Feel Good Friday: My Favorite California Road Trips

Happy Friday, friends!

It’s sweet summertime and you know what that means….ROAD TRIPS!!

It’s been about four years since I’ve moved to California from Massachusetts and in that timespan, I’ve been able to see some pretty stun-ning west coast destinations.

Some of my favorites have included Big Sur, Napa, Laguna, and Sequoia. I just love being outdoors. It’s just the best feeling to me, and I always return from a getaway feeling refreshed, rested, and inspired.

One of my favorite things to do, is pack up and hit the road for the weekend. And, with Labor Day Weekend coming up, what better time to plan another!?

We’ll be the first to admit that we shouldn’t be going away on a trip, especially not long after our wedding, but we’ve already planned out ways to save some cash. Like, pack more picnics/eat out less, look into airbnbs, staying closer to the action so there’s less driving involved, and not spending much while we’re actually there—just really exploring and becoming tourists for the weekend.

To us, traveling is so important. I want to explore this world as much as I can… and definitely before we have kids. haha! Not that that will make it impossible to do at all… it just changes things up a bit.

If you’re on a budget and are wondering if you can squeeze a road trip in, I really believe the answer is always yes. Just be mindful of what you want to spend and stick with that. Cut corners where you can and walk around more than driving.

Sooooooo, where should you go next if you live or are traveling through California?

Let me help you decide… (this is the fun part!)

BIG SUR / MONTEREY
BigSur

Distance from LA: 6+ hours
Type of getaway: nature, relaxation, sight-seeing
Spots I Visited & Loved: The Cottage for breakfast, 17-Mile Drive, Point Lobos, Carmel Mission, Carmel City Beach, Forge In The Forest
Where To Stay: Briarwood Inn (we loved it, we could walk all around too for date nights)

SAN DIEGO
10449222_10100448852677925_280795985_o

Distance from LA: 2 hours
Type of getaway: beach, shopping, bars, restaurants
Spots I Visited & Loved: La Jolla, Coronado, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, Mission Beach, Point Loma, Old Town
Where To Stay: Hotel del Coronado ($$$ but stunning)

TEMECULA
12418823_10100881351851115_8948658706658299779_o (2)

Distance from LA: 2 hours
Type of getaway: wine tastings, poolside relaxation, shopping
Spots I Visited & Loved: Temecula Lavender Company, Callaway, Miramonte, Lumiere, Briar Rose
Where To Stay: Embassy Suites (free wine, snacks, and close to where you want to be)

SANTA BARBARA
15774702_10101159263638665_5828807287574678845_o

Distance from LA: 2+ hours
Type of getaway: wine tastings, beach, relaxation, fun downtown
Spots I Visited & Loved: Funk Zone area for wine/spirit tastings, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Salt Cave, Zoo/Botanical Gardens, Shop on State Street
Where To Stay: airbnb (contact me if you want to know where we stayed!)

LOS OLIVOS / SOLVANG
17358648_10101237242722955_3383954605952303975_o
Distance from LA: 2+ hours
Type of getaway: wine tastings, beach, relaxation, fun downtown
Spots I Visited & Loved: Full recap here!
Where To Stay: airbnb (contact me if you want to know where we stayed!)

NAPA / SONOMA
Napa

Distance from LA: 6.5 hours
Type of getaway: wine tastings, escape, quiet
Spots I Visited & Loved: V. Sattui and Hook & Ladder vineyards, Too many vineyards to count, Take a wine bus tour
Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Napa (wine tour can pick you up here)

PALM SPRINGS
12829285_10153605110834825_6262422010791725696_o.jpg

Distance from LA: 2.5 hours
Type of getaway: relaxation, shopping, pool time
Spots I Visited & Loved: Empire Polo Fields for a concert, Greater Palm Springs shopping outlet, Cheeky’s for breakfast
Where To Stay: Rent a home with a pool (it gets hot)

SEQUOIA
Sequoia

Distance from LA: 4+ hours
Type of getaway: nature, hiking, camping, escape
Spots I Visited & Loved: See General Sherman (the largest tree), Hike Moro Rock, See Tunnel Tree
Where To Stay: Buckeye Tree Lodge (right on a river, cute backyard area, so close to park entrance)

BIG BEAR
BigBear

Distance from LA: 2+ hours
Type of getaway: nature, hiking, camping, escape
Spots I Visited & Loved: Big Bear Mountain Brewing, Hike Castle Rock trail, Shop Big Bear Lake Village
Where To Stay: airbnb or Home Away to get that quintessential log-cabin feel (contact me if you want to know where we stayed!)

OJAI
Ojai-2815.jpg
Photo: Serena Williamson
Distance from LA: 2 hours
Type of getaway: nature, hiking, camping, escape
Spots I Visited & Loved: Lake Casitas, Vineyard tastings, Shop on Ojai Ave. (esp. at FIG).
Where To Stay: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa or Capri Hotel (retro)

Laguna
14231173_10101051044251185_8115217205160647522_o (2).jpg
Distance from LA: 1.5 hours
Type of getaway: beach, shopping, walking
Spots I Visited & Loved: Laguna Beach, 1000 Steps, Dana Point, The Deck, Mozambique, Chocolate Soldier Laguna, Heisler Park, Beach Trolley
Where To Stay: Laguna Beach Lodge ($) or The Ritz-Carlton ($$$)

Where have your road trip’d to?!

Even if not in California, I’d love to hear your stories and recommendations.

Travel on, friends!

Have an amazing weekend,
Ari

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: