Just a short jaunt from LA, Huntington Beach is decidedly OC. Picture suburban-feeling developments, big, beautiful houses, and long stretches of beach, plus a relaxed summer vibe that seems to last all year long. Still an up-and-coming destination, Huntington Beach makes a sweet weekend getaway if you're looking for some warmer-than-SF summer weather and a little R&R.
Whenever there's a discussion about Northern California wine country, it typically revolves around Napa or Sonoma. However, just north of Sonoma is an often-overlooked wine region: Mendocino County.
Jaded San Franciscans will turn their noses up at the mere mention of Gold Country and sneer, "why would we want to go there?" However, if you give the rustic and under-the-radar Nevada City--the region's epicenter--the chance, you'll find it offers much-needed R&R with an authentic Western backdrop.