A colleague at work was kind enough to send me a list of things we might be interested in doing in the bay area. Thanks Linas!
As you can see, the world is centered around Santa Cruz for him ;-)
Around Santa Cruz:
Boardwalk (amusement park - may not be operational in winter)
The main street - Pacific Ave
There are wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains
The concrete ship in Aptos
Big Basin Redwoods Park (camping)
South of Santa Cruz:
Caramel - art & shopping - may want to spend the night
17 mile drive - ends at Pebble Beach - nice drive - good golfing
Drive down Hwy 1 to Hearst Castle - its a long, beautiful drive
Monterey Aquarium in Monterey
If you like US literature, the John Steinbeck museum is in Salinas
Point Lobos State Park – 5 minutes south of Caramel– directly off of Highway #1
San Francisco (North of Santa Cruz):
Bank of America - top of a tall building - good view - Montgomery & California - financial district -need to buy a drink at their bar
Lombard St - near Leavenworth - crookedest street in USA
row houses - Alamo square - Fulton and Steiner - classical famous SF view of houses with city in the background
Alcatraz tours - You need to order tickets days in advance – they sell out early in the summer.
Fisherman's Wharf is totally a tourist trap. Enjoy it for that.
Alcatraz tour start at Fisherman's wharf (Pier 39?).
Ghiardelli - Chocolate - need we say more?
Chinatown is cool - go into the places which have live fish flopping around in baskets at the curb - talk about fresh fish.
In/around the Bay area:
Aircraft carrier in Oakland - USS Hornet - on Alameda island
Nike missile Facility north of San Francisco - in Marin county. Open some Saturdays
Winchester house in San Jose
On Wednesday, Friday afternoons, from 1-3pm, you might be interested in seeing the Computer History Museum. http://www.computerhistory.org/about/tour/
A little further out:
Napa/Sonoma 1 hour north of San Francisco (2.5 hours from Santa Cruz)
Driving Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz
Driving all the little roads in the mountains
Yosemite – 4-5 hours away
Mono Lake, Bode, Mammoth Lakes – 6-7 hours away
Sequoia – King's Canyon – 6 hours away
Reno – Tahoe –5-6 hours away