For all of you (including us) who missed to plan a Labor Day getaway, but still don’t want to binge watch Netflix all weekend long, we have quickly sourced few ideas for you. labor day road trip california
North California folks, you could hit the road north to SEA RANCH as Garrick Ramirez of Weekend Del Sol did. Or how about some quiet time in BOLINAS? Fun fact: They removed the direction signs, so tourist cannot find them. Not sure if it’s working.
Or wait, how about GUERNEVILLE? You could rent a canoe in Forestville ( it’s not a Facebook town, it’s real), paddle all the way to Guerneville and enjoy many of their superb restaurants. We understand, if canoeing is not your thing, try and get a room at Boon Hotel + Spa and just chill out at the pool.
Have you hiked the MARIN HEADLANDS yet? There are trails for miles; it’s absolutely gorgeous! A mix of ocean and valley views, a small beach for a picnic and just pure nature. There are loops from 2 hours to 6 hours. After, you can fuel back on carbs in Sausalito with a crisp pizza at Bar Bocce or get a creamy crab roll at The Fish.
We are also big fans of HALF MOON BAY. Start your trip with a breakfast at Half Moon Bay Brewery, play biologist at the tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reservoir, followed by a coffee & cake break at Moss Distillery. Find a piece of beach to yourself ( Miramar, Poplar, and Cowell are our faves) and just relax and read a book. Believe us; you will get lost in time and space. Finish with dinner at Sam’s Chowder House.
Ok Central California peeps, you have BIG SUR at your convenience. Big Sur is always a good idea. Maybe you skip the lines at Nepenthe and head for breakfast to the more secret, Sebastian’s in San Simeon. From there you can visit the Hearst Castle and feel the glamor of old Hollywood. Wait, before you roll your eyes because it’s sooo touristy. Hearst Castle is a part of California’s heritage, and some things are landmarks for a reason. So if you haven’t been yet, it’s time. Plus, the guides tell amusing stories. And if that doesn’t convince you, there are so many photo ops for your Instagram feed.
For a little bit more activity, MONTEREY is a safe choice. Rent a bike from Bay Bikes and paddle away along the 17 miles drive all the way to Pebble Beach. This route cannot be described with words; it must be experienced. At the finishing line, directly at the infamous Pebble Beach, there is a grocery store to grab some sandwiches and pastries and rest at the nearby benches. Back in Monterey, you can go for a delicious Italian dinner at Il Vecchio or Vivolo’s Chowder House for a huge pot of Cioppino.
The fairytale-like CARMEL is also always good for a day trip. Pack a bag full of provisions, blanket, and a book and relax on the beach. On the other side of Highway 1, in Carmel Valley, you can book a day spa at Refuge for only $44 for their sauna and pools. Where else can you find something affordable like that?! Finish with steak dinner at Little Bicyclette or share tapas at Mundaka.
It’s your turn, SoCal friends. So, for a start how about heading to JOSHUA TREE? Leave the bustle behind and go underground in the desert. Joshua Tree is perfect for everyone who is on a lookout for some self-finding, tranquil, slow moving time. And have you seen this post about the uber-designed Airbnbs in Joshua Tree? You can hike it the desert, practice your photography skills in the pastel-colored dawn, finally start writing that novel or write a love letter to yourself.
For a quantum more glamor, PALM SPRINGS is your destination. While you might think PS is is all about pool time, no it’s not. Yes, you can hang out at the pool, and we love it, too, but there is so much more to this mid-century town. One of our favorite activities is to go hiking. As we don’t have the wish to faint in the heat, we hit the trail at 7 am. Before the sun starts to burn, we enjoy few quiet hours focusing on our footsteps and are back on time for a bacon flight at Cheeky’s.
If you live in LA, we suggest just do a staycation in another part of town. It might feel like another city.
Have you ever been to Denmark? Right, three day weekend is not enough to fly to Europe and back, but to get a taste of the Scandinavian country, might we suggest a trip to SOLVANG? Only one hour upcountry from Santa Barbara, this quirky little town looks like a village straight from Christian Andersen tales. It might be a bit touristy, but it will also be fun to wander around the streets, eat lots of Danish pastries ( everything at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery tastes good), buy European souvenirs, get lunch or dinner. And if you are up for a glass of wine, try the Hitching Post in Buellton, the restaurant from the movie Sideways. And if you are feeling tired to drive back home, Hamlet Inn is a super stylish and affordable place for a stay.
So last minute road trippers, where will you go? We hope our quick round up gave you some ideas and wherever you go, tag us on Instagram. We are @californiaweekend, and we want to see how you spent your California Labor Day Weekend.
Happy road tripping!
*picture by @natashakolenko, a busy flower designer & stylist relaxing from a busy wedding season in Mendocino.
labor day road trip california
california weekend road trip