With its charming mix of natural beauty, off-the-beaten-path gems, and Golden Gate metropolitan charm, Northern California weekend getaways are a perfect recipe for reconnecting as a couple. Whether you love the hustle and bustle of the city or prefer spending time surrounded by nature, the best weekend getaways in Northern California have everything you need to kick back and recharge your batteries.
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When it’s time to get away from work, family, and day-to-day responsibilities, try one of these romantic weekend getaways in Northern California.
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1. The Lodge at the Presidio
San Francisco, California
Tapping into the beauty of the expansive Presidio (known for its beaches, hiking and biking trails, three Andy Goldsworthy pieces, Tunnel Tops recreation area, and the Presidio Golf Course), The Lodge at the Presidio offers couples the ease and access to all the park has to offer while being just a stone’s throw from some of the Bay Area’s most impressive attractions. It also balances the fun of the city with the Bay Area’s quiet natural beauty for a Northern California weekend getaway that’s a little bit of everything.
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You can do a full day of sightseeing and then return to a home base that’s an idyllic romantic retreat. The Lodge at the Presidio encourages you and your partner to move at your own pace with a complimentary continental breakfast and evening wine and cheese reception, front porch with rocking chairs, and outdoor patio with fire pit. The main living room also boasts a fireplace and board games. Of course, if simply enjoying private time together on your Northern California getaway is the ultimate goal, guest rooms here include custom-made pillow top mattresses, 52-inch flatscreen TVs, and EO bath products.
2. SCP Mendocino Coast Lodge
SCP Mendocino Coast Lodge (formerly called Albion River Inn) is a beacon for couples looking to experience the Mendocino Coast from the comfort of a romantic lodge yet with options for hiking, boating, or biking. The coastline is not to be missed for partners looking to get away and relish in the expansiveness of the shores of Northern California. Small towns pepper a coastline full of dramatic cliffs, powerful rivers, and towering trees, putting delicious dining and gallery-hopping all within close reach of the area’s natural beauty.
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Each of the lodge’s 22 guest rooms and cottages are a good for a restful couples retreat. With spa and standard tub options, cozy bathrobes, organic local teas and coffees, complimentary breakfast and a split-bottle of local wine in every room, you’ll never need to leave the comfort of your porch’s Adirondack chair. And because the inn’s guest rooms are designed for relaxation and romance, televisions are not provided. The inn’s restaurant (open Friday through Monday for dinner) is known locally as one of the best around, and views abound from every corner of the property.
3. Treebones Resort
Big Sur, California
Located almost squarely between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Big Sur is known for its incredible views, hiking trails, and off-the-grid luxe retreats. Yet even among Northern California’s many romantic weekend getaway spots, Treebones Resort stands out as an ideal spot for a Northern California couples getaway because of its fine dining options, remote location, magnificent views, and varied sleeping options. And with accommodations choices that range from flat campsites to elaborate domed yurts with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, this magnificent glamping resort makes romantic Northern California weekend getaways available to a wide range of budgets.
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If you’re interested in a splurge, book the autonomous tents which allow you to commune, alone, with the Pacific Ocean. These 600-square-foot tents feel like isolated luxury hotel rooms and include bamboo flooring, gas fireplaces, leather chairs and sofa, and en suite bath with walk-in shower. They’re most spectacular in the morning light that slowly permeates the translucent tent fabric and the evening glow that dissipates into night.
Though the autonomous tents are certainly superior accommodations, all guests at Treebones Resort, even those simply bringing their own tents for the reserved campsites, have access to the complimentary breakfast, heated pool and hot tub, and extensive hiking trails around the property. Couples who want more rustic options can consider the twig nest or campsites, and yurts offer an ideal in-between option—they come standard with electricity, running water at the sink/vanity, well-appointed furnishings, and of course breathtaking views.
The quality of the food at both of Treebones Resort’s dining areas, The Lodge Restaurant and Wild Coast Sushi, are two more reasons the resort makes for an idyllic couples trip. Bay Area locals will make the almost-four-hour trip just for the omakase sushi experience. Plan to be disconnected at Treebones, though—there’s no cellular service or Wi-Fi, and children under 13 are not allowed.
4. Northstar California Resort
A ski resort as a romantic Northern California getaway any time of year? Absolutely. In winter, Northstar California Resort boasts some of the best runs around. Come spring, summer, and fall, its gorgeous alpine surrounds make it a lovely home base for exploring all that Lake Tahoe has to offer.
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Both active couples and partners looking for some quiet R&R will love Northstar in winter. Spend snowy days alternating between snuggling in front of the fire and trying out the myriad winter sports on the property, including ice skating, snowboarding, sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire snow biking. At the end of a snow-filled day, couples can enjoy the apres-ski scene at its finest with fire pits, specialty cocktails, live entertainment, and even a movie theater.
While it’s quieter in summer, Northstar is also a great couples getaway when it’s warm out, with plenty of hiking and biking options. Summer visitors can also enjoy a roller rink, gem panning, bungee trampolining, and mini-golf on site after a day at the lake or hiking. From premium mid-mountain Constellation Residencies (private home rentals) to hotel rooms and condos right in-village, you can choose to stay in the thick of it all or removed from Northstar’s central village. A shuttle runs throughout the property during the day and evening.
5. Constellation Creek
If Northstar is a kind of “have-it-all” resort with plenty to keep you busy, Constellation Creek lends itself to those looking for more of a low-key retreat. Located just outside Sierraville in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Constellation Creek is a nature lover’s ideal home base in Northern California. The gentle bubbling of the creek paired with the infinite night sky makes for a peaceful mountain getaway.
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There’s no cell service or Wi-Fi in this Northern California weekend getaway destination, and the beautifully appointed cabins with record players, fireplaces, private decks, and grilling areas give each lodging option a sophisticated and cozy feel. Smeg fridges, Casper mattresses, and modern furnishings encourage couples to feel right at home and prepared for cocktails, dinner on the deck, or hours reading and resting.
Spend the day hiking, swimming, or fishing on-property, or venture off to ski, mountain bike, and explore the local towns. Either way, you will come home to a restful, romantic, and quiet home base with everything you need to snuggle in for the night.
6. Indian Springs Calistoga
While many couples naturally flock to the bustling centers of Napa Valley or Sonoma wine regions, you may find that Indian Springs Calistoga is actually the ideal spot for experiencing the best of Napa County while also having the peace and quiet of an elegant spa resort. Situated at the end of the adorable Wine Country town of Calistoga with its boutique shops and delicious restaurants, Indian Springs feels like it is removed from it all though it is only a stone’s throw from renowned wineries, wine tasting rooms, and Calistoga’s famous mud baths.
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With quiet paths winding around the resort, heated hot springs on site (including an adult-only pool), and a romantic restaurant on property, there actually is no reason to leave. Accommodation options range from beautifully appointed hotel-like rooms to multi-bedroom homes and are spread tastefully around the property. The hot spring-fed pools are the focal point of Indian Springs and are flanked by the spa, bocce and shuffleboard courts, and nearby hammock garden. Spend the day relaxing in your robe around the property, and then use one of the property-provided cruiser bikes to get back to your room or head into town.