[Photo:La Valencia]
 

When you live in Los Angeles, you can choose from an array of awesome weekend getaways in California. There are numerous coastal resorts with scenic views of the beach, affordable mountain hideaways and luxury spa and golf resorts. This collection includes weekend getaways that are under one hour from LA as well as ideas that are about a 6-hour drive, best for a long weekend getaway. If you are traveling with kids, we suggest destinations with kid-friendly attractions, hotels and restaurants.

Couples looking for romantic inns, spas, boutique shopping and art galleries, will find plenty to choose from as well. California's coastal towns are easy to explore on foot. Find a secluded spot on the beach and watch a colorful sunset or dine at an oceanview restaurant. You may also like our article 45 Amazing Weekend Getaways from San Francisco.

Poolside Relaxation in La Jolla at La Valencia

Guest rooms and suites at the pink-colored La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla are steps from the beach. The elegant hotel overlooks the ocean and offers its guests five star service, gourmet dining and a sparkling outdoor pool. Choose from 112 luxury guest accommodations, including suites and Ocean Villas decorated in old-world style. The iconic hotel has hosted notable guests since 1926. Ocean Villas are a great choice for couples and honeymooners, offering 400 to 1200 square feet of living space, including a private outdoor patio. Ask for a villa with a fireplace on your romantic getaway. The area offers sandy beaches, kayaking and jogging along the 2-mile beach boardwalk. This is a green hotel with eco friendly cleaning products, recycling, energy conservation, and organic food options in its restaurants. Rooms start at $315 per night. The hotel's sister property Rancho Valencia, offers tennis packages and lessons to hotel guests 25 minutes from the hotel, with complimentary transportation available (858.454.0771, website).

Hollywood-Style Design at the Viceroy Palm Springs

Palm Springs, about 110 miles from Los Angeles, is a great place to visit during the winter months, from November to May, because it offers warm desert weather. Surrounded by lush courtyards with pools and gardens, Viceroy Palm Springs is an oasis for the senses. Couples can spend their vacation relaxing next to the three stylish pools, indulging in treatments at the spa and shop at boutiques. The resort features a Hollywood Regency style design with a modern twist. The Estrella Spa offers an array of treatments your can try on your couples getaway, including aromatherapy, botanical baths and massages.

Vacation activities include hiking, walking, golf and tennis. The resort offers deluxe rooms, suites and private villas. Most guest accommodations have a sun patio or balcony. Citron restaurant serves California cuisine and the Bar at Citron's lounge area serves more casual meals. There is also poolside food and beverage service. If you are planning to test out the resort's spa treatments, ask for a spa package when booking your stay. Browse more couples getaways. Weekday rates start at $249 per night; weekend rates from $349 (760-320-4117, website).

Play scenic desert golf at La Quinta Resort, surrounded by Santa Rosa Mountains. Stop at the Well Spa at Miramonte Resort & Spa for a relaxing couples massage. In the afternoon, explore downtown Palm Springs which offers a selection of wine bars, restaurants and shopping.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Plan a relaxing weekend getaway to the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego's North County. The inn is located on 21 acres with romantic pathways and cottages. Choose from 87 rooms and suites with fireplaces, patios and kitchenettes. The guest cottages are surrounded by flower gardens, great for a romantic trip. Vacationers can play golf at the Golf Club. There is also croquet, tennis, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a health spa. Nearby attractions include the Del Mar race track, shopping, galleries, restaurants and several beaches. There is a dining room which serves bistro fare in a courtyard. Daily European style tasting menus are designed by the chef using fresh local ingredients. The hotel is located 25 miles North of San Diego airport and 10 miles South of Carlsbad Airport (858-756-1131, website).

A 2-hour drive from LA, Rancho Santa Fe is home to several elegant resorts offering spas, outdoor pools and romantic restaurants. Vacation activities include the Del Mar race track, boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants and beaches. Couples planning a romantic getaway to Rancho Santa Fe can check into the all-suite Rancho Valencia and relax with fireplaces and private garden terraces.

Watch the Whales Migrate in Newport Beach

About one hour from Los Angeles, Newport Beach is a seaside getaway with great shopping, a choice of hotels and many activities. Watch the whales migrating from right from the beach from May through August which is also the best time for a summer weekend getaway. Visit the quaint Balboa Island which is more like a town you would encounter on the East Coast. If you are traveling with kids, they will have fun on the ferry which takes you to the island (you can also walk across a bridge). If you are in the mood to do some shopping, head to Fashion Island which is one of Southern California's premier luxury shopping destinations.

