Regardless of where you live in California, there is a diverse choice of amazing escapes just a short drive away, whether you are looking for wine country tours, city escapes, biking through the redwood forest or a relaxing spa getaway where you can spend your days getting massages and sipping drinks by the pool. Our best of list includes quick ideas from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and other ideas on the West Coast.
»Luxury Weekend in San Diego
The US Grant in San Diego is one of the best luxury hotels in the country, featuring a multi-million dollar art collection, stunning rooftop garden, central downtown location and stylish guest accommodations. The lobby of the hotel showcases paintings, murals and sculptures by top artists. Celebrate a special occasion at one of the hotel's restaurants. Grant Grill is an Art Deco restaurant which serves gourmet California cuisine. Enjoy cocktails and live entertainment at the famous Grant Grill Lounge. The Lobby lounge is the perfect spot for after dinner drinks where you will be surrounded by crystal chandeliers and beautiful silk carpets.
Grand Deluxe Rooms located on the top floor of the hotel are a great choice for a romantic trip, complete with a private whirlpool, modern design and scenic city views. The US Grant offers a diverse selection of luxury suites which offer separate sitting areas, unique art and five star service. After a day of shopping and sightseeing, request a massage in the privacy of your room or in the Spa Suite on the 8th floor. The fitness center is open 24-hours a day and offers a full range of cardio equipment, free weights and personal trainers. Rooms start at $219 per night (619-232-3121, website).
»Relax in Del Mar
Combine your visit to a relaxing Southern California spa with a stay at the beautiful coastal resort L'Auberge Del Mar. Shed a few pounds at the outdoor fitness pavilion, sip drinks by the pool, play a round of golf, and explore the hotel's scenic surroundings. When it comes to pampering, celebrities know best. Beautiful location and personalized service make L'Auberge Del Mar a popular weekend getaway. Guests can choose from a number of different massages, facials, hydrotherapy treatments and body purification programs. Once you are done relaxing, explore the charming Del Mar Village which offers a diverse selection of shops, galleries and cafes.
»Pampering and Rejuvenation in Beverly Hills
Get away to the stylish Beverly Hills for a weekend of pampering and rejuvenation at Ciel Spa, a modern luxury retreat located at SLS Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles. You will be able to shop at some of the most stylish shops in the world and return to the spa for a soothing massage. Facilities include a relaxation lounge, couples suite, herbal steam rooms, oversized experience showers, and custom massage beds equipped with music therapy technology. Inspired by the glamor of the city, the wellness center offers a menu of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. Whether you are looking for a quick pedicure or a longer signature treatment, there is plenty to choose from. Try the "Soft like Silk" signature journey, a 2-hour treatment which begins with a Surf and Sand Body Buff followed by a Green Tea and Clay body wrap. During the Wrap enjoy a soothing scalp massage, which concludes with a 60 minute massage. Relax next to Altitude Pool, a luxurious rooftop pool with plush private cabanas and spectacular city views.
Get away to Pasadena to get pampered at Chuan Body + Soul Spa at Langham Huntington Hotel. The newly refurbished facility incorporates Traditional Chinese Medicine in its therapies. The wellness center measures 11,000 square feet in size, featuring 13 treatment rooms, including a couple's room. There is an outdoor swimming pool with comfortable lounge chairs and umbrellas. Choose from relaxing massages, facials, body treatments, manicures, pedicures and hair services on your spa trip. Traditional Chinese Medicine services include acupuncture, Ho Guan (cupping), moxibustion, ear seeds and other techniques.
»Mountain Golf in Lake Tahoe
The mountain course at the Resort at Squaw Creek offers scenic views of majestic Sierra peaks and a challenging links-style layout. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 18-hole championship course is located at the base of Squaw Valley, at an elevation of 6,200'. The course is par-71 and measures 6,931 yards from the gold tees. Greens fees range from $45 to $95 for resort guests; from $45 to $120 for public guests; golf lessons from $60 per hour. The greens fee includes a cart and valet parking. Walking is allowed and rentals are available. Tee-time reservations can be made in advance by calling 800-3-CREEK-3. Season runs from the end of May through October. Doubles range from $129 to $379 per night. Packages are frequently available. For reservations, call 800-327-3353.
Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma Valley, California, is one of the few spa resorts in the United States with its own source of natural thermal mineral water. The water flows 1,100 feet beneath the Inn at temperatures around 135 degrees. Sonoma Mission Inn offers an array of relaxing spa treatments. Guests can indulge in signature bathing rituals, massages for couples and private whirlpool & mineral baths.
»Weekend in Santa Monica
Casa Del Mar offers Massage Cabanas on the pool deck where spa guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments with a view of the Pacific Ocean. The cabanas are situated on a semi-circular outdoor patio facing the ocean, giving guests complete privacy. Spa guests can choose from Swedish, deep-tissue or sports massage treatments with rates starting at $80 for thirty minutes, $105 for an hour and $190 for two hours.
»The Town of Ojai
The Kuyam chamber at the Ojai Valley Inn lets you experience a treatment that combines dry and wet heat with aromatherapy. If you enjoy sauna treatments, the Signature Kuyam Treatment at Spa Ojai is definitely a must. The treatment begins with self-application of Moor mud used cleanse and exfoliate the skin. As the heat in the Kuyam chamber increases, the mud begins to try on the skin. After several minutes of dry heat, the chamber is filled with steam infused with fresh herbs, providing inhalation therapy. A guided meditation and a walk through a shower of cool water will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. Finally, you will be wrapped in a blanket and invited to relax in a private outdoor loggia with subdued lighting.
Visitors to Montage Resort benefit from the resort's oceanfront setting in Laguna Beach, California. After a complimentary 60-minute morning yoga stretch and ocean walk, visit the resort spa and indulge in one of the ocean-inspired therapies such as a Thalasso Bath, Marine Wrap or Algae Cellulite Massage.
»Hotel del Coronado
At Hotel del Coronado, a popular getaway for families, teens can choose from a menu of services designed especially for them. The Lucky Chick Package is perfect for relaxation since it includes a 25-minute massage, 30-minute manicure, 45-minute pedicure and a 30-minute facial. Sporty teens should try the Pointe Break Package to soothe sore muscles. The treatment includes a 25-minute mud wrap, 10-minute scalp massage and a 15-minute neck, shoulder and arm massage. The Back from the Beach Package will give you the quick pre-dinner lift you need with its 25-minute hand and foot exfoliation followed by a 25-minute hand and foot massage.
This famous beach town next to Los Angeles is best known for its 3-mile Santa Monica Beach which we have all come to know as the symbol of Southern California beach life. In addition to sandy beaches and swaying palm trees, the town offers diverse museums, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. This is a great place to stay if you want to explore Southern California with day trips to LA, Venice Beach and Disneyland. The town offers many hotels and inns. If you are planning a romantic getaway, surprise your partner with the unique garden bungalows at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel which overlook the ocean.
»The Spa at CordeValle
The Spa at CordeValle, located at the Lodge at CordeValle in Northern California, offers a beautiful setting and a choice of European and American treatments. Guest can choose from facials, body treatments and massages. The 5,000-square-foot wellness center features a Turkish steam room, Vichy shower, open-air treatment rooms, a swimming pool and in-spa dining. Men's and women's locker rooms have a lounge steam room, Jacuzzi and garden terrace. The resort has a 18-hole championship golf course, a winery and vineyard open for tastings to hotel guests. Luxury bungalows, villas and homes have views of the golf course and the surrounding countryside.
»The Lodge at Tiburon
The hotel is located in Tiburon, a quaint artists community across the bay. The property has relaxing outdoor features, including an outdoor heated swimming pool with hot tub and a pool deck with private cabanas. The hotel offers guests free wireless Internet access, twice daily housekeeping services, a 24-hour Concierge and a complimentary Business Center. There are 102 guest rooms. Activities in the area include sailing, ocean kayaking, hiking and biking. The hotel is surrounded by shops, art galleries and restaurants. There is ferry service to the city. Three Degrees Restaurant serves dishes made of local seasonal ingredients. Both indoor and outdoor dining are available (lodgeattiburon.com).
»Sonoma Coast Villa
The Sonoma Coast Villa is small boutique hotel located just sixty minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway One, and five miles South of Bodega BaySet on sixty private acres, the property is surrounded by its own park and gardens. Relax by the outdoor pool and visit the spa for a massage, reflexology and other treatments on your weekend getaway. There are 18 individually decorated rooms in the villa, with private patios, an indoor whirpool spa, woodburning fireplaces, and Italian slate floors. The Villa has a nine hole putting course available to all guests, and the Bodega Harbor Golf course is nearby. Visit one of the nearby wineries or take a hot air balloon ride to really get a birds' eye view of the scenery (scvilla.com).
