5 Great Spring Getaways, from Across the Bridge to Across the Ocean
San Francisco may be our favorite city, but the relentless rain this year really makes us want to escape town for a little R&R and a lot of sunshine. Whether you’re in the market for a short trip across the bridge, a long train ride down the coast or a flight to an exotic locale, we’ve got you covered.
Travel time: A short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
You don’t have to go far to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Hop across the bridge for a weekend of R&R along the waterfront.
Stay: Check into the historic Casa Madrona, which recently completed a multimillion-dollarrenovation by in-demand Bay Area design firm Salt + Bones. Get some much-needed downtime while also sticking to your regular fitness routine—the property boasts new spa treatment rooms, a courtyard with on-demand workouts, wellness rooms with high-tech amenities (like meditation headbands) and a fitness studio complete with Peloton bikes coming this spring.
Eat: Go for a coastal-casual dinner at Joinery, a local favorite located right on the water. Order at the counter—the place is known for its extensive beer list and rotisserie chicken—and then make a beeline for an outdoor table on a warm night.
Do: Even if your kitchen is already stocked with Heath Ceramics dishware, it’s worth it to reserve a spot to tour the Sausalito factory, which dates back to 1959. We recommend the Friday-morning working tour, where you’ll see the process in action. Also, keep a lookout for an announcement of the annual Second Sale (last year’s was in May), when you’ll have the chance to score slightly imperfect pieces for a fraction of the retail price.
POINT REYES, CALIFORNIA
Travel time: A one-hour drive
Rediscover Northern California’s beloved coastal town on a weekend trip this spring—before the tourists take over for summer.
Stay: Book a room at the charming Olema House, a new boutique property set on an idyllic four acres surrounded by a babbling brook and national forest land at the base of Point Reyes National Seashore. Catering to curious travelers, the friendly, knowledgeable staff is always at the ready with great recommendations for hiking and exploring the area. Just don’t forget to pencil in time for relaxing in your cozy, thoughtfully decorated room.
Eat: Expect deftly prepared local, seasonal fare at Due West, right next door to the hotel. Start with a glass of sauvignon blanc and a dozen Tomales Bay oysters, then order yourself a grown-up grilled cheese if it’s on the menu.
Do: We’ve all sampled the local cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery and slurped oysters at Hog Island, but we’re betting that most of you haven’t yet experienced a mead tasting. Just a short drive from the main drag at Point Reyes Station, Heidrun Meadery will walk you through its fermented honey wines made using the traditional French méthode champenoise, all in the bucolic setting of a former dairy farm. (FYI: Tastings are by appointment only.)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA
Travel time: Six hours by train
Leave the car at home and take the scenic Coast Starlight train from Oakland’s Jack London Square station straight to downtown San Luis Obispo. Built in 1941, the Spanish Revival SLO depot is like a step back in time.
Stay: Be one of the first to experience Hotel San Luis Obispo, scheduled to open in the heart of downtown (just one block from SLO’s historic mission) this June. The well-appointed rooms feel like an apartment away from home. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit for a dip in the swimming pool and hot tub on the garden terrace.
Eat: The menu leans veggie-heavy at Vegetable Butcher, a new casual eatery serving fresh Latin American–inspired dishes. Don’t miss the “forbidden” sesame cauliflower.
Do: Start your weekend early and get down to SLO in time for Art After Dark, a monthly first-Friday happening when 20-plus galleries and shops keep their doors open after hours.
RANCHO SANTA FE, CALIFORNIA
Travel time: A two-hour flight
With what’s arguably the best weather in the country, Southern California is the ideal getaway for anyone seeking sun, sand and balmy temps after all of this year’s rain.
Stay: You’re in for true luxury at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. Mornings start with the delivery of freshly squeezed juice right to your door and then you choose your own adventure: Maybe it’s a rejuvenating spa treatment, a private lesson with a tennis pro or a ride on one of the resort’s Pinarello bikes? Or perhaps a spin in one of the resort’s private fleet of Porsches is in order?
Eat: The food is as satisfying as the view at Jake’s, a primo waterfront restaurant right on the beach in Del Mar. Since you’re by the ocean, seafood is the way to go. The ahi tostadas, shrimp salad and fish tacos can’t be beat.
Do: The resort has so many activities—spa, pool, trails, fitness classes and new ClayTech tennis courts—that you probably won’t want to leave, but if you decide to venture off campus, go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which offers eight miles of trails and some of the most stunning views of the Pacific you can find.
Travel time: An eight-hour flight
If you’re looking for a far-flung getaway, we’ve got good news. Low-cost, long-haul airline French Bee recently launched direct flights from SFO to Tahiti for as little as $330 one way.
Stay: An overwater bungalow is a must when visiting French Polynesia, and we suggest reserving yours at Sofitel Hotel Moorea la Ora, where you can jump into the crystal-clear lagoon from your private deck and watch sea life swim by from your bedroom floor.
Eat: Sample local specialties at Le Dauphin Gourmande at Les Relais de Joséphine on Rangiroa. Think Chinese-style mahi-mahi, sashimi and green papaya gratin. A three-course meal with wine will only set you back about $50.
Do: Explore the second largest coral atoll in the world during a Blue Lagoon Tour of Rangiroa. You’ll have the chance to snorkel, swim with sharks and rays, wander across tiny uninhabited islands and even visit a pearl farm.