14 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in the Bay Area, CA | Vestasoft

Written by Freddy Sherman
Aug 7, 2019

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When you’re ready for a break and want to get away for the weekend from San Francisco, you have a seemingly endless array of options. Couples may want a romantic getaway near San Francisco, like The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay with its ocean-view rooms, luxurious spa, and fine dining. Families traveling with children may prefer a resort destination with a wider range of activities, like Lake Tahoe or Yosemite National Park.

California’s excellent freeway and highway system means many weekend getaways from the Bay Area are no more than a few hours away by car. There are close getaways, like  near The Claremont Club & Spa, right across the near Bay Bridge from downtown San Francisco in Berkeley, and ones that take some work to get to, like near Carmel, a three-hour drive down the coast. Plan your next short break with our list of the top-rated weekend getaways in near the Bay Area.

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1. Lake Tahoe top weekend 

Lake Tahoe

The country’s largest alpine lake covers a part of the border between California and Nevada, about 200 miles from near the Bay Area. weekend

The getaway drive takes about 3.5 hours weekend, except if you get caught in holiday traffic going either way. In the winter, Lake Tahoe is a truly world-class ski getaways (and snowboard) destination best with multiple large-scale ski resorts surrounding the place  beautiful blue lake.

In the best summer, it’s an excellent adventure and outdoor destination with an enormous range of things to do. There’s all  place   kinds of boating and fishing on the best lake and thousands of miles of hiking trails (and mountain biking) in the surrounding wilderness. The best lake also has beaches, which are popular places to swim and enjoy the best summer sunshine.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Stinson Beach trip   places

Stinson Beach
Stinson Beach

You can’t beat best  Stinson Beach for an old-fashioned easy romantic Bay Area weekend getaway, especially for families. This old-school beach town in Marin County, only 35 minutes from downtown best San Francisco, has a few vintage motels and similar accommodations and is refreshingly devoid of any kind of new development. The white, powdery, soft sand is perfect for sunbathing, and the surf here is gentle, making this a great swimming beach.

When you get hungry, there are a few place  locally owned restaurants and cafés. Stinson Beach is part of the massive Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s right next to vacation Mount Tamalpais State Park and the giant redwoods places of Muir Woods National Monument, a great little day trip while on your weekend getaway.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Stinson Beach vacation

3. Point Reyes  weekend getaways 

Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore
Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes, less than an hour from San Francisco, is another natural, unspoiled Bay Area getaway destination. The outside entire area is officially known as the place Point Reyes National Seashore, a national park. It includes the Point Reyes Lighthouse, opened in 1870. The outside lighthouse is reached via a frightening (and tiring) 300-step stairway and is open to visitors.

The national seashore area includes one of the greatest unspoiled beaches in Northern California, called Great Beach. It’s 11 miles of raw good California coastline–no buildings, no place  development, just beach and ocean. The national seashore (like a national park) is also home to Drakes Beach, located near the lighthouse. Not named place  for the hip hop star, this beach is America’s version of England’s White Cliffs of Dover with dramatic, sheer, white limestone cliffs towering hundreds of feet above the rough Pacific below.

4. The Claremont Club & Spa destinations 

The Claremont Club & Spa
The Claremont Club & Spa | Photo Source: The Claremont Club & Spa

This historic urban resort is in the city of Berkeley atop the Oakland hills, just 12 miles away across places the Bay Bridge from downtown San Francisco. The Claremont Club & Spa, top A Fairmont Hotel, opened in 1915 and continues to be an important social and hospitality favorite for visitors and the local community. Aside from being a top luxury hotel, it’s also a fitness and country club that offers private memberships.

There are a ton of things to do without ever having to leave the property. Options include swimming in one of the top  three saline pools, playing tennis on one of the 10 courts, taking one or more of the 90 fitness classes offered per week, hiking in the top local canyons, and, of course, enjoying the enormous hotel spa. There are several dining options at the top Claremont, including  top  Limewood, their signature top restaurant featuring locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine.

