California is not a state, it’s a feeling. It’s a fine portrayal of the vivid imagination of The Creator; who wants to brag about His artistic prowess through His masterpiece named the ‘Golden State’.
From redwood jungles in the north to the sun-kissed beaches in the south, California is the place where fantasies come to life.
California has Got it All
California has a lot to offer; from pastel vineyards reaching far out to the horizon, to bustling beach culture with adventures galore, to pristine cascades totally unmarred by civilization, to the imposing bluffs lining the coasts to the regal immersion in the hills of L.A, the Golden State never fails to spellbind the visitors.
No matter in what part of America you live, you have always wondered what weekend getaways in California are like. There is no shame in lusting for a place which is a slice of heaven.
And, who doesn’t want to liberate his/her soul while swooshing through the freeway along the coastline and witness the cities dazzling as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Enlighten Your Senses While Driving The Pacific Coast
Already feeling the wind in your hair? They say if driven through the Pacific Coast, you have never experienced serendipity.
Imagine how much fun would it be to drive on the enchanting freeway alongside your bae whilst the sound of waves crashing into the bluffs heals your psyche?
Want to know why romantic weekend getaways northern California are a legend? Aye, Aye Captain! We have done half the job for you.
Fly into the Bay Area
We have made a list of top weekend getaways in California, which can be easily jaunted to from San Francisco (because you have to soak in the beauty of nature while driving at a leisurely pace).
Unlike the common belief, driving into the Bay Area is quite cheap. So, once you have set your foot in the serendipitous land with your bae (if you are fortunate enough), the next thing you need is a vehicle.
Know your Inclinations
When planning your Californian road trip-cum-weekend getaway, you have two options at your disposal namely; either rent a car or rent an RV. If you go with the first option which is the more popular among the two choices, you can drive into the wilderness of the National Parks with ease and will comparatively travel faster than in an RV. With cars, you can drive to the hotel of your choice and have a stay in the place of your orientation.
Drive the car of your dreams
With Auto Europe Car Rentals, hiring a car is easier than ever before. You can get to choose from a wide array of cars from luxurious sedans to powerhouse SUVs in less than $250 a day (rates would vary depending upon the availability and timing of the booking in relevance to days left to pick-up).
You also have the luxury of choosing the pick-up and drop location of your choice which makes your road-trip hassle-free. Go, explore your options at Auto Europe Car Rentals.
Dive into opulence doing a Cannonball
If you want to walk down the luxury lane; defying the idea of inexpensive weekend getaways in California, go for an RV. Many of you would have grown up RV-ing so this could be your perfect moment to try it out with your bae. You can rent an RV from Outdoorsy just a few minutes away from San Francisco airport.
Experience the Saloon on wheels
Outdoorsy also offers round the clock road assistance which is a kind of insurance against wear and tear down or other issues which might spring up on your journey.
This aspect of Outdoorsy is not just for the glossy brochures, they are the ones who actually live up to it
You will need this peace of mind once while travelling to more remote relocation (if you wish to take the road less travelled).
If you can resonate with the idea of having your small abode on wheels, where you can cook, take a shower and sleep, look no further than Outdoorsy.
If an RV isn’t your thing, a car or SUV will work just fine! If you really want to enjoy the freeway or are an explorer to the core, you could even rent a motorcycle and carry what you can wear on your back!
Where Would You Stay?
The choices of weekend getaways in California abound, but the ambiguity is where would you stay? You are jaunting with your partner so privacy is an out and out priority. Will a hotel do the job?
It’s that persistent, ubiquitous sameness of the hotel which ruins the fervor, isn’t it? There has to be a spark, a kind of flamboyance built-in the place where you would stay with your partner.
The hotels keep you from experiencing the local culture, interacting with locals, and grasping the vibe of the place you are visiting.
This way, half the fun gets lost. Romantic weekend getaways in California need privacy; seclusion and solitude.
Find your dream abode with ‘Home Away‘, a site which has got all types of accommodation listed that you can ever imagine.
Instead of listing small spaces, Home Away lists bigger spaces; condos, patios, ranch houses and studio apartments that you can have all for yourself.
