For local, design-savvy getaways, San Franciscans usually look north to Napa and Sonoma. But 90 minutes south of the city, Santa Cruz has been quietly redefining a style once dictated by a scruffy mix of surfers, students and free-spirits. Today, the laid-back beach town exudes a creative new energy as exemplified by the following hip spots.
Like California’s majestic Highway One, the Airstream is an icon of the great American road trip. A gleaming throwback to the Golden Age of Travel, the aluminum-clad trailer debuted in 1936 and has inspired roadside envy ever since.
This week we escaped north to the rustic seaside Howard Creek Ranch Inn and B&B for some glamping, piled-high country breakfast, and super strong cowboy coffee. Perched up on the hillside in Westport, we stayed in the dog-friendly Seaview cabin complete with a outdoor kitchen, charcoal grill, enclosed outdoor shower, and massive quilts.
Occupying so much of the western seaboard, it's no wonder why California is full of beautiful coastal drives. However, with a coastline that stretches for over 800 miles, many of California's drives aren't exactly accessible. Nonetheless, many of these beautiful drives are within a short distance from San Francisco and make for a great day trip. Below, I highlight five beautiful coastal drives near San Francisco.
Just over the Golden Gate Bridge are the bucolic hills and rolling surf of West Marin. For this week's Scenes of the City we explored the Marin countryside, from the hidden Nicasio Valley to the seaside escape of Bolinas, plus the serpentine and beautiful Lagunitas Creek.
Part of the beauty of a getaway to Carmel is that while there’s plenty to keep you busy, it’s also particularly easy to do a lot of nothing. Some shop, eat, and wine taste their way through town while others plant themselves on the beach refusing to leave before the sun goes down. But arguably one of Carmel’s best activities is also one of its better kept secrets – hiking at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
It used to be shopping was the thing to do when you went to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Though you can still do some serious damage at the likes of Tiffany & Co., Coach, and Kate Spade, there are plenty of good spots to sit and sip for a spell. From creative cocktails and happy hours to good wine, cozy Carmel’s got you covered.
Dungeness Crab season is in full force and folks in Mendocino County know how to celebrate the harvest from the coast. Throw in the beloved crustacean along with some wine and beer and it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong.