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10 Best Weekend Getaways from San Francisco for Couples

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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San Francisco is surrounded by some of the most picturesque destinations in California and beyond, making it the perfect starting point for an unforgettable weekend escape. From idyllic seaside villages tucked away along rugged coastlines to bustling cities buzzing with energy - there are plenty of options within arms reach!

Take a look at our list below featuring the 10 best weekend getaways from San Francisco specifically curated for couples, each offering its own unique charm that will surely bring some extra sparkle into your relationship.

1. Santa Cruz

Natural Bridge, Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz is the perfect destination for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. Located just 70 miles south of the city, Santa Cruz offers a unique blend of natural beauty and laid-back vibes that make it an ideal spot for a romantic getaway.

The beaches in Santa Cruz are some of the most beautiful in California. Whether you're looking for a secluded spot to relax or an exciting beach to explore, you'll find it here. The iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is also a must-visit, with its classic amusement park rides and stunning views of Monterey Bay.
For those who want to explore the great outdoors, Santa Cruz has plenty to offer. From hiking trails through redwood forests to kayaking along the coast, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature together. And if you're feeling adventurous, don't miss Mystery Spot – a mysterious gravitational anomaly that has been baffling visitors since 1939!

When it comes time to relax, Santa Cruz has plenty of cozy restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a romantic evening out. Or if you prefer something more low-key, there are plenty of spots where you can grab some takeout and watch the sunset from one of the many nearby beaches or parks.


2. Point Reyes & Tomales Bay

Point Reyes National seashore in California

A romantic escape awaits couples just an hour outside of San Francisco. Point Reyes and Tomales Bay offer a dreamy getaway with pristine beaches, lush forests, and unobstructed views of the bay.

Tomales Bay Resort is the perfect place to stay for couples looking to relax and explore the area. Nestled on the shores of Tomales Bay in Inverness, California, this Cape Cod-style resort offers direct beach access and breathtaking views from every room. Enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area or take a stroll along the beach for an unforgettable experience.

The Point Reyes National Seashore is home to four backcountry campgrounds as well as some beaches along Tomales Bay's west side that are perfect for camping under the stars. There are plenty of hiking trails throughout the park that provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape. For those looking for more adventure, kayaking and canoeing on Tomales Bay are popular activities that will make your trip even more memorable.

Tomales Bay State Park is also nearby, offering visitors a chance to explore its historic ranches and beautiful beaches. And don't forget about all of the delicious seafood! The oysters in Tomales Bay are some of the best you'll ever have - be sure to try them out while you're there!

3. Napa Wine Country

Napa Valley wine country mountain hillside vineyard growing crops for grape harvest and winery

Located just 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, Napa Valley is a short drive away and offers a romantic getaway with its stunning landscapes, world-class wineries, Michelin-star restaurants, and luxurious hotels.

The rolling hills of Napa Valley are blanketed in vineyards that produce some of the world's most renowned wines. With over 400 wineries and tasting rooms to choose from, couples can explore their way through the valley's historic and modern wineries while taking in breathtaking views.

After a day spent sipping on Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc, couples can indulge in a four-course meal aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train or enjoy an intimate dinner at one of Napa's Michelin-star restaurants.

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of activities to keep couples busy. Take a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards for an unforgettable view or take part in one of many wine tours offered by local tour companies. Couples can also visit nearby attractions such as Calistoga Hot Springs or take part in outdoor activities like hiking or biking along trails that wind through the valley's rolling hills.

When it comes time to rest, couples will find no shortage of luxurious accommodations throughout Napa Valley. From quaint bed & breakfasts to grand resorts with spas and golf courses, there is something for everyone in this dreamy wine-country destination.

4. Mendocino Coast

Inlet cliffs and rocks of Mendocino

Located on the northern California coast, Mendocino offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and lush forests. From the charming fishing villages to the picturesque beaches, there are plenty of activities to enjoy together.

Start your journey at Manchester State Beach, where you can take a romantic stroll along the shoreline or relax on the beach with a picnic lunch. Then explore Mendocino Headlands State Park, where you can admire stunning views of the ocean and watch whales breaching in the distance. For more adventure, take a kayak tour around the sea caves or go whale watching.

In town, you'll find plenty of quaint shops and restaurants to explore. Enjoy some local seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants or browse through art galleries showcasing local artwork. If you're feeling adventurous, take a hike up to Mendocino's highest point for an incredible view of the coastline.
At night, snuggle up under blankets with hot cocoa and watch as stars fill up the night sky above you. Or take a drive down Highway 1 for some stargazing away from city lights.

5. Hope Valley

Hope Valley, California

Nestled on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Hope Valley is a picturesque mountain valley that offers breathtaking views, outdoor activities, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation. The area is known for its abundance of fly fishing spots and stunning landscapes that make it perfect for photographers and artists. Visitors can take a scenic drive along Highway 88 to Blue Lakes Road and explore the area's many trails, lakes, hot springs, and other natural attractions.

Couples can spend their days exploring Hope Valley's many wonders or simply relax by one of its many lakes. Caples Lake is especially popular among visitors due to its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain views. For those looking for an extra special experience, Sorensen's Resort offers cozy cabins with all the amenities needed for a romantic getaway.

