Northern California Honeybabymoon!
January 29, 2008 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Please help me plan a honeymoon/babymoon vacation in Northern California. I'll be 20 weeks pregnant. We fly in to San Francisco 3/9/08 and out 3/16/08.

So we put off taking a honeymoon, and now I'm knocked up. This is our big chance. We are interested in scenic beauty with easy hikes, amazing food, and cool spots off the beaten path. I am personally interested in some type of prenatal spa day and possibly a not-too-hot spring. (Suggestions for a prenatal massage or spa in the city would be welcome as well.)

We don't mind driving a bit so we could check out multiple spots. We're returning to the area after we fell in love with Muir Woods and Pt. Reyes. We drove through Big Sur on the way to San Luis Opispo and that looked lovely. I'd love to see the redwoods, the ocean, mountains, wildlife, etc.

Budget-wise, we're talking about $1000 for the week, not including airfare and car rental, but including everything else. We could happily splurge some places and scrimp others. Also, we have $500 in gift certificates to Marriott owned hotels. Mostly, we just want to eat and relax, and bask in each other's company surrounded by natural beauty.

So please recommend some of your favorite restaurants, picnic spots, easy hikes, spas, bed and breakfasts, inns, must-sees, and the like. Bonus points for dreamy itineraries that include my massage!
posted by natness to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was at Treebones in Big Sur last fall and it was awesome. The yurts are really really nice and the people there were super cool and you can't beat the scenery. They'll even bring in a massage therapist for you, if you ask, though we didn't do that. They recently opened their own dining room (dinner only) and our meal was really good, too. All in all, it was a great place and we were only there for one night! There's tons of other stuff to do around there. Everyone raves about Nepenthe but I've never been.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:28 PM on January 29, 2008

You could prob. find some cool hippy dippy ashram type place in/around Big Sur, but I suggest continuing up North past Muir Woods all the way to Mendocino. There are some nice B&B's on the Russian River and you can stop in Sonoma, Calistoga, and Guerneville on the way for bites. Mendocino is just charming all around. About 2-3 miles North of Fort Bragg is a lovely B&B on a small farm. Will look for the name. Highly recommended.
posted by pallen123 at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2008

The loveliest wedding I've ever attended was in the Muir Woods at The Pelican Inn. Rates start at $190.

In Big Sur, I'm a sucker for the rustic cabins down on the river at Ripplewood Resort (warning: bed quality is not great -- i.e., saggy mattresses -- which may be of some concern for your comfort since you're pregnant). Rates for a cabin on the river start around $140 (cabins with a fireplace are a bit more, but it's advisable to get one if you can, given that March evenings in Big Sur will most likely be chilly).
posted by scody at 4:18 PM on January 29, 2008

Oops, sorry: Ripplewood link here.
posted by scody at 4:26 PM on January 29, 2008

I recently had the most AMAZING spa day with my mom at the Nob Hill Spa. There were a lot of pregnant ladies there, and they offer a prenatal massage.

They also offer a half day package for mothers to be, but it might be outside your price range:

Nurturing care for the Mother to be. Soothe your body with a 50-minute Pregnancy Massage followed by a nutritious spa lunch. Then renew with a 25-minute European Facial and Spa Manicure and Spa Pedicure.
Half-day (3 hours) with lunch $350

If you just do the massage ($130 for 50 minutes), you can hang out in the totally gorgeous marble and glass swimming pool area and drink lemon water for as long as you like, no additional fee.

Oh yeah!
posted by paddingtonb at 4:59 PM on January 29, 2008

Another spa to check out (and I think it's a little more affordable) is Kabuki Springs. They do prenatal massage. I've been there several times and thought it was lovely. If you get a massage, you can also have access to the communal baths and it's really great to just sit and veg out. The pools are all varying temperatures so you can decide what works best for you. Note that if you want to have your husband accompany you, you'll have to go on the co-ed day (Tuesdays) since the other days alternate all-male or all-female since it's clothing optional, though clothing is required on co-ed day.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 5:07 PM on January 29, 2008

The hot tub at Kabuki is really hot -- probably too hot for pregnant ladies. (At least: I'm 19 weeks pregnant and wouldn't go in there.) It's nice, though. I imagine most spas in the city offer pregnancy massage. Burke Williams is a nice, relaxing spa downtown (in the Westfield Centre mall), and some people like Bliss (no hot tub, but great showers) in the W Hotel.

If you want a nice hike in the city, drive to Land's End -- you can park essentially at the upper left-hand corner of the city, descend a small hill, and hike under trees next to the ocean. It's beautiful. However, given how rainy it's been here lately, be prepared to navigate a lot of slippery slopes and mud.

Some favorite restaurants (you didn't say what kind of food you like or where you're from, so here's a random sampling):

- Pizzeria Delfina, on 18th Street in the Mission. Cool Italian pizza place, great food, probably $30-$35 for two. Good lunch or dinner spot, gets crowded. The fancier restaurant next door, Delfina, is also fantastic but spendy.
- Another pizza option: Little Star Pizza, with locations on Divisadero near Fulton and Valencia at 15th. Casual place with tasty deep-dish pizza. Inexpensive.
- Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. Wander around this ritzy farmers' market located along the waterfront. Many great food offerings on Saturday morning - I like the salmon BLT at the Hayes Street Grill and the grilled calamari at Rose Pistola. The Italian donuts sold inside (filled with nutella, custard, or chocolate) are great. There's tasty gelato at Ciao Bella inside and good brownies at Lulu Petite. And a vendor on Saturdays sells really good dried fruit in bulk -- they're on the south side of the entrance in front.
- Slanted Door. Also at the Ferry Building, this high-end Vietnamese does the unthinkable: it combines excellent food with beautiful views of the Bay. Definitely not cheap. (Make reservations)
- King of Thai Noodle House: This cheap-and-fast chain of Thai restaurants has several locations around the city, and it's super tasty. There are outlets on Geary (near the Curran Theater) and on O'Farrell (near Macy's) downtown, a couple of Clement St. in the Richmond, one on Taraval, and a few others. I love the pad see ew with chicken and the veggie red curry.
- NOPA: Splurge restaurant on Divisadero in the Western Addition. Great vibe, great Mediterranean-influenced American food. (Make reservations.)
- La Taqueria. You can find lots of good burritos in the city, including the rice-free variety here. Probably $15 for two. On Mission near 25th.
- Good Luck Dim Sum. For a different kind of picnic, head to the Richmond District to this mostly take-out dim sum shop on Clement near, I think, 8th Avenue. Super cheap, great dim sum, and you're close to Golden Gate Park for a picnic. You might enjoy walking around Stow Lake, which is picturesque. The park is huge, and it's hard to go wrong.
- Shalimar. Hugely divey Pakistani restaurant on Jones Street in the Tenderloin. The neighborhood sucks and the place looks like a giant health-code violation, but the food rocks and is cheap.

That's enough for now -- congrats on the pregnancy and have a wonderful trip.
posted by stonefruit at 7:00 AM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The hot tub at Kabuki is really hot -- probably too hot for pregnant ladies Well it's supposed to be 104 degrees, which is the standard temp for a hot tub so pretty much any hot tub will be off limits by that measure. But I thought I recalled a mid-range pool there that was in between the temperature of the hot tub and the cold plunge pool. Maybe not but you could still dunk your feet in it!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:30 AM on January 30, 2008

Ms. slogger and I had a very similar vacation last September, when she was about ten weeks pregnant. We drove the coast from San Francisco to Mendocino over the course of 2 days or so, and it was fantastic.
posted by slogger at 4:28 PM on January 30, 2008

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