Top 3 Weekend Central California Getaways

Monterey Bay, California

Monterey Bay Inn is one of the most scenic places to stay in Monterey, California. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and on the other side, the picturesque harbor. The rooms are spacious and they offer some great deals when you book early. An example is $219.00 for a Fri/Sat night in a 406 sq. ft. room with a king size feather bed and a private balcony.

While in Monterey, you must see the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is one of the premier aquariums in the world with many rotating displays and fascinating sea life. I really enjoy the local seabird exhibits as well as the outdoor section with the sea otters frolicking up close.

Some of the best eats on the Bay can be had at Schooners Bistro on the Bay. The view is gorgeous, the food and drinks are tasty, and a great atmosphere surrounds you. We like to eat at the bar when we go for lunch.

Yosemite National Park – Sierra National Forest

One of the prettiest places to stay in California’s Yosemite National Park is The Wawona Hotel. The gorgeous rooms can be reserved with their own bath or in European-style with a shared bathroom. With a golf course, riding stables, and hiking trails, there is something for everyone to do. For a Fri-Sat, 2 night stay, a historical room package will run approximately $312.00. They also have various custom packages.

There is no need to leave the Wawona for meals as the Wawona Dining Room offers delectable choices (you must try the pot roast and the fresh, local trout) at reasonable prices. There are several places inside to dine including the veranda, the guest lounge, and by the fireplace.

Yosemite National Park is full of natural wonder that could provide several days worth of side trips. One of our favorites is to drive up to Glacier Point and take in the views from the top. It is a beautiful panorama of granite mountains and pine trees overlooking the scenic valley below. Another great way to learn about Yosemite Valley is to take the guided open-air trolley. Be sure to bring lots of flash cards for your camera as you will easily take hundreds of photos.

Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco, California

The Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf is a nice place to stay when you want to be close to the sea and all that the Wharf has to offer. Rates start at about $318.00 for a Fri-Sat, 2 night stay. The hotel is close to the sea lion preserve as well as Pier 39, Alcatraz, and the not-to-be-missed chocolate mecca: Ghirardelli Square.

One of our favorite places to eat when we go to the city is The Cliff House. The food is outstanding, but the atmosphere is beyond measure. You sit right above the shore and can hear the waves crashing along with the sea lions and seals barking while you eat. There are cuisines offered in the various restaurants of The Cliff House. We like to have breakfast in the Bistro when we visit.