5. Monterey  minute weekend getaways

Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey
Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

The small seaside  city town, formerly known for its fishing and fish packing industries, has  city  evolved from the gritty John Steinbeck vision into a fun weekend nearby getaway destination. Monterey is now filled with a lot of things city to see, do, and eat, and those former city fish canneries are now trendy boutiques, art galleries, tourist city shops, and restaurants.

There are a few small beachfront hotels right on the sand, across Monterey Bay from the downtown area. It nearby takes about 2.5 hours to drive down from San Francisco, via the very scenic Highway 1 coastal highway. The route includes the epic 17-Mile Drive section, which hugs the ocean near Pebble Beach. Monterey is also home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a must-see attraction that showcases the incredibly rich biodiversity of the bay.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Monterey: Best Areas & Hotels

6. Carmel-by-the-Sea lancaster arts hotel

Carmel Mission
Carmel Mission

The next city down the coast from Monterey, Carmel is a beautiful small town with a compact, one-square-mile downtown village filled with locally owned shops, art galleries, boutique hotels, and a lot of restaurants. Development is heavily controlled, and most of the cottage-style buildings are original to the town’s early 20th-century founding. The village also has no traffic lights, no parking meters, and no individual address numbers on buildings (each building has a name instead).

The city is officially called Carmel-by-the-Sea and has long been a haven for artists of all types. The nearby  city bills itself as being extremely dog-friendly, and canine companions are welcome in most of the city’s businesses. Dogs are also welcome, off-leash, on the nearby city’s big Carmel Beach.

Accommodation: Where nearby to Stay in Carmel: Best Areas & Hotels

7. Lake Berryessa weekend getaways near 

Lake Berryessa
Lake Berryessa

This man-made lake was trip created in the 1960s with the construction of a large dam that now provides a lot of hydroelectric power to several Bay Area cities. The lake, the largest in Napa County, is where destinations San Franciscans come to relax and to play on the water.

Lake Berryessa is very popular with boaters, as well as swimmers and water skiers. The lake is stocked with a trip wide variety of fish and is a popular getaway destination for anglers. It’s surrounded by a vast, 6,000-acre nature reserve, which destinations has hiking trails and other places to explore. The lake is north of San Francisco and it takes about two hours to drive here.

8. Bodega Bay  springs mountain resort 

A foggy morning in Bodega Bay
A foggy morning in Bodega Bay

This Bay Area weekend getaway destination is in Sonoma County, about 90 minutes from San Francisco and not far from the Napa Valley. The entire area is a big, protected bay, with multiple beaches along the coastline. There’s a fishing and pleasure boat harbor and the quaint village of Bodega Bay. Movie fans will recognize the town of Bodega Bay from its appearance as the location for the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.

The area’s history is fascinating. It was occupied by the Russians in the early 19th century before becoming part of Spanish California and later the United States. Inexpensive accommodations and inexpensive restaurants make Bodega Bay a good, cheap romantic getaway as well.

9. Sausalito  pennsylvania


This very upscale city is in Marin County, right on the other side of the Golden Gate Strait and the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. It’s a beautiful, seaside community, filled with very expensive real estate and fantastic houses on the hills overlooking the ocean.

There’s a pleasure boat harbor with a lot of live-aboard boats. Why not try an afternoon sailing adventure or trip a kayak safari to explore the local marine life? trip For some retail therapy, there’s a compact downtown area filled with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Sausalito is part of the Marin Headlands, the natural open space and hills overlooking the city. Some of the trip views of the Golden Gate Bridge, bay, and city from the trip elevated locations are trip truly amazing (and very Instagram-worthy).

10. Half Moon Bay best romantic 

Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay

A visit to Half Moon Bay and the area’s main resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is the perfect Bay Area romantic getaway for couples. The luxury hotel is the only seaside luxury resort in Northern California, and most of the rooms and suites have spectacular ocean views. The pet-friendly resort sits atop a cliff, with a very nice beach only a short walk away.

