Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Best Northern California Getaways // Part 2

In honor of the long holiday weekend, here is PART 2 of my "Best Northern California Getaways." [Psst... you can catch the first half of the list here!]


I first blogged about Mercey Hot Springs here. This destination is absolutely amazing when you need to unplug and relax. It's a natural hot springs in the middle of the California desert. Now, I'll be perfectly honest- this isn't the Ritz-Carlton we're talking about. This is a "rustic" escape, but in the very best way possible. Instead of a luxurious hotel, you stay in a small one-bedroom cabin. There isn't a bathroom within the cabin, but instead a communal "locker room" situation. HOWEVER... the peace, quiet, and overall serenity of the mineral springs makes up for it in strides. You'll relax in individual tubs and gaze at the stars and return home with a brand new outlook on life. Probably. TIP: You'll want to bring food & beverages since there aren't any restaurants nearby. This includes water!! We didn't really think ahead and only brought a few snacks + wine... and I was SO dehydrated in the morning. Also, there's no cell service... so be prepared to COMPLETELY disconnect from the real world. 


Ahhh... wine country! You may remember my trip to Healdsburg last fall, which was my first time in wine country and definitely did not disappoint. For lodging, this hotel is a hidden gem. Again, not super fancy- but clean and quiet and has a pool! It's walking distance to the tasting rooms and shops, and is always a really great price. For my next visit, I plan on doing a bike tour of the wineries and checking out Scopa for dinner! I also suggest/insist upon Spoonbar for a nightcap, but wisely of course. You don't want the drive home in the morning to be too rough. Definitely not speaking from experience... ;)  


True story: Sausalito is my saving grace when San Francisco brunch lines are too long. Located just across the bay, Sausalito is a slower paced city with amazing views. You can either hop on a ferry or take a short drive across the Golden Gate and you're there! We love wandering the shops, treating ourselves to ice cream, and exploring all of the hidden staircases. And for food? FISH is our absolute favorite spot! The menu contains sustainable seafood that is all SO fresh. Fact- I hate seafood, but their salads and burgers make up for it. Plus, the beer comes in mason jars- which I love. Another great spot is Bar Bocce- they've got delicious cocktails and fun games on the lawn. Sausalito is a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of SF without having to travel too far. 


I may be biased when it comes to Lake Tahoe, but I would say this place is heaven on earth. I first visited a few years ago for an AMAZING bachelorette party. We stayed at this beautiful hotel in South Lake Tahoe, and enjoyed everything the area had to offer. I'm talking long days on the beach, amazing food (we loved Cabo Wabo), and... a foam party. Which is a real thing that still happens at the Mont Bleu and I've gotta say, is pretty fun. If you want a more relaxing trip, I adore North Lake Tahoe- the Ritz-Carlton to be exact. The sweeping views, stellar service, and beautiful spa are enough to never have to leave the hotel. If you do, Incline Village is pretty spectacular. Tahoe is about a 3-4 hour drive from San Francisco (where California and Nevada meet) and a total change of pace- whether you hit up North OR South. 


There are a few places I'm still dying to check out. Big Sur, Lake Shasta, and Half Moon Bay are all sounding pretty enticing.

I hope this guide helps you plan your next NorCal escape!! If I've missed any, leave them in the comments below- I'd love to add them to my must-visit list!

*Don't forget to check out Part One of the series HERE


  1. I love Bar Bocce in Saulsalito.. well really I just love Saulsalito in general. Great list :)

    xx cass


Thank you for reading! xoKelli