Trip Ideas in Northern California : 8 Amazing Destinations!

We all are living for the weekend: the chance to fully relax and unwind without the burden of work. Weekends in NorCal offer more than meets the eye. For anyone who is unfamiliar, NorCal is short for Northern California. Did you know that NorCal is comprised of 48 counties? For example, I have lived in SF for 7 years, and only recently learned that fact. My point is that there is ample ground to cover! During the past several months in quarantine, I have ventured outside of my home city of San Francisco for quick weekend getaways. As a result, being able to accessibly enjoy beautiful and activity-filled destinations have truly made quarantine more manageable. Above all, the beauty of taking a trip over the weekend is being able to reflect on life outside of the hustle and bustle, mile-high responsibilities, and to take a much-needed break for yourself to spend it however you see fit.

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My boyfriend and I have been able to stay motivated every week because we know that another glorious weekend filled with adventure is on the precipice. In addition, we wanted to keep our trips fairly local, and commute to the destinations via car. Calling all my Bay Area readers! I have curated the best food, excursions, and hotels in eight Northern California destinations. To clarify, anyone can go about a more simplistic trip by checking into Airbnbs and dining at less expensive restaurants, however my intention for this list is to offer the “WOW” factor! Furthermore, I linked various hotels and restaurants for your convenience. Here is a list of my recommendations for an unforgettable, fun weekend getaway in the Bay Area/Northern California.

First things first! Most importantly, how are you going to get there? If you own a car, you are set! If you don’t own one, I put together a list of reputable vendors to rent a car for your upcoming getaway weekend. A 2-3 day rental for the most basic car will average: $120-160 (Getaround); $140-170 (Zipcar); $90-$120 (Enterprise). In addition, for your hotel search, I strongly recommend downloading the Hotel Tonight app. As a result, it significantly decreased the price per night (more than a 50% discount) of all the hotels I stayed in since using it.

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Pacifica: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to Pacifica

  • Driving Distance from San Francisco: 25 minutes
  • Best Weather: In the summer months, between June-September. I went in July and it was perfect! October in the Bay Area is very warm as well so I would also suggest a trip during that month!
  • Where to Stay: Lighthouse Hotel
  • Where to Eat: Pacifica Brewery, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant, Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen, Gorilla BBQ
  • Excursions: Pacifica State Beach, Rockaway Beach, Mori Point Trail and Viewpoint, Sharp Park Beach, Pacifica Pier
Trip Ideas in Northern California
Trip Ideas in Northern California

Santa Cruz/Capitola: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to Santa Cruz/Capitola

Trip Ideas in Northern California

Monterey/Carmel: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to Monterey/Carmel

Trip to Monterey, CaliforniaTrip, weekend, destination, getaway
Trip to 3–2–1: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California | by Jill | Travel in and around  Silicon Valley | MediumTrip, weekend, destination, getaway

Sausalito/Tiburon

What to Consider for your Trip to Sausalito/Tiburon

Trip to 513 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 - realtor.com®Trip, weekend, destination, getaway

Napa/St. Helena: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to Napa/St. Helena

Trip to Domaine Carneros, in Napa Valley, Trip, weekend, destination, getaway

Sacramento

What to Consider for your Trip to Sacramento

Trip to Billboards in Sacramento | Outdoor Advertising in Sacramento
Trip, weekend, destination, getaway

Santa Rosa/Guerneville: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to Santa Rosa/Guerneville

How to Do a Weekend trip in Guerneville, California
Trip, weekend, destination, getaway

South Lake Tahoe: Trip Ideas in Northern California

What to Consider for your Trip to South Lake Tahoe

Beach Trip at Lake Tahoe Sand Harbor Nevada USA 
Trip, weekend, destination, getaway

In conclusion, I hope this list provided helpful guidance on fun and attainable trips in the Northern California area! Now it’s time for you to go out and make the most of your weekends! For more content related to travel, check out my recent blog posts below!

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