Despite dwelling in a densely populated city, Angelenos take pride in our access to the great outdoors. And nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s never been more of a need to escape the city. Though stay at home orders for Southern California may be ongoing right now, when they lift, a respite in the nearby deserts or mountains will definitely be in order. From Western-style guest ranches to modern coastal lodges and hot springs hideaways, here are some of our favorite weekend getaways from Los Angeles.
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Santa Ynez Valley, CA
The stress of city living melts away driving down the oak tree-lined driveway at Alisal Guest Ranch (from $550 per night), where rooms are furnished with just the right amount of country Western kitsch, including wood-burning fireplaces, Pendleton blankets, and vintage cowboy paintings. The sprawling grounds are the perfect spot for socially distanced strolling, but if you’re really itching for the Old West, make sure to book a horseback ride through the iconic rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. Each ride ends with a hilltop breakfast that includes the finest flapjacks west of the Mississippi. The best part is, you’re just a quick jaunt to Los Alamos, where you can pick up bottles from local winemakers like Lo-Fi and Casa Dumetz, and enjoy a meal from critically acclaimed Bell’s, wine country’s most rightfully talked about restaurant.
(Two-hour drive from L.A.)
The 25 Nina Freudenberger-designed rooms at the newly opened White Water (from $149 per night) check all the boxes for modern California style: retro fireplaces, indigo dyed pillows, pebble mosaic countertops, and mid-century style birch slatted headboards. The Ocean View King rooms even include outdoor soaking tubs made from powder coated stock tanks that look onto the California coastline. Sip a Negroni in the skylit lobby and enjoy the view of Cyprus tree-studded Moonstone Beach Drive, or take a walk down the two miles of coastal boardwalk, where you’ll find tide pools, surf breaks, and some of the most magical sunsets the PCH has to offer. After doing a morning meditation hike with Tula Yoga, hop on the house beach cruisers and enjoy a picnic of their excellent jambon beurre sandwiches and a bottle of Scar of the Sea wine. Stop by to pick up snacks at the Friday farmers market, where you can also enjoy Santa Maria-style BBQ and olallieberry pie from local-favorite Linn’s, or head up to Hearst Ranch Winery for an oceanside wine tasting at their stunning outdoor tasting room.
(Three-and-a-half-hour drive from L.A.)