A Design Insiders' Guide to the Best Bay Area Weekend Retreats

Manka's Inverness Lodge, California

With world-class settings like Big Sur to Sonoma at our doorstep in the Bay Area, one can take to the road in any direction and arrive at a sublime destination. Here, seven savvy San Francisco interior designers reveal their favorite local getaways.

“There’s nothing more relaxing than a weekend getaway to Manka’s Inverness Lodge. Cozy cabins have everything you could possibly want: big bathtubs, comfy beds and wood-burning fireplaces. In the mornings, the newspaper is delivered to your doorstep, along with coffee and homemade sticky buns. It’s heaven.”
–Catherine Kwong, Catherine Kwong Design

“One of my favorite escapes is Deetjen’s in Big Sur. It’s the perfect coastal rustic retreat. When we’re there, we set our alarms for 1 a.m. to sit above crashing waves at the Esalen hot springs. The Milky Way never looks clearer.”
–Nicole Hollis, Nicole Hollis Interior Design

“My wife, Tray, and I are working on a fun family getaway property in Healdsburg. I supremely enjoy watching sunsets and the oak trees swaying in the wind, and listening to the crickets at end of the evening. When construction becomes too much, we get away to Solage Calistoga. Pro-tip: Play a little bocce right at sundown for a perfect view of the valley’s eastern hills. They glow as the sun washes them with orange, amber and reds. That is perfection.”
–Jeff Schlarb, Green Couch

Carneros Inn

“My favorite local getaway is Carneros Inn. It’s a great place to relax, with individual cottages in a sprawling setting. It also has a great kids pool for when you’re taking the family.”
–Alison Davin, Jute Home

“My backyard. If I have two-to-three non-working hours on a weekend—and that is amazing these days—then the backyard is about as far as I get for some R&R. My husband and I love to gather around the fire pit and barbeque at sunset with friends. Being at home is the ultimate in glamping!”
–Kelly Hohla, Kelly Hohla Interiors 

“The Timber Cove Inn, situated on a cliff along the Sonoma Coast, is my very favorite local getaway. Built in 1963 by architect Richard Clements, its design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The rooms are spacious and cozy, and the decks facing the ocean provide spectacular sunset views. There are wonderful trails for hiking and exploring the coast, local wineries close by, and a charming neighboring town called Duncan Mills with a variety of antique shops. Still, the area feels undiscovered and remote for the perfect weekend escape.”
–Jean Larette, Jean Larette Interior Design

“A jaunt to Sea Ranch is the perfect elixir. The drive through Two Rock Valley, through Bodega Bay and up the coast reminds me of motoring through England. Upon arrival, the agenda becomes ‘nothing’ or nearly so: listening to the crash of surf and wind through the redwoods, cooking dinner for friends, and perhaps capturing a scene or two in watercolor. Bliss!”
–Steve Henry, BAMO

A version of this article appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens with the headline: The Road to Restoration.