»Wine Valley Inn in Solvang
The Santa Ynez Valley is located 125 miles north of Los Angeles. The Wine Valley Inn is situated in the charming Danish village of Solvang, near several tasting rooms, restaurants and shops. The area around Solvang is home to over 40 wineries that produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Rhone varietals. Guests can relax in the romantic inn garden, play golf, hike, bike, fish, visit a museum and browse local shops and galleries. There are 56 guestrooms, six individual cottages, and a grand suite. The inn offers pet friendly accommodations. Continental breakfast buffet is served at the inn daily. For lunch and dinner, visit one of the nearby restaurants serving California wine country cuisine, as well as French, Italian and Mexican dishes. If you are planning a romantic inn getaway, ask for one of the rooms with a wood-burning fireplace and a whirlpool spa. Room rates range from $99 to $319 per night, including Continental breakfast buffet. Ask for AAA rates. Free on-site parking is available. The inn requires a two-night minimum stay on Saturday night (winevalleyinn.com).
»Hotel Pacific in Monterey
Plan a romantic getaway to the Hotel Pacific in Monterey, located 120 miles south of San Francisco. This all-suite hotel offers Spanish Colonial-style accommodations and is a good base for exploring the nearby beaches, Central Napa wineries and hiking trails. If you want to enjoy sightseeing, visit the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf. There are has 105 guest rooms with hardwood floors, fireplaces, separate living and dining areas, and private balconies. The Monterey Peninsula Airport is the nearest airport, six miles from downtown Monterey. Daily flights are available from San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Room rates start at $219 per night, depending on when you go, including continental breakfast and afternoon tea (hotelpacific.com).
»Ledson Hotel in Sonoma
The Ledson Hotel is an intimate wine country getaway located at 480 First Street East in Sonoma, California. Guest stay in luxury guest rooms situated above a tasting room and a restaurant. The hotel six individually decorated rooms located on the upper floor of the hotel. Decor includes period furniture and modern accessories. Each room has a king sized bed, fireplace, balcony, and a two-person whirlpool tub, ideal for a romantic escape. Three of the rooms overlook the tree-shaded city plaza, fountain and rose garden while the three rooms at the rear of the hotel overlook the backstreets of historic Sonoma. All rooms have high-speed internet access. The Harmony Tasting Room and restaurant on the ground floor features a "small plates" motif: an opportunity to sample a variety of cutting edge cuisine in a wine bar atmosphere. The wine list offers more than 30 selections with an emphasis on Sonoma County vintages. There is a shuttle to take guests and visitors from the hotel to the Winery and also stops at other destinations throughout the valley. The town is a 45-minute drive from San Francisco which makes it an easy weekend getaway from the city. Room rates start at $350 on weekdays; and at $395 on weekends (ledsonhotel.com).
»Vintners Inn in Sonoma
Vintners Inn is a 44-room Sonoma Valley getaway surrounded by lush vineyards and landscaped gardens. The inn offers in-room therapeutic massages and a two-mile vineyard trail, perfect for a morning jog on your wine country vacation. John Ash & Co. restaurant features a menu of over 700 wines, local and international. The restaurant serves meals prepared with fresh, local foods and produce. This is a four-diamond property, complete with attentive service and unique amenities such as a huge stone fireplace and an outdoor whirlpool spa. There is a two-mile path through the vineyards where you can enjoy a refreshing morning jog. Recharge and rejuvenate before heading back to work. Room rates start at $195 per night. Vintners Inn features romantic wedding venues with a choice of indoor and outdoor space (vintnersinn.com).
California Deals & Packages
Plan a quick weekend escape or a longer trip in California with these specials. Save on rooms and suites, activities and dining.
- Coastal Getaway in California from $165: Enjoy spectacular Pacific Ocean views from the Blue Lantern Inn in Dana Point. The inn is offering vacation package rates starting at $165. "Carpe Diem" promotion includes: One night at the inn, Signature Four Sisters Inns breakfast, and Afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres. Rates start at $165 Sunday through Thursday, and from $180 Friday and Saturday. The "Bon Voyage" offer includes a bottle of sparkling wine when you stay at least five nights. The inn offers several creative upgrades, great for a romantic escape.
