Put away your passports because you won’t need airfare to travel to these places. You probably won’t even need a hotel, but we’ll leave that up to you. Pick any weekend and go on a mini-vacation 100 miles or less out of San Francisco!

1. Marin County/Sausalito, CA – Distance from SF: 10 miles, 30 mins.

Take a trip to the other side of the bridge, where you can relax and enjoy a weekend away from city life that’s only a short drive away.

3252799913_efb619071b_oDaniel Hoherd via Flickr
Where to stay:
Snuggle up in a cute little seaside Cottage at Point Reyes Seashore, lounge on the deck of your own charming houseboat in Sausalito, or enjoy a contemporary set up in a floating loft on the SF Bay.

What to do:
Spend the day hiking & biking in Muir Woods, climbing the stunning cliffs of Point Reyes National Seashore, or heading to the Point Bonita Lighthouse in Sausalito before sunset. If you just need a break, simply enjoy a sunny day at Stinson Beach.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: If you are heading up to Point Reyes, start your day with a morning bun from Bovine Bakery and then grab some cheese from Cow Girl Creamery for a mid-morning snack.
  • Lunch: While you’re hanging out on Stinson Beach, grab lunch at The Lunch Box — a cute Taqueria located right on the beach preparing fresh tacos, burritos, nachos, and so much more.
  • Dinner:  Enjoy a specialized sushi bar with a Pacific inspired twist at Sushi Ran for a creative eating experience.
  • Dessert: Head east to grab a cone at Fairfax Scoop for some high-quality ice cream and some awesome flavors.

2. Napa Valley/Sonoma, CA – Distance from SF: 62.4 Miles, 1 hour 27 min drive

Retreat to Napa Valley or Sonoma for a fun weekend with your sweetheart or close group of friends. The perfect getaway to let loose of all your stresses and responsibilities while still feeling classy.

538b8a15dbfe8fe42cf98de8-3Photo by Vanilla Extract via Google
Where to stay:
Book a luxurious weekend at the sophisticated boutique hotel Andaz Napa, stay close to the nightlife at Napa River Inn at Historic in Napa Mill, or head over to Sonoma and stay at the award-winning Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn: a full-service boutique hotel with easy access to Napa’s best attractions.

What to do:
Head up to learn about the production of wine at Beaulieu Vineyard or spend a few hours wine tastings at Platypus Wine Tour, one of the best tours in Napa Valley. Not much of a wine drinker? Stop by Napa Smith Brewery or sign up for the Foodies on Foot food tour.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: Before you indulge in all-you-can-drink day, make sure you fill up your stomach with green eggs and ham or fresh, homemade donuts at Boon Fly Cafe.
  • Lunch: Make a stop up at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch for some fresh American-style cuisine.
  • Dinner: Head to Cole’s Chop House for some amazing steaks and barbecue.
  • Dessert: Find a scoop of Italy in Napa: Frati Gelato Cafe has 5-star gelato that’s not too far from perfection.

3. Half Moon Bay, CA – Distance from SF: 29.3 Miles, 46 min drive

You say you want to rough it out in the woods, but just maybe not this weekend.

5179732005_89e8a27225_bSteve Jurvetson via Flickr
Where to stay:
Grab a few friends and go beach camping at Half Moon Bay State Beach, or rent your own beachfront casa at Beach House at Half Moon Bay.

What to do:
If you’re looking for a little adventure and not afraid to fall on your ass a few times, try windsurfing with Sea, Surf, & Fun. If you’re looking for a less challenging and more relaxed activity, check out Half Moon Bay Kayak Company Day Tours and paddle your little heart out around the harbor.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: Check out 3-Zero Cafe, voted “Best Breakfast on the Coast.” A one-of-a-kind cafe with home-inspired food and huge portions.
  • Lunch: Of course you can’t leave the beach without getting some fresh seafood. Go to Sam’s Chowder House — lobster roll, need I say more?
  • Dinner: It’s a bit on the pricier side, but if you get a chance check out Pasta Moon — arguably the most authentic, fresh pasta you’ll ever find this close to the beach. For a cheaper alternative, try Cafe Capistrano for some Central American-inspired Mexican food.
  • Dessert: Stop by Hot Chocolate Bar & S’mores right next to Half Moon Bay State Beach for everything you need for a bonfire night out on the beach.

4. Yountville, CA – Distance from SF: 60 Miles, 1-hour 22 min drive

When your work friends tell you, “You looked stressed”, what they’re really trying to tell you is you need a relaxing spa weekend to get rid of those bags. Yountville will relax you and also fill your stomach with some of the best food of your entire life.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 3.38.06 PMDaniel Hoherd via Flickr
Where to stay:
Hotel Yountville is a charming cabin-like luxury hotel located downtown with world-class restaurants, shops and wine tasting rooms.

