Board your yacht in San Francisco Bay. After settling in, you might want to some of San Francisco's hotspots. Take a cable car ride or wander the streets of Pacific Heights to appreciate the elegant Victorian-era houses on the steep hillside. The Hass-Lilienthal House is headquarters San Francico’s the Architectural Heritage and open for tours, or visit the Maritime Museum at Hyde Street Pier. Dine aboard your yacht and take in the city skyline while you arrange your itinerary with the captain to take best advantage of weather and tides.
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Choose Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz, Cable Car Museum, Chinatown, shopping at Gumps, the Museum of Modern Art, the Legion of Honor and de Yong museums for European and American art, Fort Mason for a wealth of art from other cultures, the Opera House (the season begins in September), Golden Gate Park (worth a day all by itself), and the Presido Visitor Center. Take your pick. Have dinner at one of San Francisco's Michelin-star restaurants and then enjoy the piano bar sounds at some top places, such as Tonga Room, Top of the Mark or the Starlight Room.
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Take a break and head out through the Golden Gate Bridge and north to Bodega Bay about 50 miles north of the bridge. This beautiful area of rolling hills has a natural harbor and was a Russian outpost until 1842. Local Color Gallery showcases established and emerging Sonoma artists. You are only minutes from Russian River wineries and in the very spot where Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed in 1961, a great movie location to visit on a luxury yacht. The Bodega Bay Marine Lab gives tours on Fridays.
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Head south to Point Reyes National Seashore and anchor in Drake’s Bay for some kayaking in the estuary or watching elephant seal on the beach. Up anchor for the 25-mile cruise back through the Golden Gate and take a slip in Sausalito, a charming small town clinging to a hill. Specialist boutiques include the interesting Scrimshaw Gallery. For unique gourmet dining on a houseboat, visit Seahorse, a favourite of artists and locals.
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This is a great day for you and your guests to explore different things. Some may want to tender out to Angel Island which offers plenty of outdoor pursuits away from your yacht. Some may want to visit Muir Woods and walk among the 1,000-year-old redwoods.
Alternatively hop in a limo to be whisked off on a winery tour to Napa Valley, one of the best wine regions to visit by luxury yacht. Regroup for dinner aboard to share the day’s adventures.
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Head east into the California Delta. If you didn’t visit Napa before, a stop at the Delta’s first city, Benicia, puts you in close proximity to this great wine region. This Victorian-era town was once the capital of California and is now a haven for arts and antiques. Those with more time can head through the amazing Delta with its wide rivers, a thousand miles of navigable waterways and many islands, perhaps continuing as far as Sacramento. Otherwise, head back to the Bay with a stop in Berkeley (generally fog-free) and a meal at the famous Chez Panisse or other foodie spots in the ‘gourmet ghetto’.
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