3 Splurge-Worthy Getaways In Northern California & What To Wear
You can enjoy the video highlights of all three getaways on my Instagram!
Bodega Bay Lodge
On the rugged Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay Lodge was our first visit for our Vacation Within 3 hours of Sacramento Tour! It took us a little over 2 hours to get there from our home. The drive was gorgeous and definitely required some Dramamine for my car sickness! But once we got there, it was one of the most tranquil and serene places I’ve ever been to! Nestled in a moody beach scene, Bodega Bay Lodge is sure to help you unwind from the busyness of life! It’s the place you want to go to read a book all weekend! Our family enjoyed the super chill vibes as well as the amazing amenities they provided. We spent most of our time enjoying the infinity spa that overlooked the ocean. I loved that they provided a great space to have a locker and the ability to work out in their gym as well as unwind in the sauna!
We enjoyed all our meals at the Drake’s Sonoma Coast Kitchen ! The most captivating element of the restaurant experience for me was the beautiful view. Once you sat down, the fireplace in the corner warmed the restaurant and the well-curated art made for eye candy at every turn. I loved seeing the birds by the window, they were flying about like they had a job to entertain us! The view of the birdies was by far one of my favorite memories there! It was out of a movie! I enjoyed the clam chowder and my kids loved their Grilled Angus Cheeseburger & French Fries! After dinner, we headed to the outdoor area to catch the sunset and some fresh crisp air. I loved that they had lawn games and hammocks for our enjoyment!
One of the elements of the rooms that we loved was that it had a wood-burning fireplace! At the end of the night our family enjoyed watching a movie and cozying up with the fire. At this place you could very well pack exclusive cozy outfits and maybe ONE fancy date night or dinner outfit. Other than that, the weather is cool and you’ll definitely need a jacket in the morning and evenings in the summer! I’m sure it’s far colder in the winter months. Good thing they have amazing fire pits and fire in the common areas!
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa was the middle child of our vacation stays! It oversees Monterey Bay offering an unparalleled view of the Pacific ocean! It took us a little over 3 hours to drive here from Sacramento. The drive was little less scenic but a good straight shot. No dramamine needed!
Once we set foot in the Monterey Plaza It was amazing and miraculous! I have never been more certain of God’s faithfulness than when I walked into the dreamy Monterey Plaza. God has taken my dreams and helped me to work them into reality. I had chills walking into our room at this gorgeous property as my eyes saw the majestic view of the ocean right off of our balcony! It was the most luxurious place we’ve ever been to and the most breathtaking location I’ve even been able to stay at! I pray that my life will encourage you to believe that God can take broken dreams and redeem lives to point to His glory. May you be strengthened by this post to know if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone! God is able and He is a God of abundance! My success and favor is yours as well! I believe in sharing and I believe in miracles. This experience for me was a miracle. It was many years of prayers answered in a gorgeous time with my family. As I live a little longer I’m starting to believe that time spent with those we love is the most precious and most amazing gift we could ever have. I believe in saving money so you can enjoy yourself and treat yourself to something nice. In our humble opinion we believe that making memories with a vacation is far better than spending money in other areas. We are not proposing to get into debt for ANYTHING, but if you can afford to save up for a night or two at a place like this, why the heck not! The memories that we experienced here will forever be etched in my heart.
My little girl asked to speak with me in “private” in the bathroom when we arrived. She had me kneel down to her level and then told me, “Mommy, I don’t know how to tell you this… Weeee don’t like fancy.” Oh I laughed so hard. My family has never experienced our room being turned down right before bed! Or having a complimentary Land Rover shuttle us around town! Eventually she got used to the fancy!
This was a great place for our family because of the location! There is so much to do right from the start. The hotel is right on Cannery Row and there are a bazillion places to eat and have fun. There is the Monterey Bay Aquarium (we didn’t go this time) but it’s there and it’s amazing and I believe it’s a must see for everyone! There is a private beach at the hotel, you can rent kayaks, they have complimentary bikes which you can ride to Fisherman’s Wharf! The sky’s the limit, really! The hotel has an amazing restaurant, Schooners Coastal Kitchen, where we had dinner the first night! We ordered angry prawns, the spicy tuna tartar, the Salmon special and cheesecake and creme brûlée for desert - it was delicious! All of it! Not to mention the bread they give you at the start of your meal is a little slice of heaven! The hotel also has the Tidal Coffee shop with a gorgeous view if you want coffee and small eats!
