Walk with me a little while. Temperature is in the mid-60s, and our backpacks are filled with water, maps, sunscreen, and all of the important things. As we crest the top of the hill, we see an amazing view of the ocean, cliffs, mountains, forests, and rivers. Yep, you guessed it, we are in San Francisco, staying at one of the amazing InterContinental Hotels Group locations. This part of California is ripe with all the viewpoints you need for an unforgettable hike.
Photo via Flickr by Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view
San Francisco offers every level of trail you could want. If you’re into challenging hikes in terms of elevation or distance, explore Mount Diablo, the Dipsea Trail’s valley to the beach route, or Alamere Falls with a 40-ft. tidefall and a hidden beach. Your challenge will pay off with gorgeous views of cliffs, oceans, and woodlands, and you should be sporting some pretty sore muscles the following day.
For a flatter, smoother path, nature shines on a less strenuous hike through the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, the Golden Gate Bridge, or Muir Woods. The Golden Gate route will have you within arm’s distance of the bay while the preserve will show you wildlife as well as amazing vantage points.
If you’re an intermediate backpacker, you should check out some of the trails around the Presidio, Lands End, and the Marin Headlands. All will feed your wanderlust, give you natural tranquility, and show you the most amazing views within a few miles of the city.
Best Places to Rest Your Head
Before and after you’ve had your outside exploration, you’ll want a comfy place to relax or enjoy the city. All of these awesome hike locations are within a few miles of a Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, and Kimpton Buchanan.
For the more urban-chic among us, the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel has all of the pampering you deserve after a great day outside: city views, evening wine and social hours, private balconies, yoga mats, loaner bikes, and a full list of replacement items that we forget when packing. We’re brought from the natural world into the land of sophistication.
Pairing the Hotel With the Hike
Photo via Flickr by Tom Purves
With so many beautiful locations and amazing hotels, the question is: How do I match my hotel to my hike? Let’s work through this. Make a list. First, location matters. Finding the right hotel with reasonable travel time is key. Reasonable might mean that you would like to enjoy the sparkling nightlife of downtown San Francisco, or it could mean the shortest distance but with all the amenities you need, like breakfast, in-room coffee, Wi-Fi — you know, the important stuff.
Is it pet friendly? Do they have late checkout? If you’re traveling in a group, do they have suites available? Or connecting rooms? Is there a fitness center? A swimming pool to work those sore muscles out? Shuttle service? These are all things to consider when planning your memorable excursions.
Once your list is ready, hop over to IHG’s awesome booking site and plug in your preferences. You can book your trip directly and have your plans finalized today. The next step is to put your pack together and find your boots.