Bay Area Getaways
No area is richer in weekend getaway adventures than Northern California. You are never more than a few hours away from a diversity of destinations that are the envy of the rest of the country.
Here are a few of the Bay Area residents’ favorite outings:
Redwood National Park
The Redwood National Park comprises a region of coastal mountains bordering the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. It is covered with a magnificent forest of sequoia redwood trees, the tallest and most impressive trees in the world. The marine and land life are equally remarkable, in particular the sea lions, the bald eagle and the endangered California brown pelican.
Mendocino Village is situated on a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by picturesque wildflower covered bluffs and crashing surf. Established in the 1850’s, many of the New England style Victorians have been lovingly restored into romantic Bed & Breakfast Inns, world class restaurants and quaint shops.
The harbor town of Fort Bragg is best known for the Skunk Train that takes its riders on a trip through the redwoods and back in time. The harbor bustles with activity from fishermen bringing in their daily haul for the local restaurants and charter boats that offer fishing and whale watching adventures. The flower meet the sea at the Botanical Gardens, a flower lovers paradise.Just two miles south, you’ll discover the relaxed atmosphere of Little River. Combining a beautiful coastline and Fern Canyons with fabulous lodging and restaurants, you’ve found the perfect getaway from the hectic pace! For fun, you can snorkel off Van Damme, stroll along sandy beaches or enjoy a round of golf with an ocean view.The quaint seaside village of Elk is the best-kept secret on the Mendocino Coat. The spectacular views from the oceanfront Bed & Breakfast Inns and cottages are absolutely breathtaking and inspiring. This picturesque hamlet perched upon the bluffs, offers everything from an upscale wine & martini bar to an Irish pub and dinner house. Plus, exquisite ocean view dining to casual Cafe’s with California cuisine along Mendocino’s South Coast you’ll discover Manchester and a Beautiful lighthouse in Point Arena.
Napa Wine Tasting Tours by Limousine! Discover the best kept secrets and hidden treasures of Napa Valley. Custom wine tours can include: cave tours, barrel tastings, VIP tasting appoinments, and a gourmet picnic lunch at a secluded winery. Let us show you the real Wine Country!. Breathe taking hot air balloon rides in the Napa Valley. Includes: hour flight narrated by your pilot, replica balloon pin and a Champagne brunch celebration held outdoors in our own private picnic area surrounded by lush vineyards, rose bushes and an organic vegetable garden utilized by your Chef. Internet Discount!
A visit to Lake Tahoe can be anything you want it to be. You can ski, hike, fish, swim or sunbathe, depending on the season. You can spend hundreds of dollars a night for a penthouse suite at Harrah’s or you can roll up in a sleeping bag and gaze at the stars for nothing.
Enjoy the area winter or summer! Whether you prefer skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling or sleighing; or rock climbing, mountain biking, boating or river rafting, Lake Tahoe is for those who are active at heart. Paddle wheels or charter boats are available for enjoying the Lake up close. Fun times await as you discover the different outdoor activities that abound here. But you don’t have to brave the elements to enjoy your stay in Lake Tahoe; there’s plenty to do indoors too. Enjoy some of the finest casino gambling around in such casinos as the Tahoe Biltmore, Caesars Tahoe, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and the Hyatt Regency – just to name a few.
Lake Tahoe dining is as sumptuous as its landscape. Gaze upon the Lake as you enjoy many of our fine restaurants. Upscale cafes, intimate eateries or casual restaurants will satisfy your senses. Enjoy delicious food, thirst-quenching beverages and great company during your stay here in Lake Tahoe.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, with 1,169 square miles of parkland, is 94.5% undeveloped wilderness, most of it accessible only on foot or horseback. The western boundary dips as low as 2,000 ft in the chaparral-covered foothills; the eastern boundary rises to 13,000 ft at points along the Sierra crest.
Yosemite is so large you can think of it as five different parks. Yosemite Valley, famous for waterfalls and cliffs, and Wawona, where the giant sequoias stand, are open all year. Hetch Hetchy, home of less-used backcountry trails, closes after the first big snow and reopens in May or June. The subalpine high country, Tuolumne Meadows, is open for summer hiking and camping; in winter it’s accessible only by cross-country skis or snowshoes. Badger Pass Ski Area is open in winter only. The fee to visit Yosemite National Park (good for seven days) is $20 per car, $10 per person if you don’t arrive in a car.
A diversity of sights and activities awaits visitors to Carmel who can easily set their own pace and take life as energetically or as leisurely as they desire.
Within the village visitors can relax, unwind and enjoy the peaceful, European ambience where they are free to stroll through meandering streets and explore secluded alleyways, courtyards and arcades highlighted by over 100 art studios and galleries, numerous antique shops, hundreds of boutiques and small cafes and restaurants promising hours of discovery. The best way to see Carmel is on foot. Be sure to check out the over 60 hidden courtyards where many treasures are found. A short walking tour of Carmel courtyards is available at the Carmel Visitor Center office on San Carlos between 5th & 6th. Looking for sea otters, tide pools and great hiking? Visit Point Lobos, 3 miles south of Carmel on Highway One. Carmel has something for everyone…
The Monterey Peninsula offers a treasure of diverse recreational activities. The Monterey Bay, twice as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon with an abundance of sea life, such as sea otters and sea lions, is a scuba diver’s dream. For surfers, the Bay offers fast-breaking and challenging waves. And the fishing, well, it’s world renowned with salmon as the favorite catch. Sailing and whalewatching are also big favorites of visitors. For the golf enthusiast this is paradise. There are 19 championship courses spread out amidst the world’s most beautiful settings. And if you like tennis, our year round mild climate will allow you to play anytime.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers a unique kayaking adventure, combining views of the spectacular coastline and encounters with local sea life inhabitants like whales, sea lions, sea otters and an interesting array of aquatic bird life. Rock hounds will find some challenging climbs in the Monterey area and one of them is the Sanctuary Rock Gym offering over 5,000 square feet of indoor sculpted climbing terrain, including a 30 foot faux peak. Hundreds of miles of superb hiking trails are available or you can take a pack trip on horseback or a romantic ride on the beach at sunset. For a spectacular view of the peninsula coastline, try hang-gliding or cruise the coast in a plane. Rollerblading and biking along the path from Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove to Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey is a favorite pastime. No matter which recreational or sporting event you choose, it will be a unique, exciting and memorable experience that you won’t soon forget.
Image source – Getty Creative Commons – seligmanwaite, Don Graham, edward stojakovic, Toddco13