Group trip to Clearlake, CA: underrated sleepy lake town

This past weekend, I organized a group trip to Clearlake, a sleepy lake town 2 hours north of SF. I found this spot by literally by looking at a map – I didn’t know anything about it before and thought it was a bit of a long shot to invite 8 friends to a random town…but it turned out to be a SUPER fun weekend getaway and we all agreed we wanted to come back again!

Clearlake was basically an undiscovered, underrated version of Tahoe (which is now overrun by tourists). Plus we had a sick, HUGE Airbnb that was our party palace all weekend.

Also in case you’re wondering, we all got COVID tests before the trip so we had peace of mind!

Friday: Drive up to Clearlake + pizza and hot tub night

Our group divided up and drove up to Clearlake on Friday. The drive flew by as Joe and I stopped for Micky D’s and bought groceries for the group. We made it to the Airbnb just in time for sunset, and immediately I was blown away by the huge property RIGHT on the lake.

Sunset on lake

The owner added so many thoughtful touches perfect for a big group: fire pits, grills, hot tub, pool table, tiki bar, boats/kayaks, and tons of seating areas and space to partay. It was even better than the pictures online. What a gem!

Airbnb Clearlake

We decided to have a pizza night and make use of the wood-fire pizza oven (which was super neat). It was so nice to have everyone together as we shared many white claws and tequila shots.

Wood fire pizza

After dinner, we all hung out in the hot tub and lit a bonfire, drinking and bonding into the night.

Friends around bonfire

Saturday: lazy morning by the lake + boat trip at Blue Lakes + bbq dinner

The next morning, I woke up relatively early. I sipped my coffee while enjoying the sunrise views on the lake.

Morning coffee

For breakfast, we made avocado toast with homemade sour dough bread courtesy of Sarah/Dave.

Avocado toast

The morning was a lazy one, filled with exploring the property more and lounging around. There was so much to do at the house that we could easily fill a whole weekend there. We were all grateful for the relaxing morning to recover from last night’s drinking as well as prepare for the partying ahead.

Chilling on hammock

A morning dip in the hot tub with the crew 😉

Hot tub crew

Our main event of the day was taking a boat out onto the lake. Ironically, we drove to a different lake called Blue Lakes – smaller, cleaner, and more scenic than Clearlake. I immediately loved this lake and thought we should stay here next time! It was a 50 minute drive from our house but SO worth it for our boat ride. We got a 10-person platoon and loaded up some drinks into the coolers, and we were off.

Blue lakes

Group pic! It couldn’t have been a nicer afternoon for boating. We even bought some sailor hats for the crew 😉

Dave was our captain for the day since he’s had experience driving boats.

Driving a boat

Joe also gave it a whirl 🙂

Boat captain

The rest of us laid back, chilled with our drinks, and enjoyed the gorgeous views. SO relaxing and beautiful.

 Couple in love

My girls! I was so happy Rachel made this trip and met the rest of our gang. I feel super grateful to have this crew especially during the difficult year of COVID. I feel like everyone’s had to pick their close friends and trust them to be safe, and I’m thankful for everyone on this trip who we’ve been able to hang with this year!

Girl friends swimsuit

We passed a section with a rope swing and I could not resist. Anytime there’s an water/adrenaline stunt I am there. A few of us jumped in the chilly water and went for a few swings 🙂

The boat ride was a huge success. The perfect mix of relaxing, partying, and adventure. We drove back to our house just in time for sunset. After the chilly lake swim I was dying to soak in the hot tub. We enjoyed the gorgeous sunset views transitioning us into the night.

Sunset in hot tub

For dinner, we had a big group bbq. Joe is a grill-master and took care of dinner for us (#blessed). We had burgers, hot dogs, and grilled veggies – so delish!


After dinner, we went out to buy some more claws and tequila…needless to say we all had a fun night :). We took advantage of our last night on this amazing property and enjoying each other’s company.


The next morning I woke up with the worst hangover of my life. We originally had plans to visit a local family winery, but decided to head back to SF instead.

I’m so grateful for this fun getaway weekend with my closest friends in SF. This will probably be one of the last hang outs as a group for the year since several people are heading home for the holidays soon. This was the perfect last hurrah as a group and also gave me confidence that we can still do fun things and be safe!

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