Few places on earth are as beautiful and diverse as the Pacific coastline. From the beaches of California to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, this coast is truly magical.
As a California native, maybe I am partial, but I don’t think anyone can visit the West Coast without falling in love. Ready to see for yourself?
Check out a few of my fave fall weekend getaways on the West Coast!
– Napa Valley –
Attention, foodies: the mother ship is in Napa Valley. They have turned the simple, everyday acts of eating amazing food and drinking great wine into an art. With some of the greatest chefs and vineyards on the planet, this is the perfect place to indulge. With farm-to-table restaurants, gourmet grocery stores, and endless wine tasting, you will definitely want to bring your appetite.
One of the prime times to visit Napa is during the fall. In September and October, you can see the vineyards in full swing. Check out local favorites like the Hendry Vineyard and Winery, Twenty Rows, Artesa Vineyards & Winery, St. Clair Brown Winery, and Saintsbury.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is the perfect way to get to know the area. Over the course of three hours, you will have a delectable meal, sample wine, and get a view of the wineries in Napa, Rutherford, Yountville, Oakville, and Saint Helena.
Read Next: A Weekend Getaway Guide to Napa Valley
– Portland –
There is always something new to see in Portland. Just this year, Portland transformed the historical Carriage and Baggage building into Pine Street Market, the first food hall in Portland. Once you have worked up a thirst there, check out the new 14,000-square-foot facility that the much-loved House Spirits Distillery has just opened.
Of course, Portland still has all of its old classics. The largest used bookstore in the world, Powell’s City of Books, continues to impress. The Portland Japanese Garden still shines while the Portland Saturday Market will always rank as one of my favorite places to shop.
Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Portland in a Weekend
– San Francisco –
As one of California’s greatest cities, San Francisco has something for everyone. Explore America’s largest Chinatown for international treasures, and then check out San Fran’s hippest and most happening neighborhood, The Mission. While this area is often overlooked by tourists, it’s a thriving community that’s adored by the locals.
When you are ready to do the tourist thing, hop on the Magic Bus for a trippy ride. This groovy bus will take you through some of the old hippie hangouts and give you insight into the culture of the 60s.
Of course, no trip to The City by the Bay is complete without a trip around Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco Bay Boat Cruise.
Read Next: The Best Time to Go to San Francisco
If you have never been to Seattle, you have got to get to the Space Needle first thing. From 605 feet above the city, you can see it all. Grab your selfies, and then have a look through the telescope to see beyond the cityscape and into the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains.
To dive into Seattle culture head first, pay a visit to the EMP Museum. Formerly known as the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum, this dynamic museum is full of award-winning exhibitions.
Ready to shop? For more than a century, Pike Place Market has been a center for tourists and locals alike. As one of the oldest public farmers’ markets in the country, this place is an icon of Seattle and you definitely won’t want to leave the city without a visit here.
– Denver –
I probably don’t need to tell you that Denver is amazing in the winter. At the doorstep of some of the greatest ski resorts on earth, this city comes alive when the cold weather arrives.
Far from just a winter destination, Denver is gorgeous year-round. In fact, I actually think that fall is one of the best times to visit Colorado.
Did you know that Colorado has the longest period of fall foliage in the country? Because the area around Denver spans a whopping five climate zones, you can admire the autumn colors anytime from September to November. Just change your elevation and you’ll completely transform your surroundings.
If you are lucky enough to be in Denver during the first weekend of the month, you have got to check out First Friday. There are art walks all over town with incredibly impressive displays in the Santa Fe, RiNo, Tennyson, LoHi, and Belmar neighborhoods. It is a totally different experience every month so check the calendar before you go.