Whether you are visiting Silicon Valley or San Francisco, Redwood City can be a great day trip. Just like neighbouring Palo Alto, Redwood City is home to some big players in the IT industry. Oracle, Box and Electronic Arts have their headquarters in Redwood. The city is around 27 miles south of San Francisco and almost halfway to San Jose. It is situated on San Francisco Peninsula, and it has only other deepwater port in the Bay.
If you want to visit the peninsula, explore Silicon Valley, and visit Redwood City from Europe, you will need travel authorization from the US government. For guests from Visa Waiver country program, you will need to fill USA ESTA application. An online procedure requires you to answer a detailed set of questions and pay a small fee. The administration takes up to three days to process the application, but we would recommend filling up the paperwork ahead of trip planning.
Top Redwood City attractions
Fox Theatre is in the register of historic buildings. A downtown structure opened in 1929 and since the beginning showed a variety of movies, concerts, and comedy acts. Art Deco building is significant both culturally and from an architectural standpoint.
Pulgas Water Temple, with its stone structure, stands from 1934. The Water Temple celebrates completion of Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct that brought running water in the area. Corinthian columns and large pools are often used as a wedding venue.
San Mateo County History Museum is located in the former county courthouse. Built-in 1910 as a prime example of City Beautiful Movement with a highlight in the stained-glass dome. You can learn all about the illustrious county and regional history in this extensive museum.
Bair Island is protected area of marsh and wetlands that consist of three islands and its essential for many bird species in the area.
Hiking near Redwood City
The tourist can explore Bair Island on guided hiking trails. Since the city is close to Santa Cruz Mountains, there are other attractive trails for hikers near Redwood.
Crystal Springs and Dean Trail is intermediate hiking route with high grades. Highlands-Baywood Park has easy Tenderfoot trail, but also longer Amphitheatre trail. The options for hiking and cycling near Redwood City are numerous, and one of the better ones includes Whittemore Gulch and Purisma Creek loop trail offers 9 miles, and you can walk along the picturesque creek and find ancient Redwood trees that are a symbol of California.
One day in Redwood National Park
If you want to learn more about Redwoods, you can go to the Redwood National Park some 350 miles up north. The coast redwood lives in a temperate rainforest. They are some of the oldest and most massive species in the world. Redwoods are relatives of giant sequoia that have more mass, but redwoods are the tallest.
The Park has over 40 miles of the entire coastline and almost half of remaining redwood trees. Visit Fern Canyon where you will find five different varieties of fern, and water streams flowing down the canyon. Nearby, you can go to the Gold Bluffs Beach where you can rest in camping grounds that offer essential amenities.
Go for a scenic drive through Newton B. Drury Parkway. The biggest attraction along the way is the Big Tree which is 304 feet tall and measures 21 feet in diameter. If you continue driving on Highway 101, shortly after Klamath River bridge you can exit to the Tour thru tree where you can drive through a redwood, a must-do when in Park.
If you have time left, visit Trees of Mystery. This place has numerous exciting trees and a scenic gondola ride through the treetops to the top of the mountain.
Best places to stay in the Redwoods
There are several accommodation options near Redwoods. We already mentioned camping grounds that you can find inside of the Park. Elk Meadow Cabins in Orick, Lost Whale Inn in Trinidad and Ocean View Inn & Suites in Crescent City are among top-rated hotels and accommodations in the vicinity of the Redwood National Park.
But do not book a hotel nor flight to northern California before answering ESTA application questions. Most travel authorizations are settled in three days, but the advice is to start with the application early. Once you get the approval, you have two years to visit the US, and you can be in the country for up to 90 days.
Redwood City is a perfect day trip or a San Francisco getaway. You can explore the origins of Silicon Valley, visit local attractions, and enjoy outdoor activities. If you want to find out more about the tallest trees in the world that live near the city, go on a hiking trail or drive north to the Redwood National Park where you can go on a guided ranger tour through the majestic nature of northern California.