One of the wonderful things about Europe is the extensive rail system throughout the various countries. Trains are easy, fast and much more comfortable than buses.
In Spain, a particularly simple getaway from Barcelona is to the coastal enclave of Sitges, only 35 minutes from town.
This lovely seaside resort has great beaches, wonderful seaside dining, some good shopping, and most importantly a vibe that just welcomes everyone - young, old, gay, straight, clothed, unclothed, tourist, local. Actually, these days Sitges is known for one of most vibrant and hippest gay scenes on the coast.
When I was there it happened to be in late May and one of the first "real" beach days of the season. So, the town was bubbling with energy and activity. At that time of year, the sun also stays out until late in the evening, so there's plenty of time to get in some shopping, check out the town, take a lengthy beach stroll, and savor a leisurely lunch. And just a half hour train ride away.