The Monterey Plaza sure knows how to captivate your attention by putting a delightful rooftop jacuzzi and fireplace that has you never wanting to leave. When we had our stay our little humans weren’t able to use this part of the hotel, but I took a tour with the manager and she shared with me that in September they had the family spas opening up for a family-friendly environment at the hotel as well!
As far as food goes, Monterey is one of my favorite places to visit and these restaurants have been a home run the three times we’ve visited them! I would truly recommend El Cantaro Vegan and Zab Zab Thai Food ! They are not going to disappoint you. I love getting the spicy potato tacos at El Cantaro and the Pad Thai and pineapple fried rice at Zab Zab! I also loved going across the street from the Monterey Plaza to a little Mexican restaurant for coffee called Cannery Row Deli. It was delicious and brought so many memories of my childhood back as I enjoyed breakfast with my family there on Sunday morning!
For the style aspect of our trip I really enjoyed wearing layers! It is a chilly place and in the summer it gets sunny but you really need a third layer for comfort and to keep you warm!
We closed our tour at the Nakoma Resort this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday! The way to Nakoma Resort is a scenic drive north of Reno and Tahoe. We drove for about 2 hours in the gorgeous forest and saw so many beautiful landscapes! The view driving up is almost all worth it. It’s the Sierra’s rugged outdoor playground! A golfer’s dream. Or anyone with an outdoor spirit really would love this one!
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my husband! We didn’t only unwind but we also had a TON of fun as a family! I don’t know when I actually had a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation where every person truly felt represented. We have a 5-year-old and a 8-year-old so we are still a young family, but we are all starting to understand what makes us all tick and Nakoma provided something for everyone in my family! We spent most of our time at the Altitude Recreation Area! I couldn’t believe my eyes. All on one roof you have a huge heated pool with all the goodies needed for a good swim session (goggles/ floats/ flippers) and a spa. A basketball hoop and climbing-wall room (this was one of my personal favorite things! I actually tried it and made it to the top… twice!) I was dead after those two climbs!! They have a children’s room full of toys for your kids and a first-come-first-serve movie theatre where you can select from the movies they have available! Then a state-of-the-art fitness center equipped with amazing locker rooms, steam showers and shower-showers!
I enjoyed the workout space up top overlooking the pool with a $15 pilates class on Saturday morning. It was so nice to work out in the serenity of this quiet place!
We had dinner the first night at Altitude Cafe where we ordered a cauliflower wrap and smoothies and pizza! It was so nice to have such great food options. They were delicious and nutritious. Our favorite part was catching a meteor shower our first night in the spa with the trees showing their gorgeous silhouettes through the night sky!
On Saturday night we delighted in a fancy dinner from within a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece overlooking the stunning Sierra Nevadas! The Wigwam Room gave us our sitting place as we ate the carbonara and the amazingly spicy and delectable ceviche! After dinner we played outside on the hill where many weddings take place! The sunset was beautiful and so was our night as we calmly got to sleep (or not so calmly our 5 year old was making a ruckus!) Real life guys. Real life! Even in the most beautiful of locations we can have a tantrum!
The last morning I enjoyed a 90-minute spa time with Amy at the clubhouse! She gave me a massage and a facial that had me so relaxed and ready to come back to reality with full energy and zest!
I took mostly comfy clothes to Nakoma! I did dress up a little for our night out to the fancy dinner but other than that, I enjoyed the crisp weather by wearing and embracing my legging-loving and cozy sweater self!
I felt so grateful for everyone there! They truly made us feel at home!
At every one of these places, the most important thing was the people! From the front desk to the valet, to the housekeeping heroines that changed our soiled bed (I won’t rat out who did it!). At every property we stayed at, the most important aspect were the staff and all the people that made the hotels sing with excellent service! We appreciate EVERY SINGLE person that we came across! So I leave you dreaming about your next vacation!
Where will you go friend?