You reach car horn quota and the urban heat island effect gets to be too much—cue the quick weekend getaway. To help mini-break planning, we’re rounding up idyllic inns and relaxing resorts a short drive (i.e. two hours or less) from major cities. First, we cherry pick those dotted along America and Canada’s West Coast.
Hastings House Country Estate
This Sussex-style 18-room retreat on Salt Spring Island is a 30-minute float plane flight from Vancouver International Airport and a 90-minute ferry ride from BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen terminal. Spa appointments, pre-dinner cocktails and a Dungeness crab catch with the staff assist in the unwinding.
Brentwood Bay Resort
A 90-minute ferry ride and short 15-minute drive gets you to this marina-side resort 10 minutes outside downtown Victoria. Take a vinotherpy treatment then lap up the view from an oceanfront room. Kayak rentals and cruises can be arranged.
Salish Lodge & Spa
Only 30 minutes outside The Emerald City, the lodge sits alongside stunning Snoqualmie Falls. From rooms, and tables in the restaurant, gaze on the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest. Nothing clears the head like a walk in the woods; thankfully, the area boasts plenty of hiking trails.
To get to this resort coddled by pine trees, near the Cle Elum River, it’s a picturesque 80-minute road trip from Seattle. Once you’re there, tee off from one of two championship golf courses, take a trail ride, fly-fish, or simply spa and soak in the snow-capped Cascades.
Allison Inn & Spa
In Willamette Valley, just 45 minutes from downtown Portland, this property gives you proximity to vineyards, and there are some 200 local wineries in the area. Window seats, soaker tubs and fireplaces are a few of the in-room perks.
To get to historic Fort Baker, now a hotel, you’ll have a short car ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Once here, the bridge is still very much in sight, but you’re within the national park’s natural splendor. You can also feel good about the fact that it’s eco-friendly, thanks to reuse of old buildings and LEED Gold certified renovations.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Golf, spa, stare at the Pacific Ocean, repeat. From San Fran or Silicon Valley it takes 45 minutes to get to this Ritz with real estate along the rugged California coastline. Inside, it’s all luxury and 400-thread-count linens, outside it’s all bluffs and rolling greens.
San Ysidro Ranch
You can get to Santa Barbara in just under two hours, and there, in the Montecito foothills with the Santa Ynez Mountains on one side and the Channel Islands on the other, is this away-from-it-all ranch where Jackie and John F. Kennedy honeymooned. Perks include in-room spa treatments, hot tubs and outdoor rain showers on private decks, and a pet-friendly policy.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
In under an hour, you’re in the Newport Beach area, but this hilltop resort feels much further away. There’s the golf course, beach, pools, five nosh spots to choose from, and a kid’s club should parents need a break from their progeny, Bungalows and villas feel very personal and private, with the latter coming with their own staff—how’s that for posh.