So, considering that your Ground Zero is San Francisco, here are the places you can jaunt to and etch one of the finest weekend getaways in California on your soul:-
1. Napa Valley (1 h39 min (73.3 miles) via US-101)
Already sensing the aroma in the air? Napa Valley is the oasis of vineyards renowned for its homogenous red wine – Cabernet Sauvignons.
Napa Valley is the pilgrimage for wine devotees who swarm in every year by the thousands to savor the wine, dine and indulge themselves into a stupor.
Wine is not the only form of indulgence that Napa Valley offers. It is a place to get acquainted with the raw, untainted side of nature which cannot be witnessed in the city escapes.
The sunsets are like a colorful smorgasbord of orange, pink and yellow with various shades fusing into each other.
The sunrises bear witness to the phenomenon of breathing new life into the valley. Nature lovers can look to detox themselves in a hot pool (which are in abundance) with therapeutic properties and sleep in a hammock in a rustic ranch/farmhouse.
Tip: Choose the west side of the bay which is the longer but the most scenic route to drive north of San Francisco.
Where to stay: Harvest Inn
Located in St. Helena (you will have to move out of the county to stay here), Wine Country Inn & Cottages are a 4 star B&B at a stroll-able distance from Beringer Vineyard.
Immerse in the luxury at one of the 29 individually furnished state of the art guestrooms with Italian and neo-classical themed interiors. This accommodation is savage.
You name any facility and it has got bounties of it. Private bathrooms have hot tubs and rain showers so that you can soothe your body after a tiring day.
Don’t forget to detox yourself by having a plunge in the Spa tub tucked in the premises.
2. Sacramento (1 h 31 min(87.9 mi) via I-80 E)
If Sacramento were a person, its rags to riches story would have created quite a buzz.
The former bucolic cow town and now a sprawling capital with high-rises flaunting their architectural marvel.
Sacramento is like a crossroads of two different eras and this can be experienced amid the rush hour where SUV’s of legislators and Bureaucrats go bumper to bumper with muddy, ramshackle half-ton trucks of the farmers.
The markets are nothing short of eccentric either. The streets are lined with aging mid-century storefronts with intermittent chic, upscale boutiques.
The locals brag about their thriving food scene infested with indigenous flavors and local produce and the monthly gallery hop that resonates with the city’s cultural richness.
The sprawling farm to fork fares is yet another feather of Sacramento’s cap.
Tip: You can visit Budweiser Brewery on the outskirts en route Sacramento
Where to stay: J. Neely Johnson House
The J. Neely Johnson House, in the northwestern part of downtown Sacramento, is your window to the world of bureaucracy.
It has been home to several former California’s congressmen including the Justice of the Supreme Court, Treasurer and the Governor of the State.
As expected, this accommodation is listed in the National register of important places and is Sacramento’s one of the oldest surviving residence; a quaint villa which has lived through the era of heavy commercialization yet maintained its quaint.
Always fancied about the Bidwell Mansion and Stanford Mansion but you know that you can’t make it to these places for obvious reasons?
The J. Neely Johnson gives you the option to delve deeper into the lives of State officials for just under $140 per night.
3. Monterey (1 h 52 min(118.1 mi) via US-101S)
Monterey is Californian’s teleport to a sleepy little fish town of the Caribbean. Monterey pulls in visitors by the thousands primarily because of a State of the Art museum outlining the Monterey Bay National Sanctuary, which conserves kelp jungle and an exotic set of marine species, including sea lions, whales and dolphins.
The city itself reminisces the colonial Spanish era with many refurbished adobe buildings.
An afternoon’s meander through the alleys of downtown may be more adventurous than the swarmed ghetto of Fisherman’s Wharf.
Tip: Visit Cannery Row if Fisherman’s Wharf is too crowded for you
Where to stay: Sunset Inn
The Sunset Inn is the perfect choice for people who are looking tranquility, serenity, charisma and a nothing-to-do holiday.
The Inn is in close vicinity to Asilomar State Beach, some 7 miles away from Monterey Bay Aquarium and a stroll away from Golf country.
The bedrooms are chic with a home theatre system, you can binge watch the night away. This would surely make for a sloggish, laying under the covers holiday.
