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.

RELATED: The 6 Best Places to Live in California (Outside of the Bay Area)


© Courtesy of Inn at the Presidio



Image credit: Courtesy of Inn at the Presidio

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.

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© Courtesy of Flamingo Resort



Image credit: Courtesy of Flamingo Resort

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.

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© Courtesy of Vista Collina



Image credit: Courtesy of Vista Collina

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.

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© Courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery



Image credit: Courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

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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.

Gallery: 15 Last-Minute 4th of July Getaways You Can Still Book Now (PureWow)

  • Slide 1 of 15: Everyone knows about the Hamptons—and the prices reflect that. Equally accessible via LIRR train from Penn Station, The North Fork of Long Island is far more affordable with less attitude and an abundance of pleasurable pursuits. Our go-to town? Greenport. This historic village delights with a blend of quaint inns, farm-to-table restaurants, cute shops and breezy bars with seaside views. Activities range from waterside yoga and wine tasting at family-owned vineyards to fishing and oyster farm tours. Where to stay:  Harborfront Inn at Greenport (2 guests): $257/night Sound View Greenport (2 guests): $298/night Bright Apartment (2 guests): $372/night

  • Slide 2 of 15: Malibu may be 32 miles from DTLA, but it feels like another world. Perched on either side of the Pacific Coast Highway, this laid-back beach town is everything you dream of for a summer weekend escape. First off, we’ve already made the case that it’s easy to get to (yes, even if you factor in Los Angeles traffic). Malibu also has pristine beaches, gorgeous hiking trails, revamped motels that are Instagram gold and wonderful restaurants. Love a casual spot? Hit up Malibu Farm Pier Cafe. For a scene-ier vibe, make a reservation at Nobu Malibu. Where to stay:  The Surfrider Hotel (2 guests): $525/night  Malibu Beach Inn (2 guests): $715/night Lovely Casita (8 guests): $495/night

  • Slide 3 of 15: Chicago enjoys gorgeous weather in summer. But to fully enjoy the sunshine and warmer temps, you’ve got to escape the city and get out on the water. Insert Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Just a 90-minute drive from the Windy City, this beloved summer destination is a magnet for travelers seeking waterfront fun in the form of beaches, booze cruises and the Geneva Lake Shore Path. What more could you possibly need for a fantastic 4th of July getaway?  Where to stay:  Two Bedroom Condo (6 guests): $208/night Lost Oak on Center (6 guests): $244/night Beautiful Lake Como Home (8 guests): $375/night

  • Slide 4 of 15: San Diego is already a totally vacation-worthy locale in its own right. But we suppose if you’re fortunate enough to call this sun-kissed city home all the time, you might want to switch it up for the 4th of July. If that’s the case, look no further than Encinitas. We’re stoked on this laid-back surf town. Perched on Highway 101, it promises world-class waves, beachfront yoga and all the bomb burritos you can eat. Where to stay:  Luxury Oceanview Condo (5 guests): $325/night Vintage Bungalow (6 guests): $350/night SoCal Townhouse (7 guests): $335/night

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  • Slide 5 of 15: What makes Fredericksburg such a great summer vacation spot for Houstonians? Well, for starters, its location in the heart of Texas wine country means that beautiful scenery and terroir-driven sips are a given. What you might not realize about Fredericksburg is its German heritage. Prepare to chow down on schnitzel and toss back a frosty stein. (Think of it as a fun twist on the usual hot dogs and beer.) Round out Independence Day weekend by hiking Enchanted Rock. Where to stay:  Lone Star Cabin No. 4 (4 guests): $206/night Quaint Cottage (5 guests): $225/night Sweet Tea Guest House (7 guests): $245/night

  • Slide 6 of 15: Las Vegas isn’t the only place to roll the dice. The OG gambling and entertainment mecca, Atlantic City brings a little bit of everything to the table. Whether you’re keen on playing blackjack, zenning out with spa treatments, feasting on culinary delicacies prepared by big-name chefs, soaking up the sun or catching a concert (live music is back, baby!), this buzzing Jersey shore destination delivers. And with a slew of casino-hotels, staying like a high roller doesn’t mean spending all your winnings on a room. Where to stay:  Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (2 guests): $119/night Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City (2 guests): $149/night Caesars Atlantic City (2 guests): $127/night

