10 Summer Weekend Getaways from SF That You Should Book Right Now
It’s been a rough year and a half for all of us (amiright?), and we all deserve a getaway. And not just any kind of getaway. We’re talking about one where we can unplug, be pampered, drink wine and eat lots of great food that we haven’t cooked ourselves. And while we might not all be ready to hop on a plane just yet, most of us are probably game for a good road trip. Here, 10 of the best summer weekend trips from SF (plus one staycation option), from shortest to longest drive.
1. INN AT THE PRESIDIO, SAN FRANCISCO
Not quite ready to leave SF? No problem. We’ve got a staycation that feels like a proper escape from city life. The Presidio—SF’s very own national park—offers nearly 50 miles of hiking trails among lush eucalyptus groves, along with spectacular waterfront views of the Golden Gate bridge, stunning beaches and one of the prettiest public golf courses we’ve ever seen. At this historic 26-room inn, you’ll find an expansive front porch with rocking chairs and an outdoor patio with a cozy firepit perfect for nighttime s’mores. Settle in to slow days and peaceful nights—once you’re here, you might never leave.
2. FLAMINGO RESORT, SANTA ROSA (1 HOUR 10 MINUTES FROM SF)
We love Santa Rosa for its small town charm and weekend afternoons sampling beers on rotation at the beloved Russian River Brewing Company. Turn a day trip into a weekend getaway by tacking on a stay at the newly revamped Flamingo Resort on a 10-acre campus complete with pool, spa, private cabanas, pickleball, tennis courts and more. If wellness is your thing, reserve a spot at one of the property’s monthly themed Second Sundays, which include experiences like yoga, tea ceremonies and sound baths. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a meal at one of two onsite restaurants with food from Chef Sergio Morales who worked previously at the acclaimed Sam’s Club in Calistoga.
3. VISTA COLLINA, NAPA (1 HOUR 15 MINUTES FROM SF)
Sometimes you just want a vacation where there’s no planning involved. Enter Vista Collina. Nestled among hillside vineyards, this luxurious Tuscan-style property is the place to go if you’re looking for a full-on, never-leave-the-resort experience. Ready for wine? Head over to the resort’s very own tasting village, with nine curated tasting rooms featuring the best boutique wineries in Napa Valley. Feeling peckish? Get local, farm-fresh ingredients at the property’s Fivetown Grocery and have a picnic on the expansive 16,000-square-foot event lawn. Or sign up for a cooking class or wine seminar at the onsite culinary center. Can’t commit to an entire weekend? Thanks to Resort Pass, you can reserve a special spot just for the day—no stay required.
4. JORDAN WINERY SUITES, HEALDSBURG (1 HOUR 20 MINUTES FROM SF)
A visit to the recently renovated Jordan Vineyard & Winery is a must, and you don’t want to miss their signature Paris on the Terrace alfresco tasting experience (through August 29), with Paris-meets-California bistro fare and wine pairings to match. Or join one of June’s Estate Tour & Tasting events, a three-hour moveable feast that culminates in a mountaintop toast. The winery even has a few guest suites available to Jordan Estate Rewards members (pro tip: membership is free!) if you’re looking to extend your vineyard experience. While you’re in town, head over to the former SHED space just off the main square to check out Little Saint—the new plant-based restaurant, quick-service cafe and wine shop from Single Thread owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton slated to open this summer.
5. VACATION RENTAL, MONTEREY (2 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM SF)
At just over 2 hours, this road trip getaway is great for the whole family. And with all types of vacation rentals available—from beachfront houses to quaint country cottages, there are options for every kind of group (pets included!). Keep the kids busy with a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a stroll down the touristy Cannery Row. And don’t forget a stop at Candy Row, an old-fashioned candy shop with barrels full of sweets—every kid’s dream come true. The next day, rent bikes and take them for a ride down the fairly flat, waterfront bike path that hugs the coast and runs all the way south to Pacific Grove.
6. COACHMAN HOTEL, SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (3 HOURS FROM SF)
With immediate access to lake, forest and mountains, the newly expanded Coachman Hotel is the perfect location for a summer weekend in Tahoe. Lakeside Beach, Heavenly Village and Stateline casinos are all a short 5-minute walk away. Interested in some quality hotel time? Cool off in the pool during the day, have beers (or complimentary s’mores) around the communal firepit in the evening and then relax in the hot tub at night. And later this year, the hotel will house the first South Lake location of Reno-based Perenn Bakery, known for its gorgeous pastries, breads, tartines and sandwiches.
7. CLASSIC B&B, MENDOCINO (3 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM SF)
The coastal town of Mendocino is known for its abundance of charming bed and breakfasts, and you really can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind accommodations, check out our story on the town’s historic water towers. Once you’re settled in, plan to take a stroll through the shops and cafes on Mendo’s quiet main streets and then take in dramatic ocean views from the bluffs along the headlands. Make time for the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens—47 acres of canyons, wetlands, pine forest and 125 species of rhododendrons—nestled between Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean.
8. WYLDER HOTEL, HOPE VALLEY (3 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM SF)
If you’re looking for a weekend of outdoor fun in the mountains, take the scenic drive from San Francisco to Hope Valley (on Highway 16 and then up past Kirkwood ski resort on Highway 88) and book a stay at one of the property’s many lodging options. Choose from log cabins, cozy cottages or the spacious Hope Valley House to yurts, campsites or a meticulously restored vintage Spartan trailer. Then get your fill of hiking, biking and even fishing on the West Fork of the Carson River. The historic Sorensen’s Cafe (which dates back to 1926!) serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner onsite. Don’t miss the classic beef burgundy stew and be sure to pick up a freshly baked pie from the general store before you leave.
9. CAT CANYON RANCH, SANTA MARIA (4 HOURS FROM SF)
Yearning to escape city life for a taste of the countryside after a year and a half of being cooped up in your apartment? Book a stay at the perfect-for-families Cat Canyon Ranch in the Huasna Valley, where picturesque pastures, curious farm animals and a gorgeous log cabin await. Sip your morning coffee from the front porch, fire up the barbecue in the evening and have an alfresco meal on the patio. This is rural life at its best. And if you do get bored, the Santa Maria Valley wine country is less than a half hour away.
10. THE ALISAL GUEST RANCH & RESORT, SOLVANG (4 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM SF)
You may remember the town of Solvang from the movie Sideways or from the Danish village’s signature windmills. But chances are you’ve driven past it every time en route to Santa Barbara. We’re suggesting making Solvang your final destination this time and spending the weekend at this luxury dude ranch (aka the city girl’s version of roughing it). The 10,500-acre property offers every possible kind of activity—from fishing, golf, tennis, canoeing and horseback riding (including lessons for “lil’ riders” and barnyard basics) to yoga, massages and facials. Time your stay for the next California Ranch Cookout (with LA chef Ray Garcia on August 24), a dinner series featuring alfresco meals cooked up by rotating celebrity chefs.
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