Big Sur, CA — Experience a little coastal magic and pay a visit to Central Coast’s Big Sur. The cliffs. The beaches. The sunsets. Get crazy with it and try renting one of these yurts for the weekend. One part camping, one part hoteling. With bonkers beautiful views, this place puts you right in the middle of the magic. Go explore Pfeiffer Beach and check out McWay Falls for some seriously gorgeous coastline, then stop in to Big Sur Bakery to refuel.
Santa Barbara, CA — With a little bit of everything, Santa Barbara might just be the perfect weekend destination. For culture enthusiasts, there are a some great little museums and galleries. Outdoorsy types can explore the beaches and hiking trails. Or just go for a drive and enjoy the scenery. And of course Santa Barbara has a stellar reputation as a wine tasting destination (coupled with a great dining scene), so take some time to kick back and relax with a glass of wine and a decadent dining experience.
Ojai, CA — Less than an hour east of Santa Barbara is a town called Ojai— sort of an artist’s oasis, this place has a mellow, artistic sensibility that just oozes relaxation. The town also boasts several charming little shops and yummy food spots. Check out Ojai Rancho Inn for lodging, or just pop into their bar, Chief’s Peak for a quick drink. If you can stay into Sunday, there’s a local farmers market that’s worth checking out or visit Ojai Meadows Preserve for a little leisurely hike.
Joshua Tree, CA — For those who aren’t afraid of roughing it a little bit. Camping in Joshua Tree can be an awesome little weekend getaway. Not for the faint of heart— temperatures can get pretty toasty in the summer months, and down to freezing overnight in the winter, but with the right gear and some good company, it can be quite the adventure. There are endless rocks to shimmy up and some seriously killer views along the way, not to mention the clear nighttime skies that are always prime for stargazing.
Palm Springs, CA — For those who require a little more style and a few more amenities in a vacation, Palm Springs is just up the road from Joshua Tree, and it is glorious. A mid century modern paradise, set in the middle of the desert. If you’ve never visited Palm Springs, I highly recommend it. Great design. Great shopping. Great weather. What’s not to love? It’s easy to rent a house for the weekend (thank you, AirBnB) or check out one of the stylish resorts: Ace Hotel & Swim Club, The Parker Palm Springs orKorakia Pensione.
Mammoth Lakes, CA — More of a mountain dweller than a desert wanderer…? Trek on up to Mammoth for a little woodsy exploration weekend. Mammoth has your mountain adventures covered, with hiking, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, zip lining— a little something for everyone. Rent a cabin for the weekend and cozy up by the fire.