4. Yosemite National Park (3 h 24 min (177.5mi) via CA-4 E and CA-120 E)
The Enchantress of America’s national parks, Yosemite never leaves its onlookers awe-struck. This UNESCO World Heritage site gives refuge to every devotee who knocks at its door.
From the cascades-blemished granite walls anchoring the plush green Yosemite Valley to the enormous sequoias kissing the skies at Mariposa Grove, the place ignites all your senses.
Even though the place is marred by 4 million tourists every year but the splendor of place is so colossal that it doesn’t get tainted.
If you look beyond the people (staunch devotees of Yosemite), your heart may pound strongly or it could even skip a beat on witnessing the pride of Half Dome, the otherworldly aura of El Captain, the permeating mists of cascades which blemish the valley and the regal profile of gemstone lakes of the country’s wilderness. Weekend getaways in California don’t get any better than this.
Tip: Take your DSLRs with you because you might encounter something ethereal on your journey.
Where to stay: Cedar Lodge
Wrapped up in cedar, the namesake lodge is a haven for couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway in California.
Totally unacquainted with the honking and rat races, this spiritual refuge gives solitude to passionate couples who wish to keep it warm and cozy in the comfy interiors of the house.
The property has a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher. The house has a fireplace and the private deck which is equipped with lounge chairs, couch, and tables and has BBQ so that you can grill the food under the bed sheet of stars.
5. Lake Tahoe (3h 20min (194.3 mi) via I-80E and US-50E)
Glistening in various hues of blue and green, Lake is the second deepest lake in the States. At an impressive height of 6225ft and unmarred by the civilization, this Lake is your immersion into bounties of nature. Driving to the lake via 72-mile picturesque road by the side of the shoreline will require some skills behind the wheels.
The north shore is tranquil, the west shore is quite rugged, the east shore is untamed and the south shore is bustling with hotels and casinos. The south shore is the closest to Reno, the biggest of the miniature cities in the area.
Tip: Be Prepared of the Winter Storm
Where to stay: Cozy Cabin
Comfortable lodge not exactly a square from the lake with access to a shared wharf. An ideal place for the pooch as it has a fenced backyard (with outdoor table) and backs up to Blackwood Canyon and many sections of land of National Forest terrains! Huge front deck with loosening up pinnacle of-the-lake see in the late spring, gas and charcoal BBQs.
This house additionally has an open kitchen/family room floor plan with enormous windows offering wide panoramas and view of the lake from the lovely front Lounge area.
6. Big Sur (2h 51min (146.1 mi) via US-101S)
Big Sur is not just a place it’s an ecstatic feeling; a euphoria. When the hot ball of fire dips into the Pacific, the sky dotted with illuminating stars takes over the task of lighting up the Big Sur, accompanied by the radiant moon.
Magnificence and throttling maritime energy mark this land which is sandwiched between St. Lucia Range and the Pacific. This place reverberates with the sound of strong waves crashing into the rugged and craggy bluffs; the music you ought to hear.
Tip: Bioluminescent waves are to behold.
Where to stay: Artistic Cottage
Revel in your sun-kissed abode situated just a short stroll away from the beach. The aura of this place is cocooning which gloats about its stone fireplace and redwood floors. The vintage style patio adjoins the bar which adds to the allure of this place.
There is a queen size bed and a closet space, as well as a full-size canopy bed giving meaning the old proverb, sleep like a baby. Come have a ton of fun in the sun and vessel over the massive ravine that makes the Monterey Bay Aquarium so famous We advise you unwind here and appreciate all that the Monterey Peninsula brings to the table.
7. Mendocino (3h 4min(154.7 mi) via US-101 and CA-128W)
Driving to an enthralling cape, Mendocino is north coast’s sun-kissed pristine town. With accommodations bordered by rose gardens, white-picket walls, and neo-classical styled water tanks.
The Bay Area jaunters stroll along the promontory amid berry bramble and wild plantations, where cypress trees pierce through the clouds. The town has quite an ecstatics hopping scene and is often coined as Spendocino and it isn’t hard to guess why.
Tip: Try not to go on a shopping spree.
