Somewhere after the holidays and before Memorial Day, you get sucked into the grind. Work days get longer; life’s tribulations take over. Knowing that summer is a few months away and likely your first long vacation for the year, you start to yearn for a respite and a case of cabin fever can set in. Or is that just me? Fortunately, I have found that quick one-night getaways can be just as refreshing as longer ones and a good way to scratch that wanderlust itch. With that in mind, the hubs and I headed over for a quick San Francisco getaway to Stinson beach, just 25 miles north of the city. Stinson beach is typically considered a day-trip destination from SF, so it wasn’t the most obvious choice for an overnight stay. But since we wanted to leave right after work on a Friday and it gets dark around 5p, I wanted to stick to a place a short drive away. Why Friday night? Because it just felt good to hop into a car after a stressful work week and just leave life behind for a bit.
It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area with lots of sunshine and barely any cloud cover. Our night was lit up by a million stars as we huddled up on the desolate beach after dinner that Friday night. Of course, nights by the Pacific always get chilly so a jacket and a warm scarf was still needed to survive the ocean breezes. Nevertheless, it was still a gorgeous night to be outdoors and revel in the stillness of the world around us save the rhythms of the ocean.
Where to stay – Airbnb Stinson Beach Cabins
We stayed at a lovely little airstream we booked through Airbnb right by the beach set in the sublime garden of a historic house called Willow Camp Estate. It was my first time in an airstream and I absolutely loved it! The cozy Tommy Bahama trailer was outfitted with all the conveniences you might need – a little stove, a Bluetooth speaker, a comfortable bed. We had one of the most restful nights we’ve had in a long time serenaded by the sound of the waves and swaddled by the coziness of our bed.
What to do – Stinson Beach
We awoke in the morning just in time for sunrise, intent on catching it on the beach. It was astounding; we were the only ones on the beach as far as the eyes could see and we watched as the sun roused in the East, casting fiery oranges and yellows into the foggy Pacific sky.
Stinson Beach to Mill Valley Hike
Wide awake from our early rendezvous with nature, we were ready for a morning workout. We walked right over to the Dipsea trail, which cuts 7 miles through Mill Valley culminating in the Pacific coast. With nearly 2,000 feet in total elevation gain, this hike was certain to get our heart rate up.
It starts out with a steep incline giving you beautiful views of the coastal arc before heading deeper into a lush green trail with lazy creeks, gurgling waterfalls, and towering redwoods.
Stinson Beach Town
A couple of hours into the hike, we had worked up an appetite and headed back to grab a bite at Breaker’s cafe. Right in the town of Stinson Beach, it was the perfect place for a breakfast sandwich and an iced latte. After devouring our breakfast, we headed back to our Airstream for a quick shower, finally succumbing to the relaxed vibe of our garden milieu. Surrounded by the quietness of the garden and the splash sounds of the Pacific, I sat out on the “patio” of our airstream journaling, reading and enjoying the R&R.
Finally, it was time to head to the beach which was packed by this time as it was a weekend with shockingly beach-friendly weather in San Francisco. Siren canteen was the perfect place for lunch right on the beach. We filled up with tacos and local Marin kombucha while laying out in the sun.
Satiated by our meal, a healthy dose of Vitamin D, sand and the Pacific Ocean, we packed up and headed back just 45 mins into real life.
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