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Bay Area Hotel Packages Worth Playing Tourist For

Foggy morning at Nick's Cove

Foggy morning at Nick's Cove, photos by Dana Rebmann

It’s easy to forget how many amazing getaway spots we have hiding in our big Bay Area backyard. Locals tend not to pay attention to specials and packages put together by hotels and resorts – they’re for tourists, right? Well, you might want to pack a bag, because playing tourist can make for an amazing weekend.

Soaring Over California Package, Wydown Hotel

Floating up, up, and away in a hot air balloon will be just one of the highlights during your stay at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena. Along with one night’s accommodations, guests receive pre-flight coffee and pastries, along with transportation to and from the launch site of their hot air balloon flight over Napa Valley. Once back on terra firma, it’s on to a Champagne breakfast at Michelin-starred Solbar at Solage Calistoga. “The Royal Treatment” optional upgrade includes a tour of Castello di Amorosa with tasting and the “Vineyards by Horseback” optional upgrade includes a 90-minute horseback ride through the Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and tasting. Package begins at $424 per person, double occupancy. “The Royal Treatment” upgrade is $26 per person, and the “Vineyards by Horseback” is $120 per person.

 Little River Inn

Everyone will enjoy the view at Little River Inn

River Dog Package, Little River Inn

Mendocino’s family-owned and operated Little River Inn has always been a pet-friendly property, but now it’s giving four-legged guests a chance to earn their sea legs. Along with a night in a pet-friendly room, The River Dog package includes a three-hour, dog-friendly canoe excursion with Catch a Canoe and an $80 dinner voucher which can be used anywhere at Little River Inn. A goodie bag with dog treats and information on where to hike, bike, and boat with dogs is also included. Want to ride the Skunk Train? Folks at Little River Inn will dog sit for free while you’re riding the rails. Packages begin at $360, double occupancy. (Skunk Train tickets not included.)

Personal Paparazzo Package, The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa

Whether you want to feel like a movie star with a photographer following your every move, or just want some great vacation shots, The Lodge at Sonoma has a picture perfect package. Whether it’s having fun by the pool or a picturesque Wine Country setting, the photo shoot location choice is yours. When your two-night stay is over, you’ll go home with professional vacation shots to show off to friends and family. Packages begin at $1,278, double occupancy.

Bioluminescence Kayak Tour

Setting Sun sets the Stage for Bioluminescence Show

Evening Kayak Adventure Package, Nick’s Cove

Kayak Tomales Bay by the light of the moon, and if you can schedule the date just right, you might be rewarded with a bioluminescence show. (It’s all about fog, light and the phase of the moon, so you are dependent on the whim of the weather.) The Evening Kayak Adventure Package is easy enough for first-timers but will still be interesting to more experienced kayakers. Along with an overnight stay at Nick’s Cove, the package includes a three-hour, Naturalist-led moonlit or bioluminescence kayak tour for two by Blue Waters Kayaking. The chance to see the bioluminescence is worth rearranging the calendar for. When your paddles dip into the water it looks like you could scoop up a bucket full of shimmering, tiny diamonds.

Along with the amazing views at Nick’s Cove, some nice added extras to the package include BBQ oysters upon arrival, continental breakfast for two delivered to your cottage, two Nick’s Cove long-sleeved t-shirts and two Nick’s Cove metal water bottles. Package begins at $566, based on double occupancy.

The Art of Relaxation Package, The Meritage Resort and Spa

Relax while creating a vacation masterpiece in the vineyards of Napa. The Art of Relaxation package includes one night’s accommodations, two 50 minute Spa Treatments to help get your creative juices flowing, and all the art supplies to paint a work of art in the Resort’s hillside vineyard. Some added extras include a bottle of sparkling wine, spa goodies and late check-out, which add a little more flair to the deal. Packages begin at $259, double occupancy.

Dana can be found on Twitter @drebmann

Dana received complimentary accommodations from Nick’s Cove and a kayaking excursion from Blue Waters Kayaking, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.