Friday, 31 August 2012 12:59 PM
San Francisco is a Californian city that is on many USA roadtrip itineraries. However, its coastal position and leading attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz mean it is also fantastic to explore on a yachting break.
Indeed, you can really appreciate its stunning landscape and top tourist hotspots when you approach the San Francisco coast on a boat. This is aided by the fact you can sail at almost any time of the year in this corner of the USA, although you need to be experienced due to the potentially windy and rainy weather.
During the summer, wind speeds range from 15 to 25 mph, while line-of-sight navigation can be enjoyed throughout every month. If you want a rough idea of when would be best for you to visit, the lowest average wind speed of 7 mph is usually seen in January, while the highest typical wind speed occurs in June and stands at 14 mph.
The almost year-round sailing conditions are one reason why San Francisco is the ideal location for a yacht charter. The second benefit to choosing this part of the US to explore by boat is if you are seriously into your sailing, you can have a fantastic view of some of the world's leading tournaments. Soak up the thrilling atmosphere of the America's Cup World Series, the Louis Vuitton – AC Challenger Series or the America's Cup.
San Francisco is a fantastic city that is also well worth exploring on land. You will see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge as your yacht comes in to moor, so make sure you take a closer look at the landmarks. Alcatraz was once a prison to some of the most notorious criminals in America and welcomed inmates through its gates from 1934 to 1963. A tour here is a must when holidaying in the city and you will need to catch a ferry from Pier 33 at the Fisherman's Wharf.
Another fun thing to do in San Francisco is to cycle or walk along the Golden Gate Bridge. You will be afforded brilliant views of Alcatraz and the city when you tackle a section of the structure, or you might decide to explore the entire 2 miles. Don't rush off once you have walked or cycled along the attraction, though, as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is well worth a visit. From hikes and nature trails to museums and beaches, you will definitely find something that everyone in your group enjoys.
A yacht charter here also allows you to discover the wider region. While there is plenty to keep you occupied in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should venture a little further afield to the Napa Valley. This destination is famous for its vineyards, and taking a tour of one of these is a great way to learn more about the wine-making process. Of course, you will also have the chance to sample some of the most popular wines the vineyard produces, as well as purchase a bottle or two to enjoy when relaxing on the deck of your yacht during your evening meal.
If you want to treat yourself, book yourself in for a tour of Schramsberg Vineyards. This makes some of the leading champagnes on the globe, so it should definitely be on your agenda when exploring the Napa Valley.
As you might expect from a destination that is famous for its grapes, Napa Valley took home the 2012 Food and Wine Destination in the World award, as voted for in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice category. Stop off in the valley on your yacht charter and you can tuck into mouth-watering meals as you gaze out across stunning scenery.
Finally, another must-visit on your sailing itinerary is Sausalito. This is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a lovely way to round off your holiday, as it really is a beautiful location. Visit attractions like the Bay Area Discovery Museum, go biking and hiking or rent a kayak and get closer to the coastline. Sausalito is only 2.2 sq miles in size, but you can certainly pack a lot in when you come here.