5 Under-the-Radar Coastal Towns for a Beach Weekend Getaway from San Francisco

California Coast

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco for a beach weekend, there are plenty of great coastal towns to choose from. From small fishing villages to historic towns with great shopping and dining, there’s something for everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite under-the-radar coastal towns for a beach weekend getaway:

Morro Bay

Morro Bay is a small city located on the Central Coast of California, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city is situated on a bay of the same name, and is surrounded by Morro Rock, a large volcanic outcropping. The area is a popular destination for weekend travelers from San Francisco, who come to enjoy the city’s mild climate, beautiful scenery, and outdoor activities.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Morro Bay. The city’s waterfront park is a perfect place to take a stroll, go for a run, or just relax and take in the views. The nearby beaches are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. For those looking for a more challenging outdoor activity, there are several hiking trails in the area, including one that leads to the top of Morro Rock.

In addition to its natural beauty, Morro Bay is also home to a number of shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Main Street is lined with cute boutique shops, while the Embarcadero offers a variety of seafood restaurants with waterfront views. There are also a number of art galleries and museums in the city, making it a great place to spend a weekend if you’re looking for a mix of relaxation and cultural activities.

Big Sur

This weekend, escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Big Sur for some R&R. Just a short drive from San Francisco, Big Sur is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature. With its dramatic coastline, towering redwoods, and abundant wildlife, Big Sur is a truly unique destination.

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Big Sur. Take a hike through one of the many state parks, go for a swim in the ocean, or just relax on the beach and soak up the sun. In the evening, enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset over the Pacific.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are plenty of options, from camping to luxury resorts. No matter what your budget, you’ll be able to find a place to rest your head.

So pack your bags and head to Big Sur for a weekend you won’t soon forget.

Mendocino Coast

The Mendocino Coast is a beautiful weekend travel destination from San Francisco. Just a few hours drive north of the city, the Mendocino Coast is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and redwood forests, the Mendocino Coast is a nature lover’s paradise.

There are plenty of things to do on the Mendocino Coast, whether you want to relax on the beach, go for a hike, or explore the charming town of Mendocino. In the town of Mendocino, you can find plenty of shops, restaurants, and galleries to keep you busy. There are also a number of state parks and nature reserves on the Mendocino Coast, which are great for hiking, camping, and picnicking.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing weekend getaway from San Francisco, the Mendocino Coast is the perfect place to go.

Half Moon Bay

One of the best things about living in San Francisco is that there are so many great weekend getaway destinations within driving distance. Half Moon Bay is one of our favorites. Just a short drive south of the city, Half Moon Bay is a charming coastal town with a laid-back vibe. There are plenty of things to do here for a weekend away.

If you’re looking for some adventure, there are plenty of options for hiking and biking in the area. One of the most popular trails is the Coastal Trail, which offers stunning views of the ocean. For a challenging hike, venture out to Montara Mountain, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the Bay Area.

If you’re looking to relax, there are several beaches to choose from. Half Moon Bay State Beach is a great option for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. For a more secluded beach experience, head to Pillar Point Harbor where you can find a number of small, hidden coves. For something a little more active, head to Mavericks Beach where you can surf or watch the surfers.

When you need a break from the beach, check out some of the great restaurants Half Moon Bay has to offer. For fresh seafood, head to Sam’s Chowder House. Or, for a delicious wood-fired pizza, check out Pescatore.

There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy. Go for a hike in the majestic redwoods at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Or, take a scenic drive down Highway 1.

Whether you’re looking to relax or stay active, Half Moon Bay is the perfect weekend getaway from San Francisco.

Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Just a few hours’ drive from San Francisco lies the beautiful coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel — two of the most beautiful places to visit in California. These charming towns offer a perfect weekend getaway, with plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Start your weekend in Monterey, where you can explore the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. This world-renowned facility is a must-see, and you can easily spend a couple of hours here. After the aquarium, take a stroll through Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. This historic area is now home to shops and restaurants, and is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat.

In the afternoon, head over to Carmel-by-the-Sea. This quaint town is known for its white-sand beaches and gorgeous scenery. Walk along Ocean Avenue and pop into the many art galleries, boutiques, and cafes. Be sure to stop by the Carmel Mission, an 18th-century Spanish mission that is still an active church.

As the day comes to an end, enjoy a glass of wine at one of Carmel’s many wineries. With over two dozen wineries to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect bottle to take home with you.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend by the ocean or a chance to explore some of California’s history, Monterey and Carmel offer something for everyone.

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