Go coastal for a long weekend with these four easy California getaways
The California coast has it all, from the wild, rugged landscapes of the north to the sunshine and sparkle of SoCal. Many of the coast’s most spectacular zones are within close proximity to major airports, making it a great choice for a quick getaway.
Best For: Golfing and Golden Hours
Distance from Airport: 12 miles to SAN
While there are many beautiful golf courses surrounding Del Mar, Torrey Pines stands out as one of the most beautiful, with dramatic ocean views on one side and towering pines on the other. And no visit to Del Mar would be complete without a day at the races at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. No matter how you choose to spend your day, cap it off with a gorgeous sunset over the Pacific. Del Mar even has its own “Sunset Seat” carved out of a downed pine along the bluffs of Camino Del Mar.
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo – This relaxed, ocean-themed hotel is situated in a great location to walk to the shops and restaurants of Del Mar Village. Two outdoor pools and partial ocean views complete the beachy vibe.
Best For: Spotting Celebrities or Just Feeling Like One
Distance from Airport: 28 miles to LAX
After you’ve ticked the Hollywood tourist attractions off your list (Griffith Park, Walk of Fame, studio tour) head north to where many celebrities call home. Even if you don’t spot an A-lister, you might just become one of Malibu’s biggest fans after experiencing all this coastal enclave has to offer. Zuma Beach is one of the best for strolling and surf watching, with plenty of options for oceanfront dining (and potential celeb sightings) nearby.
Where to stay: Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast – A great value for pricey Malibu, this Mediterranean-style villa is tucked up in the beautiful Santa Monica mountains, but only a 15 minute drive to the beach.
Best For: Adventurous Types and Armchair Oceanographers
Distance from Airport: 75 miles to SJC
From whale watching in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to the underwater viewing window at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey is a great place to get up close and personal with marine life. When you’re ready for dry land, nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea boasts one of the state’s most beautiful in-town beaches. Or, for a real thrill, head south on State Route 1 towards Big Sur for a cliff-hugging drive with dramatic ocean views.
Where to stay: Wave Street Inn – This recently renovated boutique hotel boasts bright, modern rooms and is located in the heart of Monterey for easy strolling to all of the attractions.
Best For: History Buffs and Zipping Around Car-Free
Distance from Airport: 14 miles to SFO
San Francisco packs more history, culture and architectural eye candy into its seven square miles than most cities twice its size. Meaning you can see all the sights on and off the beaten path without the hassle of driving or renting a car. Public transportation is ubiquitous or, if you’re up putting some miles on your walking shoes, many neighborhoods can be linked on foot. And yes, there are beaches and they’re beautiful. Baker Beach and Crissy Field are two of the best for stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Where to stay: Hotel Zephyr – Get the best of both worlds at this modern, wharf-side hotel, with bay views and easy access to both the beach and downtown.