The Best Romantic Weekend Getaways from San Francisco, California
Alright guys, this one’s for you. We all know you want to do something special for her – whether it’s for a holiday weekend, or to celebrate Valentines day, a birthday or an anniversary… and you know she wants nothing more than for you to take her away for a romantic getaway somewhere beautiful. But, you both work, you’re already going to 10 weddings this year, AND you have a trip to Bali planned this Spring, so let’s face it – you just can’t take another day off work. That’s where the weekend comes in. Romantic long weekend getaways are the BEST, especially when you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. And getaways make the perfect, thoughtful gift for holidays, anniversaries, and Valentines day! And, frankly, it’s a gift for both of you.
One of my favorite things about California is we have so much right at our fingertips. There are countless amazing trips a few hours away from the city, and there’s always more to explore. I lived in San Francisco for 4 years and loved getting to be a tourist in my own Bay Area on the weekends, which is why I wanted to break down some of my favorite staycation vacays in the Bay for you all!
Whether you want to cruise down South on Highway One to Big Sur, relax in Carmel-by-the-sea, go oyster shucking in Tomales Bay, surf in Santa Cruz, or head over to wine country, there is SO much to see in our beautiful bay area that your options are limitless. But that’s where planning a special weekend getaway can get tough – and why I’m here to help!
Here are my favorite options for romantic, unique, and FUN weekend getaways just outside the 7×7.
Table of Contents
Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. The rolling hills, crashing waves, rugged cliffs and windy, foggy mornings overlooking Ritz Carlton’s gorgeous golf course all will make you feel as though you’ve woken up in a completely different country (and did I mention this is only an hour drive from San Francisco?!). The hotel also features a beautiful spa, two golf courses (one designed by Arnold Palmer), incredible dining options (at the Conservatory and Navio), warm fire pits for roasting marshmallows as the sun goes down (yes, you can order s’mores kits -complete with house-made marshmallows- from room service), and unbeatable views everywhere you look. An escape to the Ritz Half Moon Bay is the perfect weekend getaway.
Waking up in Big Sur is one of the most magical feelings in the world. The Santa Lucia Mountains jet up from the Pacific Ocean and create one of the most surreal, majestic parts of California, and the USA. You can spend your days hiking the coast, or driving along Highway One, soaking up all of the views on your way.
For me, there’s nowhere quite like wine country for a little R&R&R&R : rest, romance, relaxation & rosé. Sonoma & Napa are only an hour from San Francisco, making it an easy day or one night trip away from the city, or you can head further north to Healdsburg – an adorable small town with so much charm (and some of the best wineries in the world).
Where to stay in Napa: Villagio for romance, Senza for a perfect location and beautiful rooms at a great price (We also used our Chase Points for this one – it’s a great deal on points if you have those!) or a cute vineyard view room on Airbnb like this one.
Where to stay in Sonoma: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn – hands down my favorite in Sonoma and one of the best spas around – so if you’re looking for the perfect Valentines day, anniversary, or birthday gift for your girl to go with your getaway – one night in this beautiful hotel and a spa treatment in their spa and I can guarantee you she’ll be the happiest girl around.
Where to stay in Healdsburg: Hotel Les Mars, one of my very favorite hotels in the world.
The small towns of Bodega Bay and Tomales Bay (about 2 hours from San Francisco) are stunning places to unwind, explore nature, picnic, hike, or just soak in the beautiful wilderness of Northern California. You can also post up at Tomales Bay Oyster Company, California’s oldest shellfish farm, and bring your own food & drinks — except oysters and clams, of course, which you can purchase onsite and shuck for yourself — for a super memorable picnic.
Carmel-by-the-sea and Pebble Beach
There may not be a more chic, relaxed, beautiful town in the world than Carmel-by-the-sea. I mean even its adorable name makes me want to pack up and move there for good. A weekend in Carmel means cozying up with your loved one, walking the beach on the crisp coastal mornings, and checking out Pebble Beach’s world-famous Golf Links (head to the restaurant on the 18th hole for lunch – one of my favorite things to do in town!). You can also head into Monterrey for the day and check out the Aquarium, or walk the town.
Whether it’s for a cozy ski weekend in the winter, or a hot summer weekend spent on the lake, it’s hard to beat Lake Tahoe for a romantic weekend escape.
With wineries, beaches, great food and a vibrant downtown, Santa Barbara is a perfect romantic escape from the city.
Located on the Sandpiper golf course, the Ritz Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara resort is the perfect Highway One destination – with beautiful ocean views, an outdoor pool and five-star on-site dining. All guest rooms have a private patio with a view – so perfect for sipping on some sunset wine and relaxing at the end of the day.
Located directly on the beach, the famed, recently re-opened Rosewood Miramar is arguably one of the most beautiful, and classic, hotel properties in the world. Luxe, spacious, beachside guest rooms, suites and private bungalows to fulfill all your California dreams.
Or in one of these cute Santa Barbara airbnbs.
Check out my other related San Francisco blog posts!