  • Slide 7 of 15: An hour outside of San Francisco lies picture-perfect Sonoma Valley (aka a less crowded and more wallet-friendly alternative to Napa). It’s not your typical fireworks, parades and hot dog eating contest type of Independence Day trip—and we totally dig that. Instead of the traditional 4th of July trappings, travelers can expect to sip award-winning vino at gorgeous vineyards, savor delicious food made by world-class chefs that highlights locally grown ingredients and soak in the wine country ambiance. (Definitely beats warm beer and burnt burgers, no?) Where to stay:  Gaige House + Ryokan (2 guests): $286/night Olea Hotel (2 guests): $380/night Harmon Guest House (2 guests): $389/night

  • Slide 8 of 15: If you aren’t a local, a trip to Austin sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend the 4th of July weekend. But we totally get that when you take up residence somewhere, it’s nice to get away every now and again. Just 30 minutes outside of Austin (that’s so close you could just go for the afternoon) sits Dripping Springs, a small town that’s packed with natural beauty, lick-your-lips-good BBQ, distilleries, breweries and outdoor activities. Where to stay:  Newly Restored Historic Home (6 guests): $198/night Hill Country Retreat (6 guests): $312/night Monticello Cottage (7 guests): $270/night

  • Slide 9 of 15: Need a break from the Phoenix heat? We don't blame you. Pack a bag, hop in the car and hightail it to Flagstaff—quite literally the coolest place in all of Arizona. (Summer temperatures average in the low 80s.) This city in the high country mountains is known as the gateway to Grand Canyon National Park and the San Francisco Peaks. It’s also home to ponderosa pine forests, an extinct volcano, many breweries and even the world’s largest ice cream cone factory. Where to stay:  Custom-Built Guest House (6 guests): $197/night Comfy Flagstaff House (6 guests): $207/night Mountain Retreat (10 guests): $185/night

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  • Slide 10 of 15: Cape Cod has long been the *it* summer destination on the East Coast. (The Kennedys famously have a compound in Hyannis Port...that really says it all.) If you want a classic New England escape that feels both posh and totally patriotic, Cape Cod is most certainly the move. Walk along the sandy beaches, admire the coastal cottages, go gallery hopping in Provincetown and stop by Devil's Purse Brewing Company for a Kölsch-style beer. Where to stay:  Beach Breeze Inn (2 guests): $229/night  Lands End Inn (2 guests): $425/night  Chatham Bars Inn (2 guests): $675/night

  • Slide 11 of 15: We bet you never thought a trip to a Bavarian-style village was possible this late in the game. That’s just because you didn’t know about Leavenworth. Situated in the Cascade Mountains, this storybook town transports travelers to Germany with its enchanting architecture, sausages, craft beer and Nutcracker Museum. Is it the most patriotic option from Independence Day? Not by a long shot. But we’re into an out-of-the-ordinary locale, and Leavenworth definitely falls into that category. Where to stay:  Aventyr Hus (4 guests): $141/night Cozy Riverfront Cabin (4 guests): $175/night The Pinewood Farmhouse (6 guests): $285/night

  • Slide 12 of 15: Drive outside Portland and you’ll arrive upon an idyllic destination called Willamette Valley. For those not familiar with Oregon's premier wine region, it rivals Burgundy (yes, Burgundy as in France) for pinot noir production. Besides incredible vino—and the myriad wineries, verdant vineyards and tasting rooms that come with the territory—it’s loaded with little towns (hello, McMinnville), independently owned shops, cafes serving fresh-roasted coffee, farm-to-fork eateries and hiking trails and spas. Where to stay:  Atticus Hotel (2 guests): $329/night Downtown McMinnville Cottage (4 guests): $150/night Charming Bungalow (4 guests): $195/night

