3 Beach Destinations Perfect for a Quick Summer Escape

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Although you might not be able to swim in the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, there is nothing like a seaside escape. The Northern California coast is one of the most picturesque places in the whole world—and a quick drive from San Francisco. A day trip to Tamales Bay for a picnic at Hog Island Oyster Farm is a lovely way to spend a Saturday, but if you want to get away for a weekend, we recommend booking a room at one of the following places.

The rooftop spa
The rooftop spa

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

For a classic coastal experience, head to Monterey, specifically the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. Under the leadership of spa director, Heidi Clark, the rooftop spa was recently renovated. Enjoy panoramic views of the bay on the sun deck before receiving a personalized and restorative treatment. The European-style therapies are wellness-focused and include body polishes using ingredients from the ocean, facials that incorporate super fruit, and salt soaks that are meant to dissolve stress. The hotel is located on top of a hill and you can’t beat the unparalleled views. Visit the nearby Cannery Row, home of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, ask the concierge to set up a car to take you to Carmel Valley and do a little wine tasting, or simply relax at the resort.

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Post Ranch Inn

Last winter’s rain storms wreaked havoc on Big Sur and made many of the popular resorts unaccessible due to a bridge failure. Although it was closed for a short time, the Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur’s most luxurious ocean front hotel, has reopened. The bridge is not fixed, but guests are being helicoptered on to the property. For a minimum of three nights, you can hop on a helicopter and be flown to the stunning Big Sur resort. While there indulge in a meal at Sierra Mar, the restaurant that overlooks the Pacific, speak with a shaman during a customized spa session, and explore the nearby coastal countryside hiking with a local guide to point out floral and fauna.

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Timber Cove

Late last summer, Timber Cove, a luxe lodge on the Sonoma Coast opened in between Bodega Bay and Sea Ranch. The architecture of the resort is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, but with contemporary twists. There are 46 guest rooms decorated with original art pieces from artists such as Emily Nation and Jeff Canham. An outdoor living room has pool tables, ping-pong, and a huge fire pit making it an ideal place to mingle during the evening. There is also a bar, restaurant that celebrates local foragers and fisherman, and plenty of hiking trails on the 23-acre property.

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