A Warm Zika-Free Vacation Destination

Growing up, my mother always told the story of she and my father’s trip to Bermuda. It was my brother’s first trip as he was safe and sound in her womb while they enjoyed sunshine, gorgeous beaches and relaxation before growing from a couple to a family of three.  Due to stories like this one, Bo and I always dreamed of enjoying a relaxing, beach vacation together during pregnancy. We used to brainstorm where we’d go, dreaming of a return Anguilla, where went on honeymoon, or exploring one of the other islands. Unfortunately, the Zika virus derailed those plans and forced us to think differently about our babymoon, or vacation together before we become a family of three.

Zika Free Vacation Destination Muir Beach

Breathtaking views at Muir Beach

Since I am due in mid-June and my doctor preferred that I not travel after 30-weeks, our options were constrained due to the months of February and March, when much of the United States is experiencing cold, frigid winter weather.  We spent some time researching options, ensuring that our location would meet the following criteria:

  • Warmer than New York City
  • Provide options for both relaxing and active adventures
  • Zika free
  • Direct flights, if possible
  • Sunshine

After much research, we decided to plan a four night, five-day visit to the San Francisco bay area.  While I have visited San Francisco multiple times for both work and pleasure, I haven’t had the opportunity to explore the region and Bo had only visited San Francisco for a brief, 24-hour business trip.  Over the past month, we started to question our decision. Daily Facebook updates from friends showed cold, wet weather battering the area. Then, just a week before our departure, we had to scramble to change our plans due to the due to the collapse of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and Big Sur closures.  When we arrived at the San Francisco airport last night, ready to board our red-eye flight back to New York City, we both said that this was one of the most wonderful vacations we’ve ever taken due in part to the agility we each had in the process and the faith that things would work out.

Zika Free Vacation Destination Cavallo Lodge

Morning views from Cavallo Point Lodge

While I am going to share in depth posts on each area, I wanted to share a brief itinerary for anyone who is trying to plan a Zika free babymoon or vacation.  Below you can find a glimpse of where we stayed and ate at in each location. The detailed posts coming this week will include more details such as the scenic drives, hikes, and reviews of the restaurants and lodging.

Zika Free Vacation Destination  Bernardus Spa

The spa pool at Bernardus Lodge

Zika Free Vacation Destination Carmel Valley

Wearing AG Maternity jeansLilly Pulitzer Elsa Silk BlouseJCrew Espadrille Wedges

San Francisco Bay Area (2 nights)

Carmel (1 night)

Carmel Valley (1 night)

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  1. Laura March 14, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    My husband and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary this summer and also ruled out the Caribbean due to the threat of Zika as we want to try to get pregnant with our second baby shortly after the trip. We also chose San Francisco! Can’t wait to read your recaps to get some tips on where to go and what to do!

    • ashleyd March 16, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      I am so glad that you too settled on this area! Hopefully a few of these spots give you a place to start and then you’ll get more details in my upcoming posts!

  2. Nicole March 14, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    love carmel. and it’s one of the most dog-friendly places! some restaurants have special dog menus. looks like (from insta) you guys had a fabulous time!!!!


    • ashleyd March 16, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      I saw that Nicole – so fun! Carmel was amazing and a place I would quickly return. I would love to have an Airbnb there for a few days just to relax and enjoy the sunshine!

  3. Rich March 15, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! Your view from Cavallo Point Lodge is some view. Sounds like you had a blast Ashley.

    • ashleyd March 16, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      It was wonderful and definitely a trip I would recommend to anyone.

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