What to do:
Visit Goosecross Cellars for a fine wine experience, get active and book a 2 day bike tour with Napa Valley Bike Tours, or learn a little history at Napa Valley Museum.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: Since Thomas Keller pretty much has Yountville on lock, you can’t go wrong grabbing a pastry at Bouchon Bakery.
  • Lunch: Eat lobster risotto at Redd for a lunch you won’t regret.
  • Dinner: If you can, plan this trip around an elusive reservation at the famed The French Laundry, or at Keller’s other restaurant Ad Hoc.
  • Dessert: Order it at any of the awesome restaurants in town — you will not be disappointed.

5. Capitola, CA – Distance from SF: 78.4 Miles, 1-hour 38 min drive

A charming beach town in Santa Cruz for you to escape from it all.

6828177859_1f452ebb21_bDan DeBold via Flickr
Where to stay:
Camp at New Brighton State Beach or book a colorful oceanfront villa at the Capitola Venetian Hotel.

What to do:
Have a family day at Capitola City Beach and rent some boards and paddles at Capitola Surf and Paddle — a highly recommended activity for all ages. For those with dogs, check out New Brighton State Beach.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Pea’s Cafe is a great place for a  late breakfast, with a nice selection of crepes and a reasonably priced menu. They are also proud to announce their gigantic waffles are back!
  • Lunch: Avenue Cafe is quietly located away from the crowds of the beach with tasty food, fast and friendly service. Anything on their breakfast menu and their chicken fried steak are all good calls.
  • Dinner: Head over to Bella Room Cafe for a lovely romantic Italian dinner in beautiful Capitola village.
  • Dessert: Ice cream: the one food we can all agree pairs perfectly with the beach. Go to Village Grill & Creamery some locally-made sweet treats.

6. Sonoma County, CA – Distance from SF: 80.8 Miles, 2-hour 17 min drive

Sonoma County (the other Sonoma) is the perfect seaside haven where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a view of the Pacific.

BBLgoogle+coverphotoBodega Bay Lodge via Google+
Where to stay: 
Cozy up on your seaside perch with views of Bodega Bay and the Pacific in your seaside quintessential coastal retreat: Bodega Bay Lodge is a romantic and serene destination to spend away from the hustle and bustle during the week.

What to do:
When you aren’t relaxing, book a ride with Up & Away and soar in a hot air balloon over beautiful Santa Rosa — it’ll be one for the books.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: For locally sourced ingredients and cocktails for breakfast, stop by the art-lined cafe SunFlower Espresso & Wine.
  • Lunch: Head over to Spud Point Crab Company for some of the real deal clam chowder.
  • Dinner:  Reserve dinner for two at Terrapin Creek Cafe — a hidden gem with a 5-star reputation in great, all-American food.
  • Dessert: Wine for dessert? Skip the fancy french pastries and substitute for some high quality dessert wines and good memories at Willi’s Wine Bar.

7. Pescadero, CA – Distance from SF: 46.4 Miles, 1-hour  8 min drive

A low-profile eco-adventure that’s closer then Tahoe. Round up the troops because it’s gonna be an awesome weekend.

3685207968_6e298b62d6_bDavid Baron via Flickr
Where to stay:
Stay at the Costanoa Lodge Resort where you can choose between wooden lodges, cabins, and fancy upscale bungalows, or keep it traditional in an RV or tent.

What to do:
Pescadero is a huge nature haven with an endless amount of activities: from hiking and kayaking to nature walks and mushroom identification tours, you’ll find something to do. Book your activities each day with Costanoa Lodge during your stay. Or do something unconventional…like a goat tour at Harley Farms.

Where to eat:

  • Breakfast: Head to Cascade Bar & Grill and choose between the red velvet pancakes, banana bread french toast, salmon Benedict, or huevos rancheros.
  • Lunch: Stop by Arcangeli Grocery for their famous Artichoke Garlic Herb bread and deli sandwiches.
  • Dinner: Get the diner experience at Alice’s Restaurant and enjoy checking out all the motorcycles.
  • Dessert: Eat all the pie you can at Pie Ranch — strawberry rhubarb, anyone?

Now all you gotta do is hop in a car and go.

Bonus Weekend Trip Ideas:

This article originally appeared on April 22, 2015.

[Featured image: My Marin Homes]


  1. Souls in the Waves

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