Stay at Fairmont Newport Beach which has one of the best spas in the area.

Island Hotel Newport Beach is another good option, offering rooms with ocean views. The 300 guest rooms and 83 suites have marble bathrooms, balconies and ocean views. The 4,000-square-foot spa has nine treatment rooms and a diverse menu of services. Choose from Signature Rituals that combine several treatments into two hours of relaxation and pampering. There is a choice of wedding venues and can accommodate weddings ranging from intimate to large. Palm Terrace Restaurant can prepare the perfect menu to delight your guests. Nearby activities include golf at Pelican Hill, fitness, shopping, theater and arts. Guest rooms at the hotel start at $250 per night (islandhotel.com).

Romantic Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, 90 minutes from LA, is famous for its beautiful beaches and scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Activities include wine tasting, biking, kayaking, art museum and of course relaxing on the beach. There is plenty to see and do for an active couple. Add some extra romance to your trip and take the Pacific Surfliner train from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Since it's easy to get around Santa Barbara on foot or by bike, leave the car at home and read a book on the train instead.

Stay at the newly restored romantic El Encanto which has a spa and luxury suites. Canary Hotel has a rooftop swimming pool, perfect for relaxing in the sun while you are not out sightseeing. The recently renovated Presidio Motel and Franciscan Inn offer affordable rooms. Summer weekends are very popular, so it's a good idea to book early, particularly during the holidays.

Art Weekend in Portland, Oregon

If you want to explore another city on vacation, head north to Portland, Oregon. Spend a weekend visiting local art galleries and sampling delicious dishes at the city's best restaurants. Check into The Nines hotel which houses a diverse collection of art by local artists. Rent a bike and go for a ride along the Willamette River. Stop at a cafe for a morning latte or at a bistro for a quick snack.

Weekend in Las Vegas

When you are planning a trip to Las Vegas, there is always a hot new hotel to check out, a new restaurant or a hit show. Whether you are looking for a luxury weekend filled with shopping and five star dining, or you are traveling on a budget, there is plenty to choose from. It's not difficult to find a room for under $100 per night in Las Vegas, just be sure not to spend all of the savings on at a gaming table.

Las Vegas is fun to visit with your girlfriends (or guy friends) and as a couple. Resorts literally compete for your attention with jaw-dropping attractions and thrilling rides. There are many different shopping venues, day spas, mouth-watering buffets and unique attractions.

Outdoor Weekend Getaway in Big Bear

[Photo:Windy Point Inn]

Get away to Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County which offers swimming, boating and hiking in the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest. About 80 miles from Los Angeles, this getaway is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who like to stay active on vacation.

Accommodations in Big Bear are quite affordable. Northwoods Resort offers rooms and suites starting at $140 per night. Windy Point Inn is situated right on the lake, offering great scenic views and wood-burning fireplaces, perfect for a romantic weekend getaway.

Ojai in Southern California

Just 2 hours from Los Angeles, the small town of Ojai is home to a thriving artist community, mountain scenery and valleys dotted with blooming flowers. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a golf and spa resort set on 220 lush acres. All of the rooms have recently been refurbished. The resort added another 100 rooms so that it can accommodate more guests. The Oaks at Ojai is an all-inclusive wellness getaway perfect for spa and fitness enthusiasts. If you are looking for an active getaway from LA, check into this hotel.

Desert Getaway in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles, so it's probably best to plan a 3-day weekend to allow for plenty of relaxation on your trip. Scottsdale offers a choice of several resorts with relaxing pools, golf courses and spas. Visit in the winder months to enjoy warm sunny days. In the summer, you can find cheap prices and high temperatures - forget golf and head to the spa instead. Families should check into the renovated Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort which has a water playground with a water slide.

