Living in San Francisco means being surrounded by an endless array of charming and diverse getaways. Whether you’re looking to go wine tasting in Napa or enjoy a mountainous escape in Tahoe, there are plenty of nearby weekend escapes for couples.
When my husband and I plan a trip, we typically like to keep our drive time under three hours so that we can make the most of a weekend. All of these are within that time, making it super easy to head out on a Friday and get back Sunday. My suggestion is to leave early if you can to avoid the weekend traffic!
Whether you are planning an anniversary or even a birthday celebration, I’ve rounded up the 10 most romantic getaways near the Bay Area so that you can make the most of a weekend staycation. Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to experience these and curated my favorites!
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10 Romantic Getaways Near the Bay Area
The beaches here are stunning as well, but I would consider Carmel-by-the-Sea to be a major culinary destination for foodies. Monterey is also right next door, so you can easily cross both destinations off your list if you’re looking to make it a long weekend.
Those seeking some romance will also find plenty of upscale hotel options. What could be more romantic than a couples massage at L’Auberge Carmel followed by a glass of champagne in your room?
2. Point Reyes
Point Reyes in Marin County is the perfect place to soak up the pristine Northern California coastline. If you’re looking to spend a decent chunk of time outdoors, the Point Reyes National Seashore is a must.
This unique national park is home to cliffside waterfalls, diverse marine life, and the iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse. The Philip Burton Wilderness has tons of great hiking trails. Even if you’re not super into hiking, the views are well worth attempting at least one trail.
Though it is not as famous as nearby Napa, Sonoma is home to some of the best wine tasting in the country. There are a few solid hotels in the area to choose from, but The Farmhouse Inn is the ultimate place to book a room for a romantic getaway.
The cozy, farmhouse-style rooms are simple yet luxurious. From Barn rooms to cottage suites, there are plenty of options for every couple. The in-room amenities are also awesome, ranging from complimentary snacks to a curated wine fridge.
When it comes to the spa, The Wellness Barn’s treatment menu features from signature couples massages to anti-aging facials. There is also an on-site restaurant called the Farmhouse Restaurant, which is Michelin-starred and internationally recognized.
Healdsburg is a charming town located right along the Russian River. The small-town vibes here are beyond adorable, making this Sonoma County gem a true treasure.
The town plaza is home to tons of great restaurants, tasting rooms, galleries, and bars, making this a great option for foodies seeking a quaint getaway any time of the year. Since Healdsburg is situated right at the center of three wine valleys, vino is at the forefront of the local culture.
Timber Cove Resort blends rustic, cabin living with the coast. The hotel sits high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific while the redwoods lie just on the other side.
This is a wonderful resort for couples looking to unplug for a bit and immerse themselves in nature without skimping on luxury living. The on-site Coast Kitchen serves up seasonal fare and local wines in a warm and cozy setting.
Since the hotel sits on more than 25 acres, there is plenty of space and land to explore. Though there are only 46 guest rooms, the hotel is also home to a common Great Room and Outdoor Living Room where guests can play ping pong or gather around the fire pits.
6. Lake Tahoe
If you’re looking for a woodsy getaway, Lake Tahoe is by far the best option. This lakeside community is a special place to visit no matter what season, and there are so many different beaches and areas to explore.
Since Lake Tahoe straddles the border of Nevada and California, you can even cross state lines for your romantic getaway without actually going too far. From taking a dip in the lake during summer to skiing in winter, there are plenty of outdoor activities to take full advantage of in Lake Tahoe.
The Inn at Newport Ranch offers a more rustic and off-the-beaten-path getaway in Fort Bragg. The hotel sits on more than 2,000 acres of land and encompasses seven different microclimates along the coast.
It is surrounded by more than 20 hiking trails, allowing you to get your steps in and explore the land at your leisure. There are only nine accommodation options on-site that are scattered across four buildings, giving The Inn at Newport Ranch a very intimate and exclusive vibe.
Located in Napa County, Yountville is a quaint yet elegant town that is sprinkled with an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants, award-winning tasting rooms, and high-end art galleries. One of the best things about visiting Yountville is that almost everything is within walking distance of one another.
The hotel options are luxe and inviting, placing you in the heart of Napa Valley. Whether you’re a foodie-centric couple or simply want to escape to the California countryside, Yountville is a wonderful option with no shortage of activities.
Couples seeking a more quiet and laid-back coastal community will fall in love with Mendocino. The cliffside trails at Mendocino Headlands State Park are beyond breathtaking, and there are so many quiet beaches to explore.
If you’re looking to experience the more modern side of town, there are some great restaurants and galleries that you can easily spend an entire day exploring. Just north of Mendocino is Russian Gulch State Park, which offers stunning Pacific views along the dramatic coastline.
10. Big Sur
From its winding roads to its iconic lookout points, Big Sur is perhaps the most iconic NorCal destination of all time. This is the ultimate place for a romantic road trip.
While a huge appeal to visiting Big Sur is rooted in nature, resorts like Post Ranch Inn prove that luxury is still an option. Between the rolling fog and the surrounding redwoods, the scene at Big Sur really is unlike any other.
Some must-see spots while in the area include Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. You’ve probably seen this 80-foot-tall waterfall on tons of postcards and souvenirs, and it is undoubtedly one of the most recognized scenes in the entirety of California.