5 Under-the-Radar Weekend Trips From San Francisco

Enjoy these fun weekend trips from San Francisco Point lighthouse

While everyone else is heading to Napa to hit the wine trails or the quaint seaside town of Carmel, savvy travelers look for unexpected, underrated weekend trips from San Francisco. Not only are the crowds thinner, but these destinations also offer up a fresh perspective on everything that makes California such a beloved tourist destination. Interested in a fabulous San Francisco trip? Consider booking one of these five under-the-radar destinations for a fabulous weekend getaway.

Pescadero

This charming seaside town is less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco, giving city dwellers even more time to relax and enjoy their weekend getaway. With its combination of vast farmland and untouched Pacific coastline, most visitors feel like they’re in another world when they visit Pescadero. The town offers up a nice mix of funky shops and hip eateries, but the real standouts here include Pigeon Point Lighthouse, a historic gem that’s also one of the country’s tallest lighthouses. Animal lovers always make time to stop at Harley Farms, where visitors can tour the farm and score some seriously amazing cheese.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

For weekend warriors in search of adventure, this national park located about three and a half hours away may very well be the perfect destination. The campground and guest ranch close for winter, but most of the trails and attractions remain open year-round. Lassen Volcanic National Park rarely gets as crowded as more touristy spots like Yosemite or Golden Gate, but it offers no shortage of gorgeous scenery and adventurous activities. Many visitors enjoy climbing Mount Lassen, exploring Subway Cave and checking out Bumpass Hell, where the active steam vent Big Boiler can be found.

Guerneville

Hailed as one of the destinations that every resident of the Bay Area should explore at least once, this riverfront community offers a lovely escape from the hustle of the city. Located just 75 miles away, Guerneville offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in nature. The Russian River is one of its top attractions, but it’s also home to a quaint downtown area with shops, bars and restaurants. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is another must-see attraction, where visitors can marvel at the redwoods without the crowds at Muir Woods.

Williams

If pampering and relaxation is the goal, Williams should be the destination. Home to Wilbur Hot Springs Resort, this blissful town is less than three hours from the city, but it feels more like stepping into a cloud. A warm cloud, that is, complete with hot springs, yoga, massages and plenty of nature to commune with before cooking up some dinner or enjoying a cocktail at this bring-your-own-food-and-booze resort.

Leggett

Three words: Drive-thru tree. Not sure the three-hour drive is worth it? Just think of the stories that can be told at work on Monday after passing through the town’s famous Chandelier Tree. Although the tree is one of the main attractions here, the swimming hole and nightly bonfire at Big Bend Lodge are pretty sweet too.

Head out of the city to enjoy one of these unique destinations. Consider calling ahead to confirm accommodations and make sure the things you want to see are going to be open when you visit.