Where to stay: Chapman Point House
Designed in 1963 by an architect, each room has a Mendocino view. The house is encircled with stunning, century-old hand cut mammoth redwood bars (recovered trestle).
Contemporary decorations joined with a lovely Redwood eating table and bar help make the house warm and welcoming. The mix of rural and present-day components make this a really remarkable and exceptional place.
Roosted on the feigns of Mendocino Bay and straightforwardly confronting Mendocino Village, Chapman Point House conveys a view that has been pined for by craftsmen and sight-soothsayers for quite a long time directly to your front room.
8. Carmel By The Sea (1h 54min (121.9mi) via US-101S)
This place has mystically been able to hold onto its olden charm. Comstock cottages from the early 2oth century with their stone chimney sand gable roof give it an English vibe.
Established as a seaside resort in the late 19th century, this place lured in artists from all parts of the world. The artistic impressions still survive in over 100 art galleries but are often overshadowed by upmarket boutique hotels which also tend to soak up its bohemian vibe.
You can expect ladies wearing hats and bragging their costly shopping bags and dressed to the nine gents showing off their convertible along Ocean Ave.
Tip: Don’t fall for the upmarket hotels otherwise you will not be able to grasp the essence of this place.
Where to stay: The Country Cottage
The Country Cottage is a charming retreat from the hurly-burly of the crowds, tucked away in the wilderness against a daunting hill. You can drive to this haven in around 15 mins from the town-center of the Carmel by the Sea.
This cottage was built in the 1950s and is a fusion of English and French architecture. Although, most of the interiors have been refurbished, showpieces and adornments remind you of its past glory; reminiscing an imposing stronghold/hunter house amid the boondocks.
The accommodation is fully furnished and it could rival the NYC’s studio apartment on the comfort/facility front. There are a couple of wineries at a distance of 1 mile away and you could take a hiking trip to BigSur with a nearby operator.
9. Sonoma (56min (44.3 mi) via US-101)
Extravagant stores may have sprung up lately and replaced hardware shops, but Sonoma is still quaint. Its offbeat vibe is mainly because of California’s largest town square – The Plaza which has remain unacquainted to modernization over the course of time. It is surrounded by English styled buildings. The best part is that you can drink in Plaza which is a rarity in Californian Parks.
Tip: Don’t drink in the Plaza post-midnight or else you would have to pay a hefty fine.
Where to stay: The Oaks of Sonoma
Situated around 2 miles from Sonoma Square with bizarre eateries, wine bars, and shops, the square is dipped in a rich history and itis enjoyable to meander around.
Get a cookout lunch and take it to the square and appreciate the spotless, soothing vistas perfect for a sluggish evening outside.
Savor your morning espresso on your private redwood deck settled under a lofty centuries-old oak tree. Private suite with separate passageway can rest up to 4.
Or then again if there are only you 2 sharing a room, the other room in the suite will give you a vast space for unwinding.
10. Pescadero (57min (46.3 mi) via CA-1 S/Cabrillo HwyN)
A misty fleck of coastal fusion between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, Pescadero is a town of warm locals who exchange sugar every morning and savor community breakfasts. But a new life is breathed into this place on weekends when long-distance cyclists pant for energy boosters and jaunters are seen dive-bomb into the ocean from the highway.
They are all drawn to winter panoramas of green hills which dry up to become rusty brown amid the summers. The seashores are densely populated by seals and engrossed in the aroma of fresh food from the ranches. With numerous tide pool caves and parks with redwood canopies, city dwellers come here to detox their lungs and inhale the sea breeze gliding through the fields and wilderness.
Tip: Try local farm produce
Where to stay: Hermosa Cottage
Popularly known as the Hermosa Cottage (don’t ask why coz it’s a loong story), this single-storey 1BR beachside getaway includes a joint patio with a hot tub, open air feasting, and an outdoor shower.
Spend bright and sunny days doing a cannonball into the Pacific Ocean which is barely 50 feet away. Venture half-mile and explore the tempting downtown region or climb trails with beautiful panoramas folding as you scale up.
11. San Francisco
Even If you are not a driving enthusiast, you could explore San Francisco and its outskirts; the memories will stay with you forever, Bet!
