But all I want to do is soak in a hot tub!!
January 30, 2018 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Where should we go for our babymoon that is driving distance from the SF Bay Area?

My husband and I are expecting our first kiddo in April and are hoping to go on a short babymoon before then. We are located in the SF Bay Area and want to go somewhere within driving distance for a weekend or three days. I am currently 28 weeks along and are hoping to go on our little excursion in the next 6 weeks or so.

We love the outdoors, relaxing, museums, and getting cozy by the fire. Sadly, I know that hot tubs are off limits but a pool/swimming might be fun! We are generally hoping to spend the weekend together, going on short-ish walks in nature/woods/beach, reading some books, and relaxing together. We love eating delicious food so places with fabulous restaurants are very welcome! We are open to different types of accommodations, whether they are airbnb, regular bnb, or whatever, but are hoping for something on the affordable end.

We have already seen this question but the answers there are more focused on touristy and SF things to do. We are hoping for something more along the lines of cozy snuggles off the beaten path. Have you been anywhere within a 2-3 hour driving distance from SF that you loved?
posted by ruhroh to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When I lived in Berkeley Monterey was often my choice for cozy snuggle-type getaways. It's not exactly a hidden secret, but it's also not crowded this time of year, and there's plenty to do that isn't just wandering Cannery Row. It's not that far away, but far enough away that it feels like a vacation, and I love the road trip down there-especially the parts that involve stopping in various adorable places for food, like Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero and the berry farm further down the highway. There are many cozy places to stay, and many delicious places to eat. And the aquarium is, of course, amazing, though you may consider that more touristy than I do.

I also really love the Point Reyes area, so much so that I went on a farewell trip there before I moved out of the Bay Area. It's beautiful and relaxing, not at all crowded this time of year, and there is lots of delicious food. I should point out a couple things that might steer you away from this place for now, though: 1) I've never been pregnant, but I understand that unexpected nausea is a thing, and the trip there can involve some winding roads that have made me mildly carsick, and 2) Much of the delicious food is seafood-heavy. If you're not concerned about potential carsickness and either can have the seafood or don't love it enough that you wouldn't mind being surrounded by it and not being able to have it, this is my recommendation. :)
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:45 PM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you been to Pigeon Point Hostel? It has a lighthouse, and a hot tub with a view of the ocean. I loved it for my snuggle retreat several years ago. You could couple it with a day in Monterey or Santa Cruz.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 7:14 PM on January 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

To my mind Pigeon Point is too far from Monterey, but Santa Cruz is a good choice for a day outing if you're staying at the hostel (they have a private room you can reserve, though its bathroom isn't en suite.) The walk on West Cliff is always beautiful and there's a nice, off-the-beaten-path botanical garden on the UC campus. Plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Pigeon Point also pairs nicely with an outing to Ano Nuevo see the Elephant seals. There are always some out there, and if you call well in advance and explain you're super preg, you can reserve spots on the "equal access" van, which will take you out pretty directly to the viewing area instead of having to hike through the dunes. There's nothing to eat right there, but there are restaurants at Davenport, not far.

Now if you want to spring for higher end accommodation, in Capitola is one of my favorite B&Bs, and many of its rooms have big deep double jetted tubs, and the point of that is, that you can fill them up at whatever temperature is comfortable and safe for you. Not cheap though. But very lovely, atmospheric rooms.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:40 PM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

On the recommendations of AskMeFi, we stayed at the Martine Inn in Pacific Grove over the summer and it offers fireplaces, otter views, endless cookies, gleaming antiques, and a perfect location for wandering around the shore.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:49 PM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, Martine Inn is nice.

I thought of another option. There are several hotels in Calistoga with warm pools. Like warm enough to be nice to swim in April but (I *think*) not hot enough to be an issue for pregnant swimming. I believe this is one where I swam (didn't stay there) though some time ago. Maybe they'd do a prenatal massage too; you could call and ask.

I think I may have also swam at this one which might be just right for you because they have several pools all at different temps and one is basically tepid, so see what your doc says.

Obviously you wouldn't be doing wine tasting in Calistoga but there is a ton of fantastic food up there too, and some foofy foodie stuff like olive oil...
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:55 PM on January 30, 2018

Orr Hot Springs near Ukiah is pretty awesome. They’ve got a pool which may not, um, be cooking temp and viable. Plus Montgomery Woods state reserve nearby is perhaps the coolest old-growth redwoods I’ve seen in ages (go early).

Another option would be Costanoa on the Pescadero coasts, Santa Clara county coast of the Bay Area. We spent an idyllic weekend there in one of the small condo-style rooms- nice fireplace, fridge but communal bathrooms iirc. From there you can explore the awesome west side of the coast range in the Bay Area which is relatively undeveloped and wonderfully quaint - Pescadero, San Gregorio, Davenport, etc.
posted by mrzz at 7:57 PM on January 30, 2018

And there’s always Sea Ranch - plenty of rentals in an *amazing* space. I know there are a acouple of ‘supper club’ type dining spots you’ve got to know of ahead of time before going but I gather they are superb (we’ve only cooked food in and wandered the coastline).

Have a wonderful time! It’s truly one of the most magical time of both (all) of your lives.

Oh- I’d look at Stinson/Bolinas too since it might be affordable but I’m less familiar with the specifics (same goes for Aptos / Capitola to the south ).
posted by mrzz at 8:03 PM on January 30, 2018

My cousin did her babymoon at Indian Springs in Calistoga - one of the places with warm-but-not-hot-pools - and loved it. We stayed there a few months ago for a wedding and can confirm that it was a nice, relaxing, resort-y vibe and you can walk or ride one of their cruiser bikes into town.

Like most "weekend getaways" around the Bay Area, they run some nice discounts if you're there Mon-Thur.
posted by asphericalcow at 10:10 PM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you thought of staying in Carmel and trying Refuge?
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 11:20 PM on January 30, 2018

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