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage features a 24,000 square foot La Prairie Spa, complete with yoga and meditation spaces, 16 treatment rooms and an outdoor relaxation lounge. If you are looking for relaxing getaways from San Diego, Los Angeles or San Francisco, check into this luxury hotel. his scenic getaway in California's Palm Springs area is located 650 feet above the floor of Coachella Valley. The property has an outdoor pool, luxury poolside cabanas and a spa. Play tennis and croquet, swim in the pool, or book a round of golf one of the famous golf courses. There are 260 guest rooms and luxury suites with a private patio or balcony. Guest accommodations overlook the mountains, the valley, or the pool. The 20 recently remodeled Lanai rooms and suites feature fine art, antiques and marble bathrooms. The resort is 20 minutes from Palm Springs Airport, two hours from Los Angeles International Airport and 2.5 hours from San Diego (877-770-ROCK, website).

Fine Wine and Food in Carmel Valley

About 6 hours from Los Angeles, Carmel Valley offers scenic golf, romantic beaches and gourmet restaurants. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming coastal town with cobblestone streets, boutiques and wineries. Visit Carmel during the warmer season so that you can enjoy its natural beauty to the fullest. Stay at Bernardus Lodge which has luxury guest rooms and a great spa.

Family Weekend Getaway in Carlsbad

[Photo:LEGOLAND]

Carlsbad, just 2 hours from Los Angeles, is home to Legoland, skate parks and family-friendly restaurants. If you are planning a family weekend getaway from the city, Carlsbad is a great idea. Legoland just opened a brand new hotel - now you can spend a night at a LEGO themed hotel located right at the main entrance of LEGOLAND California. Boys will love the Pirate themed rooms with wooden interiors and LEGO decor, including a giant green parrot perched up high in the corner. The Pirate rooms were designed to resemble a cabin on a pirate ship. Kids can hunt for clues inside the room to unlock the secret treasure chest (and keep the goodies).

The Huntley in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a great starting point for exploring the nearby Venice, Malibu, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The Huntley is a perfect relaxing weekend escape. Plan a romantic lunch and dinner at the hotel restaurant with views of the coastline. Guest rooms and suites feature classic lines and contemporary furnishings. Most offer beautiful views of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica cityscape. There are 204 guest rooms and specialty suites to choose from. Luxury suites were designed by Designer Thomas Schoos and offer views ranging from the bright lights of Los Angeles to the mountains and the ocean. The Signature Suite offers views of the Pacific Ocean, bleached-sandblasted oak furniture, and an open bathtub and spa area where you can relax and unwind. In the evening, enjoy a romantic sunset over the water. The Huntley has a health club with fitness facilities, private chauffeur service in an exclusive Maserati QuattroPorte, and other luxury amenities. The Penthouse restaurant and lounge serves a contemporary American Menu surrounded by scenic views of the coastline. Guest rooms start at $220 per night.

W San Diego

A modern luxury hotel, W Hotel San Diego caters to the sophisticated traveler with its services and design. The hotel features 24-hour gourmet room service, spa treatments, fitness room, and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel is located within walking distance of the Bay, Little Italy, Gaslamp Quarter nightlife, shopping, museums, and the convention center. There are 261 guest rooms, 16 corner rooms, and 16 urban suites. All hotel rooms are equipped with high speed internet access, an oversized work desk, chalkboard, and a dual-line cordless phone with conference and modem capabilities. If you require anything else, you can call the Whatever/Whenever hotline.

After a day at work, put on the terry and cotton pique bathrobe in your room and soak in your bathtub with custom-formulated Aveda bath products. For lunch or dinner, try Rice, the hotel's stylish restaurant which serves cuisine with Asian and Latin influences. After dinner hear to the Beach bar, the hotel's unique meeting spot set on the roof. Rates start from USD $199 per night (619-231-8220, website).

Andaz San Diego

The rooftop pool at Andaz San Diego offers some of the best city views, plush cabanas and five star service. If you are looking for a stylish place to relax and cool off during the weekend, check into this stylish hotel to get access to the pool. During the day, RoofTop600 serves American cuisine with a SoCal spin, incorporating organic, locally sourced ingredients. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the space transforms into one of the hottest party spaces in the city, complete with celebrity guests and VIP bottle service.

