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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hinsch

19 Best Weekend Getaways from San Francisco (within a 3 hour flight)

Updated: Jan 21



San Francisco residents pay a premium for their prime location. Yes, their living costs are the highest in the country, but if you're an avid traveler it doesn't get much better. In addition to numerous direct flight options overseas, San Francisco is ideally located with easy access to National Parks, mountains, and plenty of other fun destinations within a short flight. Note: These flights can be pretty expensive compared to other markets.


This article will focus on domestic destinations via airplane and car. Here are some weekend getaway ideas for locals in the bay area within a 3 hour flight. More importantly, these trips are all possible without having to request PTO (for you M-F 9-5'ers), it just depends what you want to do at your destination.



Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC) - 2 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Bears, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, skiing, golfing, horseback riding, rustic boutique, hotels, cool people.

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $500+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Make sure you have time to visit both Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Jenny Lake is a must.



Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) - Just Over a 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • BBQ! BBQ! BBQ!

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $300+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Visit the Power & Light District for a unique nightlife experience & go to Arthur Bryant's for BBQ.



Lake Tahoe, CA & NV (RNO) - 1 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Gorgeous Lake Tahoe! Skiing, water sports, gambling, great scenery, interesting people. Reno is the closest airport, about 45 minutes away. It's also only a 3 hour drive from San Francisco!

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?



Seattle, Washington (SEA) - 2 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Whales, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, gorgeous views, intelligent individuals, good breweries.

When to go?

  • Summer (you can't really avoid the rain but you can pray)

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Visit the REI flagship store. Wow.



Aspen, Colorado (ASE) - 2 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Skiing, great scenery, luxury.

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $400+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • It's very expensive, but worth a shot. 3.5 hour drive if you wish to save some $$.



Denver, Colorado (DEN) - 2.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Mountains, beer, National Parks, hiking, clean city, nice people.

When to go?

  • Year-round. Ski in the winter. Hike in the summer.

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?


San Diego, California (SAN) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Surfing, Hiking, Zoo, Mountain Biking, Partying.

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?



Los Angeles, California (LAX, BUR, SNA, LGB, SBA, ONT) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Surfing, Hiking, Sports, City Life, Culture, Fame, Disneyland, Food.

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?



Austin, Texas (AUS) - Just Over A 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Food, Art, Music, BBQ, Tech, Bach Parties, and All-Around Fun!

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $300+

Where can you stay?



Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Gambling, Hoover Dam, Death Valley National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Partying, more Gambling.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?


Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) - Just Under a 2 Hour Flight

Why go?

  • Skiing, Salt Flats, Mormons, and Great National Parks within a moderate drive.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?



Glacier National Park, Montana (FCA) - Just Under A 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Glacier National Park and the great town of Whitefish. I recommend camping, but you can get a boutique hotel in Whitefish or Kalispell.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $400+

Where can you stay?



Portland, Oregon (PDX) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Surfing. Oregon coast is only 1 hour away. Mt. Hood is nearby as well.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $300+

Where can you stay?


Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) - Just Over a 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Beaches, fun, great vacations.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $600+

Where can you stay?




Napa Valley, California - 1 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • Wine and Fun. The ideal weekend getaway.

When to go?

  • Spring, Summer, Fall

Where can you stay?



Big Sur, California - 2.5 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • Pure nature. Big Sur is the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the lower 48 states.

When to go?

  • Summer.

Where can you stay?



Yosemite National Park - 3 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • One of the best National Parks in the US. Prove me wrong.

When to go?

  • Summer. Tioga Road can be closed up until May and after September due to snowfall.

Where can you stay?




Sequoia National Park - 4 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • The largest trees in the world.

When to go?

  • Summer.

Where can you stay?

  • Camp!




Pinnacles National Park - 2 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • Monoliths and diverse wildlands. An easy excuse to check off another National Park.

When to go?

  • Summer.

Where can you stay?

  • Camp!



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Hey! I'm Jordan, a native New Yorker who is addicted to adventure travel, photography, content creation, investing, and fitness. Read on, enjoy, and Never Run Out of First Times!

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