  • Slide 13 of 15: We love a mountain town, and Asheville definitely fits the bill (OK, fine it’s a city but you get the idea). Anyway, this offbeat gem in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains has oodles of quirky charm and more activities than you could possibly pack into a long weekend. Choose between hundreds of hiking and biking trails or catch a concert at one of the many live music venues. Don’t forget to hit up the many studios and galleries in the Downtown Art District. Where to stay:  Creekside Cottage (4 guests): $217/night Modern Downtown Apartment (4 guests): $260/night Luxury Riverfront Cabin (4 guests): $483/night

  • Slide 14 of 15: You’d be hard-pressed to find natural beauty that rivals Hocking Hills just outside a major city (or anywhere for that matter). That’s a huge reason we’re so smitten with this real-life Eden located 57 miles from Columbus. Beloved by outdoorsy travelers, Hocking Hills boasts a breathtaking mix of caves, gushing waterfalls, rocky gorges and dense forests. It goes without saying that hiking, biking, fishing and camping are popular activities you won’t want to miss. Where to stay:  Black Bear Retreat (2 guests): $179/night Rockview Cottage (4 guests): $146/night  Modern Loft (4 guests): $289/night

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  • Slide 15 of 15: Denver is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring so many picturesque places in Colorado. For an easy and epic 4th of July getaway from the Mile High City, we have our eyes on Steamboat Springs (and you should too). Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, this off-the-beaten-path yet totally accessible destination has lots to eat, drink and do. There are scenic hiking trails, tons of great restaurants, breweries and, of course, the Steamboat Gondola. Where to stay:  Ski-In/Out Condo (4 guests): $137/night Fully Remodeled Condo (4 guests): $174/night Tranquil Log Cabin (10 guests): $336/night  RELATED: THE 15 MOST CHARMING SMALL TOWNS IN COLORADO WE MIGHT JUST MOVE TO

1. FROM NEW YORK CITY: GREENPORT, NY

Everyone knows about the Hamptons—and the prices reflect that. Equally accessible via LIRR train from Penn Station, The North Fork of Long Island is far more affordable with less attitude and an abundance of pleasurable pursuits. Our go-to town? Greenport. This historic village delights with a blend of quaint inns, farm-to-table restaurants, cute shops and breezy bars with seaside views. Activities range from waterside yoga and wine tasting at family-owned vineyards to fishing and oyster farm tours.

Where to stay:

  • Harborfront Inn at Greenport (2 guests): $257/night
  • Sound View Greenport (2 guests): $298/night
  • Bright Apartment (2 guests): $372/night

2. FROM LOS ANGELES: MALIBU, CA

Malibu may be 32 miles from DTLA, but it feels like another world. Perched on either side of the Pacific Coast Highway, this laid-back beach town is everything you dream of for a summer weekend escape. First off, we’ve already made the case that it’s easy to get to (yes, even if you factor in Los Angeles traffic). Malibu also has pristine beaches, gorgeous hiking trails, revamped motels that are Instagram gold and wonderful restaurants. Love a casual spot? Hit up Malibu Farm Pier Cafe. For a scene-ier vibe, make a reservation at Nobu Malibu.

Where to stay:

  • The Surfrider Hotel (2 guests): $525/night
  • Malibu Beach Inn (2 guests): $715/night
  • Lovely Casita (8 guests): $495/night

3. FROM CHICAGO: LAKE GENEVA, WI

Chicago enjoys gorgeous weather in summer. But to fully enjoy the sunshine and warmer temps, you’ve got to escape the city and get out on the water. Insert Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Just a 90-minute drive from the Windy City, this beloved summer destination is a magnet for travelers seeking waterfront fun in the form of beaches, booze cruises and the Geneva Lake Shore Path. What more could you possibly need for a fantastic 4th of July getaway?

Where to stay:

  • Two Bedroom Condo (6 guests): $208/night
  • Lost Oak on Center (6 guests): $244/night
  • Beautiful Lake Como Home (8 guests): $375/night

4. FROM SAN DIEGO: ENCINITAS, CA

San Diego is already a totally vacation-worthy locale in its own right. But we suppose if you’re fortunate enough to call this sun-kissed city home all the time, you might want to switch it up for the 4th of July. If that’s the case, look no further than Encinitas. We’re stoked on this laid-back surf town. Perched on Highway 101, it promises world-class waves, beachfront yoga and all the bomb burritos you can eat.

