Ask Shelly: Best winter weekend getaway with a baby in Northern California?

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spa and pool at Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa
When baby slips off for a snooze, slip down to the spa for a massage.

On the surface, a first getaway with baby may seem more about what the parents want and need–and if you’ve been doing battle with the evening fussies, various post-partum adjustments, and slaying pile after pile of laundry on a severely limited sleep schedule, I think that’s perfectly reasonable, don’t you?!

However, no one should underestimate the benefits of a weekend’s vacation for baby as well: more attention from a more relaxed, more smiling mom and dad. To that end, this question comes from Mae of the San Francisco Bay Area:


First of all, I love your website. I’m a new mom, and your website is very informative. It helped me pick out the baby stuff I need 🙂

Anyway, my husband and I would like to take our baby to a mini getaway for a few days in late January. I know it’s going to be cold, so I’m wondering where is the best place to go in Northern California (we live by San Francisco, CA) – we don’t really know where to go…or where to begin to look, or how to plan it. Please help!

Thank you so much,

Mae, as you know, there are so many great destinations just a few hours away from San Francisco (or fewer). But with a new baby along for the adventure and a desire for relaxation probably topping your wish list (along with a change of scenery and escape from thank-you notes?), I’d point you to Bodega Bay–just a short drive up the coast toward the many small beaches of the Sonoma Coast–for a weekend getaway.

We’ve enjoyed vacation rentals in the area, which still have some short-notice availability and reasonable rates during this low season (try for starters), but I’d encourage you to also consider a stay at the Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa in a room with a view (or even a partial–that was perfectly pleasing for us).

Rooms have balconies, minibars with just enough room to keep leftover baby food, and fireplaces, so even in inclement weather you can enjoy your view and stay toasty beside your own blaze. The lodge also provides pack ‘n plays free on request. There is a restaurant on site for breakfasts and dinners–but with baby along, I highly recommend having dinner delivered to your door and eating it by your own fire (ah, room service…).

Best of all, you can slip into your lodge robe and slip off to a massage or other spa treatment while your partner keeps an eye on the baby. You can read more about Bodega Lodge & Spa in my review here and check for their latest specials and packages online (and while I’m not a stranger to sponsored travel, I received no compensation for my review or this recommendation).

Of course there is also Monterey and Santa Cruz to the south… but IMHO you should save those entertaining options for when your tot is ready to take in the aquarium and Dennis the Mennis Park, or build sand castles and conquer the boardwalk. 😉

For more ideas on where to go and what to do with babies, toddlers and young kids, see Travels with Baby Destinations. Thanks for the question, and good luck with your getaway!

Parents, other recommendations for Mae?

Related posts and pages:

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli

Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby   facebook   twitter   about the author   

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