Emma’s sister. Laura’s friend. We all know the feeling of being identified by association, don’t we? Even though our accolades may pale in comparison to that of our more famous companions, we all crave (and deserve) our own identity. And in California – I dare say – there’s a county that feels that same way. Of course San Francisco is well known, and if you book a flight there, you fly into San Francisco International. The airport itself is actually nestled in San Mateo County, which often gets lumped in with its more illustrious northern sister, but I guarantee that this “little sister” can provide fun in big ways for a spectacular girls getaway.
Gather the gals and make a weekend out of taking in wines. Imagine sampling spirits crafted with locally grown grapes, wandering among the vines, or savoring a full glass while overlooking the scenery. Or choose to do all of the above!
For unparalleled mountainside views be sure to put Thomas Fogarty Winery on your list. Grapes are grown on the property, and the vineyards add to the stunning landscape. The bay is visible from their lawn, which gives cause to sip the day away while soaking in the natural beauty of the area as you chat with friends.
If you prefer an urban landscape, Domenico Winery is conveniently situated in San Carlos. With a warehouse vibe and on-site eateries (circa mid-2018), this location offers over 20 varietals and is steeped in family tradition and Italian heritage. At certain times of the year you can try your hand at experiencing the art of winemaking during one of their classes.
One location that combines arts, theatre, history and restaurants in one area is enchanting Redwood City. Its streetscapes lend themselves to walking so that you can shop and experience culture at the same time. The area boasts live theatre productions put on by Fox Theatre, Broadway by the Bay and Dragon Productions. Love shopping? Whether you are searching for fashions or collectibles, there is a bit of something for everyone. Also, learn a bit at the stately San Mateo County History Museum, and be sure to stop into LV Mar for Latin inspired, tapas style dining.
Looking to commune with Mother Nature? San Mateo County is filled with opportunities. Whether you are intrigued by historic homes and beautiful gardens or crave earthy accommodations, the area has several options to fit the bill.
A trip to Filoli is certainly a memorable experience. Featuring seasonal activities such as flower shows and festivals, this circa 1915 sprawling estate boasts a stately, art-filled home along with lush gardens. Offering classes in floral design, botanical art and horticulture, your squad can attempt a new skill together. While you are there, feel free to take in a bite at the on-site Quail’s Nest Café, peruse the Clock Tower Shop, or take a self-guided walk on the Estate Trail.
Want to try glamping? Costanoa Lodge is the perfect place to try it out. With an assortment of cabins and tents, the options for housing are plenteous. If you choose the tented bungalows, comfort stations (read bathrooms with a sauna and outdoor fireplace) are available. An added bonus is an outdoor hot tub and much needed Wi-Fi. While you are experiencing Costanoa, be sure to rent bikes, go horseback riding or take a jaunt to the beach for a day of fun in the sun with the girls. Their on-site restaurant, Cascade Bar & Grill, focuses on sustainability, and if you have time, their coastal spa offers massage and aromatherapy treatments. The nearby Pigeon Point Lighthouse also offers beautiful photo ops to fill your Instagram feed.
There is nothing quite like the peaceful music and natural scents that spa treatments offer. If spending a weekend lounging around in robes and treating your body to self-care sounds luxurious, then considering a spa vacation with the ladies is just the ticket for the perfect getaway. Wile away the hours as you ease away tension and leave feeling refreshed and revived.
Known for luxury, beautiful views and fine cuisine, the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay not only offers upscale accommodations and fine dining, but guests can delight in a massage or facial while staying on-site. For extra activities, you can explore the nearby beach or experience the golf course. Another option is to head to Main Street, which offers shopping, restaurants and more for a day of fun on the town.
Oceano Hotel & Spa offers a variety of services including detoxifying baths, seaweed wraps and invigorating body scrubs. If you crave seafood while you’re there, Sam’s Chowder House is close by as are kayak rentals for those who enjoy a bit of adventure. The rooms at Oceano are both spacious and comfortable with views of the boats docked in Pillar Point Harbor.
If you head to San Mateo County, I hope you’ll agree that the area stands on its own with lots of things to do for girls on the go. Bonus: Need to spend some time near the airport prior to leaving? Be sure to check out Kincaid’s for a fabulous capstone dinner with friends, and consider the Westin or Aloft to wake up refreshed before you head out of town.