Whether you live in California or have been California dreaming, Labor Day is the perfect time to see the best parts of the state. Make the most of your upcoming three-day weekend by planning a fantastic adventure to one of these five destinations. All of them are easy to get to from the San Francisco Bay Area and quite affordable - meaning that it's not too late to plan a fantastic weekend that you won't forget!
Escape To These Labor Day Destinations Near San Francisco!
If you love the combination of stunning mountain scenery and great nightlife, South Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for you! With a great selection of vacation rentals near Lake Tahoe and in the quiet pine forests, you are sure to feel like you've gotten away. Spend a day at one of the beaches on the lake, go kayaking or paddleboarding, or hike in the nearby Desolation Wilderness for some spectacular natural scenery. Then, spend the evening enjoying a cocktail or two at the local casinos after a fantastic dinner at one of South Lake's great restaurants.
Unlike early summer, the beginning of September is far more likely to be sunny, rather than cold and foggy like it was in June and July! Come to Monterey for the charm of cannery row, spectacular sand dunes, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and great seafood. Stay for the 10 for $1 avocado stands on the side of Highway 1 as you head south from Santa Cruz!
3. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is only an hour and a half from San Francisco but feels like a beach town in Southern California. It also has a distinctly different feel from nearby Monterey. Spend a day at one of the area's beautiful beaches, and you'll feel incredibly relaxed. The water is warmer in early September than it was earlier in the summer, so you can enjoy swimming even more! Make sure to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk before heading to Marianne's Ice Cream to try one of their many homemade flavors!
Just over an hour away from San Francisco, you'll feel like you're in Europe as you drive up the Napa Valley. Visit esteemed wineries near Napa such as Inglenook (owned by Francis Ford Coppola) and try incredible food at Farmstead, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen or Solage. If you're feeling adventurous, try a mud bath in Calistoga! Kids will like the Petrified Redwood Forest and the Bale Grist Mill, which is a lovely place for an afternoon picnic under the oak trees.
Unlike its glitzy neighbor, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee has an old-West feel as well as fantastic access to both Lake Tahoe and smaller Donner Lake. The historic downtown area is a fun place to visit, with abundant cafes and small art galleries. Check out the public beach at Donner Lake for a great swim or float down the Truckee River in an inner tube for the afternoon!