Where to stay:

  • Luxury Oceanview Condo (5 guests): $325/night
  • Vintage Bungalow (6 guests): $350/night
  • SoCal Townhouse (7 guests): $335/night

5. FROM HOUSTON: FREDERICKSBURG, TX

What makes Fredericksburg such a great summer vacation spot for Houstonians? Well, for starters, its location in the heart of Texas wine country means that beautiful scenery and terroir-driven sips are a given. What you might not realize about Fredericksburg is its German heritage. Prepare to chow down on schnitzel and toss back a frosty stein. (Think of it as a fun twist on the usual hot dogs and beer.) Round out Independence Day weekend by hiking Enchanted Rock.

Where to stay:

  • Lone Star Cabin No. 4 (4 guests): $206/night
  • Quaint Cottage (5 guests): $225/night
  • Sweet Tea Guest House (7 guests): $245/night

6. FROM PHILADELPHIA: ATLANTIC CITY, NJ

Las Vegas isn’t the only place to roll the dice. The OG gambling and entertainment mecca, Atlantic City brings a little bit of everything to the table. Whether you’re keen on playing blackjack, zenning out with spa treatments, feasting on culinary delicacies prepared by big-name chefs, soaking up the sun or catching a concert (live music is back, baby!), this buzzing Jersey shore destination delivers. And with a slew of casino-hotels, staying like a high roller doesn’t mean spending all your winnings on a room.

Where to stay:

  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (2 guests): $119/night
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City (2 guests): $149/night
  • Caesars Atlantic City (2 guests): $127/night

7. FROM SAN FRANCISCO: SONOMA VALLEY, CA

An hour outside of San Francisco lies picture-perfect Sonoma Valley (aka a less crowded and more wallet-friendly alternative to Napa). It’s not your typical fireworks, parades and hot dog eating contest type of Independence Day trip—and we totally dig that. Instead of the traditional 4th of July trappings, travelers can expect to sip award-winning vino at gorgeous vineyards, savor delicious food made by world-class chefs that highlights locally grown ingredients and soak in the wine country ambiance. (Definitely beats warm beer and burnt burgers, no?)

Where to stay:

  • Gaige House + Ryokan (2 guests): $286/night
  • Olea Hotel (2 guests): $380/night
  • Harmon Guest House (2 guests): $389/night

8. FROM AUSTIN: DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX

If you aren’t a local, a trip to Austin sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend the 4th of July weekend. But we totally get that when you take up residence somewhere, it’s nice to get away every now and again. Just 30 minutes outside of Austin (that’s so close you could just go for the afternoon) sits Dripping Springs, a small town that’s packed with natural beauty, lick-your-lips-good BBQ, distilleries, breweries and outdoor activities.

Where to stay:

  • Newly Restored Historic Home (6 guests): $198/night
  • Hill Country Retreat (6 guests): $312/night
  • Monticello Cottage (7 guests): $270/night

9. FROM PHOENIX: FLAGSTAFF, AZ

Need a break from the Phoenix heat? We don’t blame you. Pack a bag, hop in the car and hightail it to Flagstaff—quite literally the coolest place in all of Arizona. (Summer temperatures average in the low 80s.) This city in the high country mountains is known as the gateway to Grand Canyon National Park and the San Francisco Peaks. It’s also home to ponderosa pine forests, an extinct volcano, many breweries and even the world’s largest ice cream cone factory.

Where to stay:

  • Custom-Built Guest House (6 guests): $197/night
  • Comfy Flagstaff House (6 guests): $207/night
  • Mountain Retreat (10 guests): $185/night

10. FROM BOSTON: CAPE COD, MA

Cape Cod has long been the *it* summer destination on the East Coast. (The Kennedys famously have a compound in Hyannis Port…that really says it all.) If you want a classic New England escape that feels both posh and totally patriotic, Cape Cod is most certainly the move. Walk along the sandy beaches, admire the coastal cottages, go gallery hopping in Provincetown and stop by Devil’s Purse Brewing Company for a Kölsch-style beer.