San Francisco is second to none when it comes to romantic weekend getaways. This place is synonymous to serendipities. It is no great secret that San Francisco has been the nursery of LGBT moment and it embraces everyone with open arms without any prejudice.
If there’s a technology which will change the course of future, a poem which will ignite the senses of hearers, a flavor which will infuse new life in people, a car stunt yet to be delivered (Remember Ken Block’s Gymkhana), it is likely that San Francisco will give birth to it.
The window of the Wild West Saloons was shone by SanFrancisco, but drinking was put in veils because of the regulation of the 1920s. But today, San Francisco gloats about its blind tigers with an unrivaled flamboyance.
The drinking scene is fuelled by the wine country and local breweries which often supply the most invigorating hooch in the U.S. The West isn’t likely to get tamed anytime soon.
San Francisco’s 7-by-7mile peninsula is quite famous and makes for the perfect backdrop of romantic movies and back in the 1990s it was the favorable impression of the postcard makers.
You will notice San Francisco skyline is a mix of ultra-modern architectures piercing through the clouds with intermittent Victorian roofs (the city embraces everyone and everything).
The top of the Golden Gate Bridge is mostly covered in mist; a sight which kind of lurches the ground you are standing on,
43 hills will make you feel as if you have been teleported to a hills station. Cable cars provide easy connectivity to Nob hills and slog up to Coit Tower is rewarded with mind-boggling vistas.
However, the best adrenaline rush is experienced by the cable car up to Telegraph Hill’s and Wuthering hikes in and around Land’s End.
When it’s drizzling around the bay, it might be sunny around the mission area, perfect juxtaposition isn’t it? This place will give you goosebumps one minute and will warm you up the next.
Where to stay: Business Cottage
Leave your stresses at the entryway of Business Cottage, a recently revamped studio intended to ooze comfort with present-day style, rich goods, and beautiful cove sees.
Venture outside to the porch and appreciate captivating nights tasting on wine in the rich garden while the flame broil ace flames up the gas grill.
For ideal unwinding, withdraw to the new cedar hot tub settled on the upper deck highlighting clearing perspectives of San Francisco Bay.
Your itinerary might cover two or more of these destinations if you are holidaying through the long weekend.
We could only suggest you the best options as everyone’s inclinations differ. You have got to do a feasibility study and figure out whether you will jaunt to just one of these places or explore a couple or more of them behind the wheels.
Get Your Trip Insured
Think of foraying into an unchartered territory and somebody safeguarding you against a wide range of plausible misfortunes for only a couple of dollars daily, would you say it isn’t a decent deal?
You don’t drive around your vehicle without an auto insurance cover, so for what reason would you open yourself to a wide range of risks (travel implies venturing out of your zone) before setting out on an adventure where things can unfurl in a way you would have never thought of?
It’s pretty obvious that any explorer would love somebody to look out for his back when s/he ventures out of home for simply spending a couple of dollars.
The world is full of travel insurance offers and it is anything but hard to buy one. You will stumble upon thousands in your chase for a good insurance provider so I will enlighten you regarding my best decision which is World Nomads.
Folks in my circle have been using it since over a decade now. World Nomads delivers everything they promise, and cases are quickly dealt with.
I acknowledge World Nomads since I can purchase my insurance plan online in merely minutes, they have a responsive staff, they have a phenomenal customer base and most importantly they give a lot of inclusion at a reasonable cost.
Road trips to one of these beautiful places might make you encounter something which will leave you awe-struck.
A hidden cascade, a gang of hippies, a quaint motel dating back to the late 1800s or maybe a warm gesture from a kiosks owner besides the gas station.
They say that driving on the open roads gives you the peace of mind and the sound of swooshing and throttling through the freeway heals your psyche.
Though some routes suggested might be longer than their alternatives but we have chosen the most scenic routes for you; more enticing panoramas unfolding with every mile covered.
Don’t procrastinate, plan your trip early so that you may find your dream abode on Homeaway (half of America is heading out this winter) and don’t cut on getting your itinerary insured. We can only hope that you may never get to use the inclusions in your travel insurance.