- 20% off a Suite in Santa Monica: Plan a 3-night trip to Santa Monica and check into a stylish suite at the Fairmont Miramar. Staying in a suite will give you that extra space you need to relax. The "Suite Promotion" includes 20% off Best Available Rate, $100 Food Credit per stay, late check-out.
- 3rd Night Free in San Jose: Hotel Valencia Santana Row is offering a 3rd night free promotion during the holidays. Relax by the pool and explore the surrounding area. The "Stay 2 Nights, Receive the 3rd Free" package includes breakfast and two coupons for Vbar.
- Mystery House in San Jose from $149: The Winchester Mystery House offer at The Fairmont Hotel San Jose lets you explore the strange mystery house with doors that open into blank walls and staircases leading into the ceiling. Starting at $149 per night, the special includes Two tickets to the Winchester Mystery House.
- Save 20% on a Private Island near San Diego: Paradise Point Resort in San Diego is a quick trip idea, located on a private island in San Diego. The resort is offering 20% off room rates. The hotel is also offering the SeaWorld San Diego adventure. Stay during select dates and save 20% on the entire trip. Another option for families is the Dimme S'more Paradise package which includes breakfast, parking and a personalized beach bonfire kit with all the ingredients to make the classic marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker treat at one of 15 fire pits.
- Upscale Camping with Barbeque Dinner in Santa Barbara: If you want to go camping but don't know where to start, this is a great idea. Ask for the "Fireside Dinner Package" at El Capitan Canyon, a weekend getaway from Los Angeles. The offer includes a Barbeque Kit from the Canyon Market and Deli. All of the ingredients you need to cook your delicious fireside dinner will be delivered to your doorsteps along with one of our famous Canyon S'mores Kits for dessert. Tent rates start at $175. The dinner package is extra.
- Fun in Laguna Beach: Montage Resort in Laguna Beach is offering a Family Fun Package which includes: oceanfront guestroom, One $50 dining credit for breakfast, and half-day Paintbox admission for one ($70 value).
Relax in San Francisco at a Day Spa
You will probably not want to miss seeing the fashionable Nob Hill neighborhood in San Francisco. The views alone are worth it. On your trip, visit the Nob Hill Spa and try the Green Tea Scrub (50 minutes; $110) to increase circulation and relieve aching muscles. Inspired by Balinese traditions, the treatment utilizes ground rice powder and warming spices in a light Balinese massage. It is located inside the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco. For more information and reservations, call 415-474-5400.
It will only take 55 minutes to get your feet pampered and rejuvenated at the modern Tru day spa in San Francisco. The Moji-Toe treatment (55 minutes, $60) includes a scrub of sugar, lime pulp, and fresh mint, followed by a clay mask to exfoliate, soften, and moisturize your feet. It is located at the intersection of the Financial, North Beach and Chinatown Districts. Open from 9am to 9 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; from 12 to 9 pm on Wednesday; from 9am to 8pm on Saturday; from 9:30am to 6pm on Sunday. For more information and reservations, call 415-399-9700.
Top off your shopping and sightseeing trip to San Francisco with an anti-fatigue treatment at 77 Maiden Lane day spa, located in downtown San Francisco, one block from Union Square. The Moor Mud Body Treatment (80 minutes, $115) includes a warm mud wrap and an upper body massage. The spa is open daily; Monday 9am - 6pm; Tuesday & Wednesday 9am - 7pm; Thursday 9am - 8pm; Friday 9am - 7pm; Saturday 9am - 6pm; and Sunday 10am- 6pm. For more information and reservations, call 415-391-7777.
Yelena's day spa in Union Square will get your ready for a night out in San Francisco. Book the Men's Fitness Facial (60 minutes, $110) and say good bye to unwanted ingrown hairs and razor burn. Your skin will be deeply cleansed and hydrated, restoring your natural glow. Yelena's Spa is open Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 8pm; Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. For more information and reservations, call 415-397-2484.
The Bliss Spa measures 5,000 square feet in size and is located on the fourth floor of the W San Francisco. Featured spa treatments include triple oxygen treatments, ginger rubs and other therapies popular at existing Bliss spas. Spa facilities at W San Francisco include a retail boutique, three movie-while-you-manicure nail stations, nine treatment rooms, outdoor terrace, and men's and women's lounges.