School has started. The leaves are changing. Temperatures are finally starting to cool off in Sacramento. However, there just isn’t the time or money for a trip right? Wrong.
7 Fall weekend getaways in northern California
Here are some great, inexpensive getaways a short drive from Sacramento:
Weekend trip to Tahoe
The leaves are changing, temperatures are cool, and the crowds are long gone. While average high temperatures in September and October are in the low 60s and 70s, it’s a nice play to go hiking, hang out at the lake, or just relax for the weekend before the winter snow and ski season arrive.
Those expensive hotels you couldn’t book during the summer may now be available in the Fall at much lower prices. And as long as the central valley remains hot, temperatures in the 70s and 80s in Tahoe makes this one of the best weekend getaways in northern California!
This is the perfect time of year to go to San Francisco. While many people visit during the summer, they understand what Mark Twain meant in the phrase attributed to him “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
On average, September and October are the hottest months of the year in San Francisco, with average highs around 70 degrees. And while it is not as dry as the summer months, there tends to be a little more sunshine and very little rain. So whether it’s a weekend trip or just a day trip, take that trip to Alcatraz, wind your way down Lombard street, wander along Pier 39, stroll through beautiful Golden Gate Park, or learn something new at the Exploratorium. San Francisco’s indian summers (late September and October) are the best time of year to visit the city by the bay.
There is no better quick day trip which is made even better with this Apple Hill travel guide. Late September through October is the peak time to visit as many of the orchards go all out with food, crafts, and fun things for kids. Oh yeah, and apples too!
You can get apple pie, apple donuts, apple cider, apple butter, and many other apple delights! Located just north of downtown Placerville on Hwy 50, there are numerous orchards to visit offering a variety of different things regardless of your tastes. Even if you don’t like apples, visit for the people watching or fun times being had by all. Get a map of the orchards, a calendar of events, guides to each of the orchards, and directions on how to get there at Apple Hill.
There are a number hiking trails if you want an outdoor weekend getaway in northern California. However, it’s difficult to find a better place to explore than the Redwoods in Muir Woods National Park (check out this Muir Woods hiking guide). You can enjoy the gigantic Redwoods with the crowds or enjoy hiking among the trees and on the beaches in Mt Tamalpais state park. Muir Woods is a spectacular area of California for outdoor lovers and curious visitors for these giant trees – just a few miles from San Francisco.
Halloween pumpkin patches
In Sacramento, there are a number of events for Halloween. Outside of Christmas, this may be the most popular time of year for shows, events, and activities in the area. While Apple Hill offers some great family fun for Halloween, there are a number of pumpkin patches and carnivals for kids and families throughout northern California. One of these is the Amador Flower Farm Pumpkin Patch. Located a little over an hour from Sacramento, this pumpkin patch and maze in Plymouth, CA offers a free getaway for kids and families looking for some Halloween fun.
The changing of the leaves
While California isn’t well known for its four seasons, you can see some stunning Fall colors in northern California.
For the best day or weekend trips, take a drive up 80 or 50 and explore highways 89, 88, 49, and 395 like the beautiful Fall colors of Hope Valley. Go for a hike, enjoy the scenery, or even make a few stops in some of these smaller towns. It’s a perfect time of year to feel the cool air and enjoy the beautiful colors. Make a weekend of the trip and find some great places to stay along the way. For more information on fall foliage guides, visit Plumas County Fall Colors Guide, Nevada City Fall Colors Guide, CA State Parks Fall Colors Guide.
Hiking and golf
It’s a beautiful time of year to get out and hike along the many trails in northern California like a hike to Round Top near Lake Tahoe. If you enjoy hiking, enjoy some of the best hiking trails in northern California. Visit one of the many state parks in the area (CA State Parks). Or just get out and enjoy the reduced Fall rates at many popular northern California golf courses (Northern CA Golf Courses).
A perfect weekend in northern California
Fall is a perfect time of year to visit northern California. As the warm summer temps give way to crisp, cool days, enjoy the variety of places to visit in northern California. Hiking, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, sporting events, or family fun events with the kids – there is plenty to do and see in northern California in the Fall!
What places or activities would you add to this list of weekend getaways in northern California?