The hotel offers 159 hip guestrooms and suites, fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi and other luxury amenities. The decor is contemporary with SoCal influences. The suites offer 515 square feet of space, a separate sitting area, and a complimentary minibar with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Measuring 315 square feet in size, Andaz Queen offers modern luxuries such as a 46" HD TV with over 100 channels of programming, free Wi-Fi, and VIP access to RoofTop600. The 385 square foot King guest room offers stylish decor and plush amenities. If you prefer, there is also a Double bed option. The Large King Deluxe room offers 400 square feet of living space and a designer glass shower at the center of the room. The 515 square foot suite has plush furniture and high-tech amenities. The 680-sq.-ft. Extra Large Loft has a king bed and separate living room and work area with scenic city views. The decadent Sweet Suite has a separate living area, a soaking tub, a shower and a 800 square foot layout. The 750 square foot luxury Cabana Suite comes with a private cabana next to the rooftop pool for relaxing in the Southern California sun. There is a sectional sofa, and an extra half-bath in a specious living area. The 1,275 Star Suite is the largest, complete with unique King bunk beds.

RoofTop600 serves a creative menu prepared with organic, locally sourced ingredients for breakfast and lunch. At night, party next to the rooftop pool with views of the city. This is San Diego's largest rooftop lounge, frequented by many celebrities. VIP bottle service is available. Andaz wine bar offers a selection of 88 wines which are served through a high-tech delivery system, letting you enjoy half glasses and full pours in a chic lounge. The AAA Four Diamond Award winning hotel is located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Rooms start at $289 per night. The hotel frequently offers deals and packages. If you are planning a romantic getaway, ask about the "Love Goes Around" package which includes: champagne, Chocolate covered strawberries, and 2 pm late check-out to let you relax longer after a night of partying. You will also get VIP access for two to Rooftop600 on Thursday - Saturday nights.

 

More Quick Weekend Vacations from Los Angeles

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is a a desert park just over 2 hours by car from LA, offering visitors an array of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing. At night, you will be able to admire the incredible night sky over the desert. The park spans nearly 800,000 acres with two deserts: the Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert), occupying the eastern half of the park, and the wetter Mojave Desert which is home to the Joshua tree.

La Jolla

This classic SoCal beach town less than two hours from Los Angeles. Take a walk along the beach, look for seals and enjoy the colorful sunsets. For the ultimate weekend indulgence, check into La Valencia and relax next to the oceanview pool.

Laguna

About an hour from Los Angeles, Laguna offers visitors sandy beaches, miles of coastal hiking trals, art galleries and surf shops. Montage Resort has oceanview rooms, great restaurants and a relaxing spa where you can get pampered on your weekend trip. The more affordable Crystal Cove Beach Cottages start at just $33 per night but you will have to book months in advance (800) 444-7275.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

This charming coastal town is a residence of many artists and one of the favorite celebrity getaways from the city. Hundreds of shops, restaurants, art galleries and wine tasting venues will keep you entertained during your stay. Relax at a day spa or check into a plush hotel like Bernardus Lodge where you will have five star services at your fingertips.

Big Sur

In Big Sur, vacationers enjoy some of the most incredible views of the Californian coastline. Hike in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve where you can look for sea lions, and visit the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which features majestic redwoods and an 80-foot waterfall. Post Ranch Inn is a plush hideaway with stunning views, plenty of privacy and a great spa.

San Diego

The US Grant is an iconic 1910 hotel in the historic downtown Gaslamp quarter of San Diego, close to shops, restaurants and entertainment. Plan a family trip or a couples' getaway with one of these great specials. The "Save 40% on your 2nd night" offer is available Thursday - Saturday and requires a 2-night minimum stay.

Redondo Beach

Try something new by yourself or with your girlfriends on your next weekend getaway. Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Redondo Beach is offering the Paddle Boarding Yoga Package which lets you combine Stand-Up Paddle Boarding and Yoga. If you like golf, the "Stay & Play package" lets you play on the scenic Trump National on the exclusive Palos Verdes Peninsula just 20 minutes away. The package includes 15% off Best Available Rate and 15% off golf.

Los Olivos

About two and a half hours from the city, Los Olivos is home to many restaurants, wine tasting rooms and shops. Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa offers upscale accommodations in the heart of the town (fessparkerinn.com).

Santa Barbara

Often referred to as the American Riviers, Santa Barbara has great galleries, wineries and gourmet restaurants. There are several fantastic hotels in the area, including the ultra-romantic El Encanto and the luxury San Ysidro Ranch popular with celebrities. More affordable accommodation options in Santa Barbara include the Canary Hotel and Hotel Indigo.