Our Top 4 SoCal Summer Getaways

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.

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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. 


Michael Maughan