5 Best Upscale Wilderness Retreats Around The Bay

April 20, 2013 6:00 AM

There often comes a time when some Bay Area residents need to take a break from their usual everyday life. Fortunately, they need not travel far to enjoy a quiet trip away from home. Whether it’s work-related stress or simply the need to get away from crowds and traffic, there are several remote overnight accommodations to choose from, all within a few hours’ drive from San Francisco and much more comfortable than simply camping in a tent. The following suggested properties are five of the most comfortable wilderness retreats, all located north of the Golden Gate.

Creekside Inn
16180 Neeley Road
Guerneville, CA  95446
(707) 869-3623

The Creekside Inn, in Sonoma County, is located across the Russian River from the unincorporated town of Guerneville, amid some of the state’s oldest redwood trees. The moderately priced facility features a bed and breakfast with six elegantly furnished rooms, 10 cottages, 12 eco-friendly accommodations called “Nature Suites,” a swimming pool and spa. Each of the cottages and Nature Suites has a full-sized kitchen, gas fireplace and other amenities such as Wi-Fi and refrigerator. In Guerneville, there are several options for dining and the world-renowned Korbel Champagne Cellars and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, home to a 1,400-year-old redwood tree, are both close by.

Dillon Beach Resort
One Beach Ave.
Dillon Beach, CA  94929
(707) 878.2696

The Dillon Beach Resort is one of the hidden treasures of the Tomales Bay region, home to hundreds of different bird species. The property has a number of two-bedroom cabins that accommodate up to six guests. Also on the resort is a café that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a general store and surf shop. Among the points of interest in the vicinity of Dillon Beach are the Point Reyes National Seashore and the community of Inverness. Further away but well worth a visit is the historic Drakes Bay and Point Reyes Lighthouse, both on the National Register of Historic Places.

Related: Your Guide To The Bay Area’s Best Beaches

The Inn at Occidental
3657 Church St.
Occidental, CA  95465
(707) 874-1047

Ask any Bay Area resident how to get to the historic community of Occidental and most probably wouldn’t know. But those who do will say that it is a perfect place to get away from it all. One of just a handful of hotels in town, the Inn at Occidental offers fine rooms, suites and a large two-bedroom cottage. All rooms have a fireplace and some with a private deck and spa tub. There are a few excellent restaurants within walking distance, including the Zagat-rated French restaurant Bistro Des Copains and the seaside community of Bodega Bay, made world famous from the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”, is about 20 minutes away.

Olea Hotel
5131 Warm Springs Road
Glen Ellen, CA  95442
(707) 996-5131

Another fabulous hotel along a road that’s less traveled can be found in the tiny community of Glen Ellen, in the heart of the wine country. This stylish boutique hotel has several finely furnished rooms, from queen rooms to king rooms with a fireplace, in addition to secluded cottages. Part of the complimentary services for guests include full gourmet breakfasts prepared by the executive chef, daily desserts and wine tastings. The hotel also has an onsite massage service for an additional fee. Not far from Glen Ellen is Jack London State Historic Park, where the famous American author Jack London once lived with his wife and now serves as their final resting place.

130 Marin View Ave.
Mill Valley, CA  94941
(415) 388-7198

This private home retreat and spa is quietly tucked away within the redwoods of Mount Tamalpais, just past the Muir Woods main entrance and a few minutes from Mill Valley. The elegantly styled home has three bedrooms, a full kitchen, three spectacular viewing decks overlooking Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods, a Japanese-style salt-water hot tub and a private massage treatment room. Personal fitness training, yoga, pilates, guided hikes and fine dining by a personal chef are also part of the extravagant services provided. Also on the luxurious property is a full library of DVDs and CDs and an office with high-speed wireless internet and an iMac desktop computer.

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.