The state of California has some of the best locations for a spectacular weekend getaway. These destinations cover the diverse landscape of the Golden State with mountain, ocean, and desert location getaways. All the destinations listed are located just within a few hours’ drive of California’s major cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Get your travel planner out and read on to discover the best destinations in California for a weekend getaway.
Best California Destinations For A Weekend Getaway
Relax at a Seaside Community
About one hour from San Francisco is Marin County and the Sonoma Coast. The beautiful seaside community is a popular weekend getaway from the Bay Area. Movie buffs may want to visit charming Bodega Bay, where the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds was set and filmed. Along your journey, you may want to stay at any one of the quaint hotels and inns on Highway 1. At Inn at the Tides, guests stay in elegant guest lodges in secluded natural surroundings, with awesome views of Bodega Bay. You can dine on a fabulous seafood meal with a wonderful view at River’s End Restaurant, located in Jenner.
Feel Romantic in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is a vibrant coastal community with palm trees, abundant sunshine, and plenty to do on a weekend. In town, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has a new wing devoted to contemporary art and photography. Pedestrians will love the car free State Street Promenade for their daily exercise. In Santa Barbara, guests can spend time sunning on the local beaches, visit a local parks like Montecito, bike all over town and visit nearby Santa Barbara Blueberry Farm, plus much more. Couples will love staying at the many romantic accommodations in town including the new and glamorous Hotel Californian. For great French cuisine, stop by Bouchon for their signature duck entrée and lobster pot pie.
See the Wild, Dramatic Coast at Big Sur
Big Sur is a town on California’s central coast that is famous for its scenic beauty. You will arrive in Big Sur after you drive you way along the twists of The Pacific Coast Highway and see awesome scenery on the way. The town was first established in the 1830s by Spanish settlers and grew into large settlements during the Gold Rush. Visitors can book a professional tour guide for a wide range of historical, hiking and vehicle tours, play on the beach, or indulge themselves at Spa Alila. For dinner, try the succulent lamb at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Restaurant for a great treat. For a phenomenal stay, the Post Ranch Inn has 39 unique rooms set in modern architecture with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Experience Nature and Wildlife at Yosemite
This popular National Park is located only four hours from San Francisco and about five and a half hours drive from Los Angeles. This makes Yosemite National Park an ideal location for a California weekend getaway. At Yosemite, you can camp, swim, hike, go horseback riding, and much more. The wildlife sightings here are remarkable and include black bears, mountain lions, deer, and the Sierra Nevada Red Fox. Reservations are required to visit and drive through Yosemite National Park through September 30th.
Enjoy a Desert Retreat at Palm Springs
This southern California desert retreat is known for its fine dining, a thriving art scene and its glitz and glamour. Hikers will love navigating the two mile loop to pretty Tahquita Falls. Guests can spend a day viewing the gorgeous desert landscape and see animal exhibits at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. This special attraction is a combined zoo and botanical garden that specializes in desert conservation. The Palm Springs Art Museum has an extensive collection of modernist photography and art and is worth a visit for any art aficionado. Treat yourself and splurge with a stay at the opulent Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs. For your dining pleasure, book at table at Purple Room Supper Club and taste their tasty shrimp scampi.
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