We have to admit that we do live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (we are biased), so it can be hard to justify taking a vacation close to home. But sometimes a weekend getaway is just want the doctor prescribes to get us into the summer spirit. So we put together a list of our top 4 L.A. getaways to get you weekend-ing like the wanderlust you were born to be.
1. Catalina Island, California
Catalina is like our own personal, mini Hawaii. So make your way to Catalina this summer for an island experience you can do in a weekend or even a day. Hop on the Catalina Express that takes off from San Pedro and with about an hour ride you are ankle deep in relaxation. Head over to Descanso Beach Club and get your feet in the sand with a drink in your hand. Enjoy the beautiful cove and beach is located just beyond the Casino. It is one of the last private beaches in California with public access. The pristine water beckons, promising the best swim of your stay.
Once you are done playing/laying on the beach, hike all over the island and even enjoy the new zip line course that was recently added to the island. While there are plenty of great places to stay for the whole weekend, you and your family can totally do Catalina in a day. Also, don’t forget to rent a golf cart, you can drive all the way up the island and take in all the beautiful the scenery.
2. Big Bear Lake, California
Not the first place you think when the word Summer comes to mind, but this year try getting away to Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County which has tons of family friendly activities like swimming, boating and hiking in the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest. The drive is about 80 miles from LA, and is the perfect get away for outdoor enthusiasts who like to stay active on vacation.
The Lodge at Big Bear Lake offers 147 guest rooms and suites with gas-burning fireplaces, spa-style bathtubs and wet bars. If you are looking for fun weekend getaways with affordable rates, this is a great place to go. Dining in Big Bear Lake is tricky because there isn’t a whole lot to choose from, but if you are looking for a great traditional breakfast then stop by our family favorite, The Teddy Bear Restaurant. With a classic big round breakfast counter and a cabin feel, you get the full mountain experience and some delicious pancakes.
3. Ojai, California
Not all getaways have to include the beach or lakes. Just an hour and half north of the City of Angles is Ojai. A unique mix of old school hippies and artists as well as newcomers that are trying to make it hip again, here you get a desert feel while taking bike rides or hanging out at the rustic biker bars, as well as maybe a nice restaurant or even hit up a local pool party. The Ojai Rancho Inn is the coolest place to stay with tons of unique rooms with a desert feel and a swimming pools, this place is perfect for all of your Instagrams & snapchats.
One cool thing about Ojai is it is in a Mediterranean micro-climate. This means everything grows here, from olives and grapes to an abundance of citrus, so meals in Ojai are super fresh and always reflect the season. The wine, too, is locally made and—as a bonus—brought right to you, with tasting rooms dotting the downtown strip. If you're more outdoor-inclined, Ojai makes a great stop before or after a trip to Los Padres National Forest, just north of town.
4. Scottsdale, Arizona
If a road trip adventure getaway is what you are looking for, why not make the 6-hour drive from Los Angeles to Scottsdale, AZ. This getaway is geared with the golfers in mind, as scottsdale offers a great choices of several resorts with relaxing pools, incredible golf courses and spas. You might be thinking “Arizona in the Summer!? Are you mad?”, but the reason we are suggest it is so you can take advantage of the super cheap prices on golfing and resorts during the summer months. Looking for a place to stay, try the The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch and play the awesome TPC Scottsdale course! With tons of great grub spots in Scottsdale too, bring the whole family for a hot summer out of state.
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As the summer is sneaking up on us, Memorial Day weekend is here again. If you're still not quite sure what to do this holiday weekend then we have got you covered with a list of our top 3.5 things to do for Memorial Day weekend, wether that means staying close to home or a weekend get away.
1. Fiesta Hermosa
The festival takes place every Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) in downtown Hermosa Beach.
Fiesta Hermosa attendees can choose from a wide selection of cuisine in the food court, a Beer & Wine Garden offers beer, wine and beeritas with proceeds benefiting a number of local charities. There is live music on two main stages as well as a new satellite stage situated outside Java Man. And tons of rides and games for kids of all ages and even a petting zoo! For more info visit here
2. Santa Barbara Weekend Getaway
Looking to escape the madness of LA for the long weekend? How about a romantic drive up the coast to one of our favorite hotels in Santa Barbara at Belmond El Encanto. From the beautiful gardens to the sitting on top of a hill with views of the ocean and the surrounding hills. Accommodations are top notch, with heated bathroom floors to serious soaking tubs to your own private fireplaces, used for warmth as well as cuddling. Best part is that the hotel is close enough to everything but far enough away.
3. Take the train to San Diego
Looking to avoid the endless hours of traffic to get anywhere this weekend? Hop on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner for about $90, you can buy yourself a round trip ticket and not have to worry about your transportation and get served adult beverages while cruising along the coast. As far as lodging goes, we got you covered with our personal favorite restort Paradise Point. Tucked away on gentle Mission Bay in the heart of San Diego, Paradise Point Resort & Spa features comfortable bungalow-style rooms amidst lush, tropical gardens, tranquil lagoons, and one mile of sandy beach next door to SeaWorld.
3.5 Staycation at Terranea Resort
We are counting this as half because you don't have to travel very far but the experience will just as splendid. Now offering a SoCal staycation package, Terrenea is a 102-acre private peninsula paradise, it's like stepping into a whole new world - minutes from the bustle of Los Angeles. On three sides, you're surrounded by the tranquil waves of the Pacific and across the channel is Catalina Island. Book your weekend getaway here and leave all your problems 10 minutes away. For more info visit here
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Check out our latest feature in Our South Bay Magazine for our GO LOCAL event. See the full issue...