You don’t have to go far to get a taste of a quieter, more relaxed life. These towns may look tiny next to the cities or major metropolitan areas that are within a couple hours' drive, but their history, unique culture, and proximity to some of the best outdoor recreation in the West make them stand out. Escape for the day—or the weekend—to one of these crowd-free locals.
1. Quiet Wine Country: Sebastopol
55 miles from San Francisco
Just outside of Santa Rosa, this laid back wine town has the foodie cred of its bigger siblings without the hordes. Here you can taste old-vine zinfandels alongside bright rosés, sip on organic single-origin espresso, and bite into artisanal cheese such as Bohemian Creamery’s BahBoom, a sheep’s milk variety that’s washed in Russian River Brewery’s Consecration Ale for a ripe, spreadable finish.