6 Scenic Drives Near Pleasant Hill, CA


Welcome to Pleasant Hill, CA! We’re lucky to have so much to offer our visitors. From bustling cities, to laid back coastal towns, and the rolling hills of wine country. There’s a lot to see around here, so hop in your car and check out these 6 scenic drives near Pleasant Hill.

1. San Francisco

Credit: Tim Foster

The City by the Bay” has been celebrated in song and film for generations. Pleasant Hill’s proximity to San Francisco is valued by locals and guests alike.

What can’t you miss in San Francisco? Well, that’s a tough question to answer!

  • Make sure to navigate your GPS to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Drive over to see majestic Marin County and Oakland
  • Back on the San Francisco side, consider driving to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch
  • Tour one of the many fine museums
  • Since you’ve got wheels take a drive down twisting Lombard Street
  • For many no trip to the city is complete without an excursion to Alcatraz, make sure to check for tour times and book in advance if possible.
  • For others, exploring the cultural diversity of the Castro, the multicultural Mission District, or the sweet offerings at Ghirardelli Square are must-sees

2. Sonoma & Napa Valley

Credit: Napa Valley

The rolling hills of Sonoma and Napa recall the sights of Italian postcards, but you don’t need your passport to get here! Plan your drive from Pleasant Hill to take in picturesque vistas of vineyards.

Of course, stopping at some of those vineyards is a great idea. But for oenophiles (aka wine connoisseurs) it might become tempting to stop at several destinations. So, plan for a designated driver on this scenic drive. And, did we say leave room in the trunk for souvenirs? In this case we mean wine!

(PS, don’t worry about taking the kids along, a tasting room is not a bar! Besides, for many vineyard owners and vintners wine-making is all about family.)

3. Bohemian Highway

It doesn’t get more ideal than this, when you’re considering a scenic drive in famed Sonoma Valley. This 10-mile stretch of two-lane highway was named for the Bohemian Club of San Francisco.

From Monte Rio on its northern end, with access to the riparian delights of the Russian River, to Freestone at the southern end of the two-lane road, the Bohemian Highway is a scenic drive you won’t want to miss. Between the two small towns mentioned above, check out charming Occidental. The community of under 1200 people has been welcoming guests since the 1870s. Kayaking, hiking, and other adventure sports are among the attractions here.

4. Bodega Bay, CA

You’ll want to walk on the beach here. You’ll want to try the seafood here. You’ll fall in love with Bodega Bay and adore how close it is to your accommodations back at Pleasant Hill.

Truly a picturesque part of the California coastline, Bodega Bay has captured the imagination of and filled the memories of many. Hitchcock fan? You'll want to Instagram the schoolhouse and St. Teresa of Avila church, both used in his 1963 film “The Birds.”

Biking, hiking, walking adventures, spas, golf and so much more await you if you want to see more of the community. Bodega Bay also counts several galleries among its attractions. Hopefully you still have room in the trunk...next to the wine.

Big Sur is the California that men dreamed of years ago. Henry Miller

5. Monterey & Big Sur, CA

From Monterey to Big Sur, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most stunning roads in the world. This is one of the many “musts” we are proud to say you can see from your stay in Pleasant Hill.

It’s close to four hours from Pleasant Hill to Big Sur, so you’ll want to leave early. Along the way you can admire rugged, untouched coastline beginning in Monterey through to your destination. During your tour, you can stop along the way to see Half Moon Bay, and Pescadero. After you reach Big Sur itself turn around and relax in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

6. Lake Tahoe

Lakeside pleasures, all year round, and a scenic drive on your way.

When you’re visiting Pleasant Hill, you can access the Pacific coastline or you can drive to scenic Lake Tahoe. Pristine blue waters await you after your three-hour drive east. Once there, you can take another scenic drive around the 72 mile circumference of the lake. In winter there is skiing on both sides of the lake. While in summer, you can find a sylvan spot to spread out a blanket, enjoy a picnic, and post the family fun on social media. On the Nevada side, multiple casinos, shows, and special events await you.