Everyone needs a break. Whether you love your job or hate your job. Whether you are in the middle of searching for employment or are comfortably employed. Whether you are madly in love or keep going on first dates that have no potential, there are stressors in everyone’s life that cause them to feel swamped and trapped. The cure for this feeling? A weekend getaway. Not a huge trip that will take up a month of your life or a decent amount of your savings. A simple and fun weekend trip that will help refresh you. One of the best areas in the country to find countless weekend getaways is the West Coast, a vast expanse of land where you could be in the same state but be in two completely different atmospheres
1. Walla Walla, Washington
Starting towards the top of the West Coast, there is the beautiful town of Walla Walla. Walla Walla is filled with all sorts of interesting wineries, but that is not all they have to offer. There are beautiful parks, museums and art galleries. This area is perfect for the wine lover who wants to go tasting in a not well-known area.
© Jameson Fink
2. Astoria, Oregon
If you are a fan of history and looking for a fun weekend getaway, you should definitely look into going to Astoria. Astoria has the Columbia River Maritime Museum, the Fort Clatsop National Memorial, and the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks to just list a few of its historical attractions. On top of the historically-themed activities there, you can also just walk around and enjoy beautiful sights like the Astoria-Megler Bridge or the Astoria Column. Astoria combines the feeling of a small town with the satisfaction of learning more about history.
3. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Some of Cannon Beach’s top sites to see are stunning, completely natural sights. There are multiple beaches to see with giant rock formations in the shallow water and there are many national parks to visit. If you’re not feeling like you want to just staring at nature, there are distilleries, a glasswork workshop, a theater and multiple galleries to fill your weekend with.
© Thomas Shahan
4. Tillamook County, Oregon
For people living a crazed and busy life, it might be nice to take a break somewhere peaceful and surrounded by nature. In Tillamook County, Oregon there are plenty of fun activities that are nature based but aren’t camping in the middle of the woods without electricity or running water. The more calming, nature focused activities there are the Cape Meares Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge, the Cape Lookout State Park, the Tillamook Forest Center and the Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site. You can also go to the de Garde Brewery for a fun way to end the day.
© Brendon Connelly
5. Napa Valley, California
From chauffeured wine tours, to safari wildlife sanctuaries there is something for everyone in Napa Valley. You could spend a weekend with your friends just touring different wineries, being escorted from place to place in a limo or a trolley. To pair with your winery tours, there are multiple exquisite culinary opportunities to take advantage of, some of which are in the wineries themselves. You could bring your family and see different exotic animals from all over Africa. For more “outdoorsy” but still relaxing activities there are many opportunities to go golfing, bike riding, or even go for a hot air balloon ride.
© Wally G.
6. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Just the name Carmel-by-the-Sea, clues you into the idea that this place is going to be special and like no other. While still in the United States, it makes you feel as if you have been transported to the Mediterranean. Being right on the coast there are a multitude of beaches you can choose to go to, each one with a more beautiful view than the previous. A great way to see all Carmel-by-the-Sea has to offer is to drive down the Seventeen Mile Drive, or to walk the Scenic Road Walkway. Both paths have the ocean on one side of you and the beautiful landscape and houses on the other, ensuring you see enchanting views in 360 degrees.
© Matt Northam
7. Ventura, California
If you decide to go to Ventura as a last minute, spur of the moment trip you don’t need to worry about not knowing what there is to do. Just visit their local visitor center to find out what you can do and what is good to do. Ventura offers a wide variety of activities for you to occupy your weekend with. You could head over to the Albinger Archaeological Museum or the Dudley House Museum, you could go biking on the Ventura to Ojai Paved Bike Path, you could go kayaking or check out the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Whatever your interests are, there is something for you in Ventura.
© In the Rough
8. Catalina Island, California
If you’re looking for the experience of island relaxing but only have time for a weekend getaway, look no further than Catalina Island. To get to the island you can take a beautiful ferry ride on the Catalina Express. Catalina Island offers many different activities for visitors of all ages. There is the Catalina Casino, the Catalina Island Museum and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden. You can also stop by The Airport in the Sky to check out the gift shop or try their world famous cookies.
© Larry Barnes
9. La Jolla, California
Have you ever seen photographs or videos of someone surfing down the most beautiful wave and all that went through your head for about the next few minutes was that you wished you knew how to surf? Has that incredibly freeing idea quickly been rushed away by your rational side telling you that it would be too difficult to learn? If this has happened before, La Jolla is the place to go on your free weekend. At La Jolla Shores Beach the reefs there cause the waves to be a bit more gentle, which makes it easier while learning. If you want to still be in the water but are tired of surfing, you can go to the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park and go snorkeling or scuba diving in order to see absolutely gorgeous marine life.
© Ian Martinez
10. Coronado, California
Looking for one of a kind gifts for your friends and family? Combine gift shopping and a vacation for you, making everyone happy. Orange Avenue in Coronado is filled with one of a kind shops you won’t find anywhere else. After a fun shopping session, you can head over to the beaches to relax and explore what can be found in the tide pools. If you’re at the beach by the Hotel Del Coronado you might be able to catch a glimpse of the sunken SS Monte Carlo, a ship that was known for hosting activities that were illegal on the land but not on the water.
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Cover photo © Stan Rocker