. So I'm not sure that visiting the "usual" SF sites is what we want to do.

After SF our travels will be very fast-paced for the next 2 wks. Therefore I've been thinking perhaps we should just do something a bit more low key once we get to SFO. Although we'll probably want to go into the city in the evening for a nice dinner, during the day it might be nice just to drive along some scenic coastline or mountainous areas outside of the city. Maybe seeing some great natural scenery, stopping for lunch, &/or just putzing around a bit someplace w/a little charm would give us a more enjoyable and less frantic day.

There is always Sausalito, but can anyone give us some ideas more to the south of SF? Maybe heading down towards Palo Alto or along some scenic coastline, beach or mt. areas that would offer some pleasant drives and stops? I estimate we'll have about 5 hrs. of time to waste before going back to our hotel to "refresh" a bit and then go to dinner.

Thanks for any ideas.

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