The following content is created in consultation with Northern California Honda Dealers. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC BAY AREA's editorial staff. To learn more about NorCal Honda, visit norcalhondadealers.com.
The long days and warm weather of summer are here, meaning it’s time to start your engines and hit the road for some memorable weekend escapes.
Fortunately, Northern California is uniquely blessed with some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, and many are accessible by car.
Which means you’ll want to travel in comfort and style. NorCal Honda has all your driving needs covered, offering great deals on everything from the sporty, fuel-efficient Civic to the road trip ready CR-V, Motor Trend’s 2015 Sport/Utility of the Year.
In addition to getting a great deal on a new Honda this summer, you can also visit some of California’s most scenic destinations. Beat the crowds by heading to one of our five favorite hideaways.
From literary legends like Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac to nature lovers from around the world, the dramatic and unspoiled landscape of Big Sur has always been an irresistible draw. Head down Highway 1 and channel the throwback vibe by checking in at GlenOaks Big Sur, a funky adobe motor lodge tucked in a redwood forest. You can enjoy farm-fresh California cuisine courtesy of Chef Brendan Esons, then turn in for the night in front of your room’s gas fireplace. Embark early the next morning to hit the abundant hiking trails, then replenish those calories with a Shrimp B.L.T. on the low-key terrace of Nepenthe perched over the Pacific.
Point Reyes National Seashore
Home to breathtaking coastal views, pristine hikes, secluded beaches and untouched wildlife, it’s hard to imagine that Point Reyes National Seashore is less than a 40 mile drive from bustling San Francisco. There are over 150 miles of hiking terrain, but we recommend Tomales Point Trail for prime nature viewing (you’ll pass through an elk reserve) and stunning Pacific ocean views. Lunch is at Tomales Bay Oyster Company, where you can shuck their namesake fare and pair it with some equally delicious mussels and clams as you dine al fresco. End the day by booking a room at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, a rustic-chic collection of cabins with soaking tubs so deep you’ll never want to leave.
Meadowood, Napa Valley
What would summer be without a little weekend splurge? Beat the wine swilling Napa crowds by heading for Meadowood, a 250-acre resort that combines luxe lodging, fantastic food and a beautiful golf course. Life is laid-back up here among the redwood groves and manicured green lawns, so stroll through the lush vegetation, hit the spa and indulge in the singular, Michelin 3 Star dining experience, where Chef Kostow and his team prepare bespoke dishes for each guest.
Tahoe remains a perennial favorite for adventurous weekenders, but that doesn’t mean you can’t venture off the beaten path. Popular ski lodge Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn is equally charming when the snow melts, and not nearly as crowded. Located in the heart of Squaw Valley’s iconic Olympic Village, you’ll wake up to stunning mountain scenery and enjoy access to hiking and mountain biking trails. Afternoon is best spent on the lake, or, if unwinding is more your thing, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton, where a rejuvenating treatment is best followed by Summertime Sangria at the hotel bar. For dinner, hit local favorite Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique for small plates, fresh fish and local game.
It’s hard not to fall in love with the small town charms of Mendocino. Perched atop a bluff overlooking the unruly Pacific, this collection of Victorian homes, quaint shops and art galleries will have you feeling like you stepped back in time. Take in an exhibition of a local or national artist at the Mendocino Art Center (an artistic haven since 1959), or opt for something more adventurous like exploring the rough coastal waters with a guided tour courtesy of Liquid Fusion Kayaking. No day is complete without dinner at locavore favorite Cafe Beaujolais (try the Roasted Australian Rack of Lamb with Creamy Farro), then hit the hay at Brewery Gulch Inn, a cedar-shingled sanctuary just south of town that boasts unobstructed ocean views.
To make these summer escapes and many more a reality, visit NorCal Honda to get a great deal on your next car.