Check the maps and fill your gas tank. Where are you headed? With so many options within easy reach, plan on more than one trip out of town. Maybe you can do the mountains on one weekend and the ocean another. You will be amazed at the variety that awaits you less than three hours from Sacramento.
Dawn Ranch Lodge
16467 Highway 116
Guerneville, CA 95446
Guerneville boasts quite a few reasons for a weekend trip out of town. Visit the redwoods or head into the Napa Valley to the wineries. Spend the day fishing or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of the stunningly green and lush forests. Dawn Ranch Lodge offers a very comfortable base while you are exploring the area. Lounge by the pool, kayak on the Russian River or have a delicious meal at the restaurant. This small and gorgeous resort is just the place to unpack your bags for a great weekend. Since 1905, guests have been enjoying this wonderful lodge. Now, it’s your turn.
The Cottage Inn
1690 W. Lake Blvd.
Tahoe City, CA 96145
This may be one of the most comfortable little spots in Tahoe. It is certainly one of the more unique and welcoming places to stay. The themed rooms are all spectacular. Enjoy a slice of private Lake Tahoe beach. Forget about cooking breakfast as a very tasty country breakfast is included in your stay. Wander into Tahoe City and take your time in the Art Gallery just above Commons Beach and the many unique shops in town. Rent a kayak and get out on the lake. Head to the Olympic Bike Shop to rent a bike and take advantage of the paved bike trail that meanders through the forest. Lunch and dinner are gastronomic treats in any of the eateries that are close by. The carved bears that decorate the Cottage Inn grounds will bring a smile to your face. Explore to your heart’s content or curl up with a good book as you nestle in the comfort of your cottage.
Pacific Victorian Bed & Breakfast
325 Alameda Ave.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Does the ocean beckon you? Half Moon Bay is a stunning spot to fill your saltwater yearnings. Take the time to be coddled at the Pacific Victorian B&B. From this fine boutique B&B, take a short walk to the ocean and choose your activity for the day. Ocean kayaks, cycling, tide pooling and surfing are all available. Take a walk on the beach or explore the art galleries in town. When your day on the beach or in town is over, retreat to the Pacific Victorian and enjoy the evening. In the mornings, a full breakfast is served providing a great start to your day of exploring the area.
Wilbur Hot Springs
3375 Wilbur Springs Road
Wilbur Springs, CA 95987
Your week in the city was intense. It’s time to unwind, undo and relax to the max. If this is you, Wilbur Hot Springs is your destination. You will think you’ve stepped into another world when you arrive. Put your things away and head for the natural hot mineral baths, just to start your weekend. Since 1865, that’s what guests here have done. The soothing waters and uber wonderful setting will gently tame your stress. When you are out of the baths, take full advantage of hiking in the nature preserve or take off on a mountain bike to explore. Cuddle up with a book in the library, take a nap or participate in a yoga class. Guests bring their own groceries and cook in the fully professionally equipped communal kitchen where new friends are met and recipes are shared. This is the ultimate relaxing weekend trip.
The Lodge at Whitehawk
985 Whitehawk Drive
Clio, CA 96106
Take off for the mountains in Plumas County. Golfers love this place for the quality of the courses. Hikers, cyclists, artists and fishermen love it just for the quality of the area and the unique town of Graeagle itself. The Lodge at Whitehawk is the perfect place to unpack your bags and find out what you will like best about the area. Maybe it will be one of the 20 superb lakes in the Lakes Basin or just the fine forest that you’ll be in. Exploring this area is easy. It’s laid back, friendly and welcoming. Your cabin at Whitehawk comes with a full breakfast at the main lodge each morning. What a fine way to start a memorable weekend.
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.