Summer Getaways, Part 2 | West Coast


We’ve already named the top summer road trips along the East Coast, but it’s time we direct our attention West for the sake of our dear LA friends. With dozens of possibilities for a quick weekend jaunt– both in-state and out– here are our go-to getaways along the West Coast.


Cabin Fever
Ojai Rancho Inn, Ojai CA | 1.5-hr drive from LA
If a low-key, retro motel with a distinct ’50s-meets-Mojave-desert vibe sounds like your kind of place, then Ojai Rancho Inn (MAP IT) should be at the top of your short list. Yes, there are hundreds of potted cacti and tribal rain sticks just begging to be Instagrammed (by CITIPHILES like Djuna Bel and BFF Langley Fox, no less), but the real magic lies in the property’s ability to make “modern vintage” feel authentic. There are bikes available to ride into town, barbecue grills on the lawn and a campfire pit for hosting bonfires at night (plus special live music concerts). It’s just the kind of nostalgic simplicity all of us crave from time to time. 
615 Ojai Valley Trail, Ojai, CA805.646.1434;


Eat, Pray, Love
Golden Door, San Marcos CA | >2-hr drive from LA
Just under two hours from Los Angeles and yet San Marcos’ Golden Door (MAP IT) feels worlds away. The Japanese-leaning wellness oasis is all about caring for yourself– mind, body and spirit– meaning the resort puts equal emphasis on fitness (try everything from golf, pilates and yoga to a 2,000-sq-ft gym), nutrition and healing spa treatments. A day at Golden Door may start with a morning hike, then a walk through its vegetable gardens where you’ll pick the ingredients to create your own midday salad; you’ll drop in for a yoga class and follow it up with a mud detox, massage and dip in the bathhouses. The serenity of its Japanese gardens coupled with its “put yourself first” esprit is as nourishing as it sounds. 777 Deer Springs Rd, San Marcos, CA; 760.744.5777;


Tune Out and Check In
Sparrows Lodge, Palm Springs CA | 2-hr drive from LA
For those of you reading this and thinking Ojai Rancho Inn is “too trendy” or “too traveled,” we’d like to introduce you to Sparrows Lodge (MAP IT)– a similarly ’50s-esque motel slightly more off of the beaten path. Originally built by MGM actor Don Castle and his wife, Zetta, the boutique hotel isn’t the first pick of Palm Springs getaways which is precisely why we love it. Its metal footlocker closets and campfire pits are juxtaposed with works by Ed Ruscha and Katz & Baldesari; its bathtubs are fashioned out of equestrian troughs, and no, there are no phones or televisions on the property. This is a real modern hideaway with the intent of tuning out anything and everything that doesn’t pertain to your weekend away. Still, making new friends at the Lodge is encouraged both through family-style meals (chicken on Wednesdays, steak on Saturdays) and communal fire pit hangs complete with microbrews, wine and champagne. 1330 East Palm Canyon Drive; Palm Springs, CA; 760.327.2300;


Coast & Culture
Esalen Institute/Airbnb, Big Sur/Carmel-by-the-Sea CA | 6-hr drive from LA
SoCal dwellers have been making the pilgrimage up to Big Sur’s hot springs for years– everyone from Bob Dylan to Ansel Adams have spoken out about the spiritual power of the bluff-side pools for years. In particular, stars (including Dylan and Adams) have been known to check into Esalen Institute, the zen-like retreat featuring everything from meditation and yoga to hypnosis, massages and its indoor/outdoor hot springs (including private outdoor clawfoot tubs overlooking the ocean). We like to mix the trip up a little but however– preferring to spend one night at Esalen, then making the short drive up to Carmel-by-the-Sea where Airbnbs like this, this and this are almost too good to pass up. Downtown Carmel is one of our favorite places to walk around (for starters, it has over 100 art galleries). Start with a detox, then move on to design, it’s a well-rounded trip with a little bit of everything. Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway 1; Big Sur, CA; 831.667.3000;


Country Chic
Farmhouse Inn, Forestville CA | 7.5-hr drive from LA
One of our favorite places to stay when visiting Californian wine country, Farmhouse Inn (MAP IT) epitomizes the whole “chic barn” craze– set in West Sonoma, the unassuming, 9-room hotel is outfitted with a homegrown vegetable garden, chicken coops and horse stable (its nod to country living), and yet, its garden and coops supply its Michelin-starred restaurant, its stable houses not horses, but a stunning spa. You can slice your own bar of garden herb-infused artisanal soap in the lobby (because, why not?) and at night, the Inn sets up make-your-own-s’mores stations for guests to enjoy– trust us, they’re exactly what you want after a few glasses of Cali cab. Farmhouse Inn, 7871 River Road, Forestville, CA; 707.887.3300;

Treasures at the Indian Market; Inside the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Treasures at the Indian Market; Inside the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Southern Exposure
The Inn Of The Five Graces, Santa Fe NM | 4.5-hr flight
OK, so not technically a road trip (unless 12 hours in the car sounds like your idea of a good time), but Santa Fe’s annual Indian market is reason enough to spend a weekend away in this Southern, color-drenched town. Held over the third weekend of August (this year’s falls on Aug 20-21), the market features over 1,000 artists from 100+ tribes, all of whom are selling handmade pottery, baskets, textiles, silver and beadwork, sculptures, and leather goods (yes, there are reasonably priced one-of-a-kind tribal blankets and turquoise jewelry galore). Besides its museums, traditional pueblos and world-renowned spas– according to TripAdvisor, it’s the No. 1 place in the country for spa vacations– Santa Fe boasts a bevy of interactive workshops including Mexican cooking classes (think tamales, mole and blue corn tortillas), Georgia O’Keeffe-inspired water color tutorials and some seriously cool-looking DIY porcelain and pottery classes. Check into The Inn of The Five Graces (MAP IT), surely Relais & Chateaux’s most idiosyncratic property (there are mosaics and Southwestern handiwork in every direction), and enjoy a weekend of adult arts-and-crafts. 150 East DeVargas St. Santa Fe, NM; 866.992.0957; CP


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