In addition to outdoor activities and sightseeing opportunities, Hope Valley also has plenty of history to explore. The area was once home to several mining towns that have since been abandoned but still remain as reminders of the past. Couples can visit these ghost towns to learn more about the region's rich history or take a stroll through Hope Valley's charming Western-style towns like Woodfords and Markleeville.

6. Lake Tahoe

Beach at Lake Tahoe Sand Harbor Nevada USA

Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination for nature-loving couples looking to spend quality time together in one of California's most beautiful settings.

The crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe are perfect for swimming and kayaking, while the surrounding mountains provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day on the beach or an adventurous trek through the mountains, Lake Tahoe has something to offer every couple.

The area around Lake Tahoe is also home to some of the most beautiful scenery in California. From snow-capped peaks to lush forests, there's something breathtaking around every corner. And with 300 days of sunshine each year, you can be sure that your visit will be filled with plenty of sunshine and blue skies.
At night, take time to relax at one of the many resorts located near the lake. Enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the lake or take a stroll along one of its many beaches. No matter what type of experience you're looking for, Lake Tahoe has something special to offer couples in search of a dreamy getaway from San Francisco.

7. Yosemite National Park

Panorama of Yosemite Valley at sunset

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, it's just a few hours away from San Francisco and offers breathtaking views of nature at its finest. From cascading waterfalls to towering granite cliffs, Yosemite is the perfect destination for couples who want to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors.

The park is home to some of the most iconic sites in the United States, including Half Dome and El Capitan. These massive granite formations are awe-inspiring and provide an unforgettable backdrop for any romantic outing. Couples can also explore miles of trails that wind through meadows, forests, and rivers, or take a leisurely stroll around one of the many lakes in the area.

Yosemite is also known for its abundant wildlife. Visitors may spot deer, coyotes, bears, and even mountain lions as they explore the park's vast wilderness. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of species that call Yosemite home, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons.

For those who prefer more leisurely activities, there are plenty of options available too. Couples can relax at one of Yosemite's lodges or campgrounds while enjoying stunning views of nature all around them. There are also plenty of restaurants in nearby towns where couples can enjoy delicious meals together after a long day exploring the park's wonders.

8. Carmel-by-the-Sea

Scenic carmel beach of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Located on the beautiful California coast, just two hours south of San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea is an idyllic village with one square mile of picturesque streets lined with charming cottages and boutiques.

The white sand beach has been voted one of the most romantic beaches in the world, and it's easy to see why. The stunning views of the Pacific Ocean are breathtaking, and you can take a stroll along the shoreline while watching the sunset. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy together such as kayaking, surfing, or horseback riding along the beach.

The town itself is full of character and charm. You can explore its unique galleries and shops or take a leisurely stroll through its cobblestone streets. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that offer delicious local cuisine and fine dining experiences. If you're looking for something more adventurous, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking trails or wine-tasting tours in nearby vineyards.

9. Big Sur

Big sur coastline

Big Sur is a stunning stretch of coastline in San Francisco that will take your breath away. From the towering cliffs to the wild ocean waves, it's a place that will make you feel like you're in a dream. For couples looking for a romantic getaway, Big Sur is the perfect destination.

The winding roads of Big Sur offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and its rugged coastline. You can explore the area on foot or by car, taking in all the sights and sounds along the way. Stop at one of the many lookout points for some truly incredible vistas. As you drive along, keep an eye out for wildlife such as sea lions, dolphins, and whales.

When you're ready to relax, there are plenty of cozy inns and cabins to choose from. Spend your days lounging on the beach or exploring nearby hiking trails. In the evening, enjoy a romantic dinner with a view of the sunset over the ocean.

If you're looking for adventure, Big Sur has plenty to offer too. Go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in one of its many coves and bays. Or take a boat tour to see some of California's most beautiful marine life up close.

10. Pinnacles National Park

Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park

Located just two hours south of the city, this 26,685-acre park offers stunning views of towering rock formations and rare talus caves that were once part of an ancient volcanic field. Whether you're looking for a day trip or a weekend away, Pinnacles National Park has something for everyone.

The park offers plenty of activities for couples to enjoy together. Take a leisurely stroll through the Bear Gulch Caves and Reservoir, where you can admire lush vegetation and unique wildlife like the California condor. Or explore the High Peaks Trail and take in breathtaking views from atop one of the park's many peaks. For those who are feeling adventurous, there are also opportunities to go rock climbing and rappelling on some of the park's more challenging trails.

At night, couples can relax at one of Pinnacles National Park's campgrounds or lodges. Enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars before settling into your cozy tent or cabin for a peaceful night's sleep surrounded by nature. In the morning, wake up early to catch a glimpse of the sunrise over the majestic rock formations before heading out on another adventure together.

Taking a weekend away with your significant other can be the perfect way to explore the world and create lasting memories. San Francisco is the perfect place to start a romantic getaway, as there are plenty of options for destinations to visit. Whether you choose a relaxing beach setting, a historical fort from another era, or take in the bustling city life and attractions of Los Angeles, you will find that each place offers something unique and amazing.

No matter what style of weekend getaway appeals to you and your partner, San Francisco has it all and let's not forget that getting there is half the fun! Take advantage of all it has to offer and create some of the most special and beloved memories with your loved one. We wish you all the best and have fun!

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