Aside from a championship golf course, a luxurious spa, and all kinds of fitness facilities, the resort has a unique drone school. You can learn to fly a drone and film some cool footage of the resort and ocean while doing it. And while it may be great for couples, it’s also a good getaway for families, as the hotel (and all Ritz-Carltons) has a Ritz Kids program. This provides full- and half-day summer camp-like supervised programs for kids. They also have a Kids Night Out dinner and movie, supervised playgroups on Friday and Saturday nights, so parents can get some alone time.

11. Sonoma city getaway  

Sonoma Plaza
Sonoma Plaza

Sonoma County, about an hour’s drive from San Francisco, is like a cheaper, more authentic Napa Valley.romantic weekend getaways 

It’s filled with vine-covered fields, and there are many curbside farm stands where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables.weekend getaways getaways

Dairies and other local producers also have roadside shops where you can buy and try fresh cheese, meats, and other foods.minute weekend getaways

The area is also populated with a few luxury resorts and spas.romantic getaway

Outdoor activities include hiking, getaway biking (road and mountain), boating, and fishing. weekend getaways near

A good place to hike is the Jack London State Historic Park, which aside from having getaway miles of hiking trails, has the former home and the grave of celebrated author Jack London. weekend getaway 

Sonoma is both a city and a county, and Sonoma Plaza is the city of Sonoma’s 19th-century getaway  town center and main street area.

Railroad buffs (and kids) will love the Sonoma TrainTown Railroad, a small-gauge steam railroad and train amusement park.lake state park 

12. Santa Cruz vacations

Aerial view of Santa Cruz
Aerial view of Santa Cruz

This traditional California beach town has a wide, flat beach with soft, golden sand and reasonably gentle surf. Next to the beach is the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an old-school, mile-long wooden boardwalk, lined with shops, carnival games, and next to an amusement park. The Boardwalk opened way back in 1907, and two rides (the Giant Dipper roller coaster and the Looff Carousel) are even National Historic Landmarks.

The ocean in front of the beach is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and from the beach, you can often see dolphins, otters, sea lions, and whales. Santa Cruz is about a 90-minute drive from San Francisco.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Santa Cruz: Best Areas & Hotels

13. Mammoth Lakes chicago vacation 

Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak in Mammoth
Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak in Mammoth

This natural getaway destination is another getaway year-round outdoor area known mainly for its winter sports.lancaster arts hotel

It’s a beautiful six-hour drive from San Francisco (or a 45-minute flight). The town is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and Mammoth Mountain is the local mountain and the name of the ski resort. springs mountain resort 

Yosemite National Park is close-by, and nearby Mono Lake, with it’s lunar-like landscape, is also something to see. great weekend getaway

The elevation is high, and so is the snowpack, sometimes allowing ski areas to stay open well into the summer months. family weekend getaways 

A visit to the Mammoth area should also include a stop at the nearby Manzanar National Historic Site.lodge romantic getaways

This is one of the 10 concentration camps set up by the US government during World War II for great people of Japanese descent.

14. Yosemite National Park  great

Sunset over the Yosemite Valley
Sunset over the Yosemite Valley

For the ultimate Bay Area weekend getaway, you can leave San Francisco early in the morning and about four hours later, you’ll arrive at Yosemite National Park.rock state park

It’s truly a spectacular place, with incredible natural wonders like the 3,000-foot granite walls of El Capitan or the giant granite Half Dome rock. Also city  be sure to check out Bridalveil Fall, a 600-foot waterfall.

The park is city  also home to giant sequoia redwood trees. There’s a small village in the park with shops and the city  park’s museum and visitor’s center. You can also find places to eat and spend the night. 

There’s a range of activities available, from hiking and camping, to tours by tram. The guided tram tours are available city in a two-, four-, or eight-hour (all-day) itinerary great and take you all over the park.

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