Top 10 Low Budget Weekend Getaways in Northern California

by Jenny on February 25, 2011

Every couple agrees that there’s a certain romance to getting away from it all with romantic weekend getaways—the stressful work life, the intricacies of living in a city, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Romantic weekend getaways help preserve, strengthen, and even mend relationships, so it is sensible to plan such a trip every now and then with your partner. The trip does not have to be lengthy and extravagant because short weekend getaways on a budget can be surprisingly as exciting, wonderful, and romantic.  Weekend getaways on impulse have their own special brand of romance so don’t beat yourself up over painstakingly planning the most romantic weekend when everything can be nearly as simple as getting in the car and driving away.

If you live in California or in nearby states, you’re quite lucky because there are plenty of places where you and your partner can spend a romantic getaway without  worrying about spending too much. To give you some ideas, here are some of the most wonderful places in northern California where couples usually retreat to and spend weekend getaways in.

Top 10 Low Budget Weekend Getaways in Northern California

  1. South Lake Tahoe: being an easy drive from San Francisco, Sacramento, Reno, and from other nearby towns, South Lake Tahoe is a favorite location for weekend getaways. Other than the fact that it is a beautiful area, the lake and the surrounding nature make a wide range of activities possible. Skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, trekking, parasailing, kayaking and swimming are just some activities you can do at South Lake Tahoe. No matter in what season you want to have a romantic weekend getaway there, there’s always an activity just around the corner.
  2. Lake Berryessa: as one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the state of California, Lake Berryessa and its surrounding area offer year-round recreation and fun. There are a lot of privately managed resorts around the lake so you’ll definitely find some that are friendly to your pocket. Cabins for rent, camping grounds for RVs and tents, or idyllic bed-and-breakfast inns tucked in the nearby hills—in this romantic place, you’ll definitely find an accommodation that will suit your standards and your budget.
  3. Lake County: home to several small vineyards, orchards, farms, and lovely little towns, Lake County is perfect for romantic getaways because it is the kind of place to fall in love all over again. Although full service resorts around the lake can be really expensive, there are also plenty of affordable types of accommodation like quaint motels, bed-and-breakfast inns, and lakeside camping grounds.
  4. Mendocino: the charming villages, breathtaking beaches, and rugged coastlines of this place beckon you to escape to a slower pace. Weekend getaways in Mendocino with the love of your life will prompt you to enjoy the quietness and the comfort of just being together while enjoying a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean or while wandering together through one of Mendocino’s villages.
  5. Eureka: quaint Victorian buildings abound in the small, humble city of Eureka and being so makes it more like a seaside resort than a city. This place is blessed with plentiful and diverse attractions. Other than its many historical places and its national and state parks, Eureka also offers several by ways, back ways, and historical routes exploring the diverse wildlife and landscape. Accommodation of all sorts is available so you’ll definitely find one that fits your budget.
  6. Napa Valley: Napa Valley is well known not only in California but also throughout the world. This very fact already says a lot about this place. And if you live near this region but have never been there, then you are really missing out a lot. Napa Valley is an amazing place! Its rolling hills neatly lined up with fragrant vines are a sight to behold, especially in spring and in autumn. Take your partner and cruise along Napa Valley’s winding roads, then enjoy a sip of its world class Cabernet together. Visiting this place will definitely sizzle up romance between you and your partner.
  7. Shasta Lake: located in the Shasta Trinity National Forest in Northern California, Shasta Lake, with its forested shoreline and its clear waters, is perfect for quiet romantic getaways. The best way to enjoy this place is to rent a houseboat because there are plenty of deserted coves for mooring your floating lodge overnight. If a houseboat is a bit over your budget, other types of accommodation are also available.
  8. Lake Oroville: Lake Oroville is a man-made lake in northern California that is now a huge recreation area offering outdoor activities like boating, horse-back riding, biking, and hiking. Fishing and guided tours are also some of the things you can do at Lake Oroville but the main reason why most guests spend their weekend getaways there is because they want to take advantage of the unique and affordable floating campsites.
  9. Sausalito: Romantic getaways in Sausalito mean a having a relaxing afternoon in one of its sidewalk café’s or bistros while watching the boats sail by. This place offers a lot of water activities and unique excursions for guests to do so they can experience the place and its nautical way of life better. Accommodations range from five stars hotels to very affordable camping places so there should be some that will meet your standards and your budget.
  10. Yosemite: this place is a perfect place for romantic weekend getaways with a touch of adventure. Considered by many as among the world’s very best climbing sites, Yosemite Valley offers more than a customary hiking so unless you and your partner are ready for a tough outdoor activity, better enjoy the region doing some of its easy hiking trips like the hike to the striking Bridalveil Falls and to Lower Yosemite Falls.

Weekend getaways ought to be possible on a shoestring budget. So take your pick—lake view or ocean view, rolling hills or rugged mountains, quaint seaside towns or sleepy mountain villages—all of them can be enchantingly romantic and at the same time, affordable.

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