Where to stay:

  • Beach Breeze Inn (2 guests): $229/night
  • Lands End Inn (2 guests): $425/night
  • Chatham Bars Inn (2 guests): $675/night

11. FROM SEATTLE: LEAVENWORTH, WA

We bet you never thought a trip to a Bavarian-style village was possible this late in the game. That’s just because you didn’t know about Leavenworth. Situated in the Cascade Mountains, this storybook town transports travelers to Germany with its enchanting architecture, sausages, craft beer and Nutcracker Museum. Is it the most patriotic option from Independence Day? Not by a long shot. But we’re into an out-of-the-ordinary locale, and Leavenworth definitely falls into that category.

Where to stay:

  • Aventyr Hus (4 guests): $141/night
  • Cozy Riverfront Cabin (4 guests): $175/night
  • The Pinewood Farmhouse (6 guests): $285/night

12. FROM PORTLAND: WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OR

Drive outside Portland and you’ll arrive upon an idyllic destination called Willamette Valley. For those not familiar with Oregon’s premier wine region, it rivals Burgundy (yes, Burgundy as in France) for pinot noir production. Besides incredible vino—and the myriad wineries, verdant vineyards and tasting rooms that come with the territory—it’s loaded with little towns (hello, McMinnville), independently owned shops, cafes serving fresh-roasted coffee, farm-to-fork eateries and hiking trails and spas.

Where to stay:

  • Atticus Hotel (2 guests): $329/night
  • Downtown McMinnville Cottage (4 guests): $150/night
  • Charming Bungalow (4 guests): $195/night

13. FROM CHARLOTTE: ASHEVILLE, NC

We love a mountain town, and Asheville definitely fits the bill (OK, fine it’s a city but you get the idea). Anyway, this offbeat gem in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains has oodles of quirky charm and more activities than you could possibly pack into a long weekend. Choose between hundreds of hiking and biking trails or catch a concert at one of the many live music venues. Don’t forget to hit up the many studios and galleries in the Downtown Art District.

Where to stay:

  • Creekside Cottage (4 guests): $217/night
  • Modern Downtown Apartment (4 guests): $260/night
  • Luxury Riverfront Cabin (4 guests): $483/night

14. FROM COLUMBUS: HOCKING HILLS, OH

You’d be hard-pressed to find natural beauty that rivals Hocking Hills just outside a major city (or anywhere for that matter). That’s a huge reason we’re so smitten with this real-life Eden located 57 miles from Columbus. Beloved by outdoorsy travelers, Hocking Hills boasts a breathtaking mix of caves, gushing waterfalls, rocky gorges and dense forests. It goes without saying that hiking, biking, fishing and camping are popular activities you won’t want to miss.

Where to stay:

  • Black Bear Retreat (2 guests): $179/night
  • Rockview Cottage (4 guests): $146/night
  • Modern Loft (4 guests): $289/night

15. FROM DENVER: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO

Denver is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring so many picturesque places in Colorado. For an easy and epic 4th of July getaway from the Mile High City, we have our eyes on Steamboat Springs (and you should too). Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, this off-the-beaten-path yet totally accessible destination has lots to eat, drink and do. There are scenic hiking trails, tons of great restaurants, breweries and, of course, the Steamboat Gondola.

Where to stay:

  • Ski-In/Out Condo (4 guests): $137/night
  • Fully Remodeled Condo (4 guests): $174/night
  • Tranquil Log Cabin (10 guests): $336/night

RELATED: THE 15 MOST CHARMING SMALL TOWNS IN COLORADO WE MIGHT JUST MOVE TO

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© VRBO



Image credit: VRBO

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.

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© Stephanie Russo



Image credit: Stephanie Russo

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.

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© Tripadvisor



Image credit: Tripadvisor

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.

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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.

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© Courtesy of Plum Guide



Image credit: Courtesy of Plum Guide

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.

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© Courtesy of Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort



Image credit: Courtesy of Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort

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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RELATED: 8 of the Best Lakes and Swimming Holes in the Bay Area

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