Getaways: Take That California Trip Now

Special vacation memories await up and down the state
By CYNTHIA YANG, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on Jul 21, 2021

We are in the very sunny July heart of summer, but it’s  going to be “back to school time” before you know it.

If you’re planning on making that special vacation happen, the time to do that is like, now. We’ve compiled a little list of memorable vacation spots, all within California, that don’t require anyone getting on a plane.

Peruse the list, share it with the kids, or don’t, and then make some plans. You’ll wonder why you waited.

Let’s begin in the Bay area, shall we? The Nobu Hotel Palo Alto’s multi-million dollar phased renovation was recently unveiled, debuting a completely brand-new hotel with the addition of the stunning Ryokan rooms and suites.

Parents can relax among tranquil and luxurious Japanese-Californian design and book the “Suite Dreams & Zen” package, which pairs the services and amenities of the newly introduced Ryokan Suites with personalized elements for balance, well-being and healthy sleep. The holistic experience will energize couples for dinner followed by a Nobu nightcap, with a Lunya sleep mask keepsake, silk pillowcase, calming sounds from Alexa and soothing atmosphere infused with scented oils.

Maybe a cowboy approach is more to your liking? The Lazy Z Resort in Tuolumne County offers secluded cabins and cottages that allow parents to disconnect from reality. While in town, couples can stroll along the historic Jamestown street to pop into the wine tasting rooms, visit the authentic Gold Rush town of Columbia, or explore the nearby Yosemite National Park.

Down along the Central Coast, Cuyama Buckhorn is a recently restored mid-century western escape in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s high desert. The resort includes a garden, pool and spa, bocce ball and other games, all within close proximity to local wine country. At night, guests can cozy up by the on-site firepits (s’mores kits provided) or experience the culinary program with fresh farm-to-table dining to showcase the flavors of the valley.

Maybe a more adult getaway is on your wishlist? Sparrows Lodge in Palm Springs was built as an idyllic escape for Hollywood’s elite to slip away into the desert for the weekend. Today, the lodge serves as a rustic, adult-only resort providing a level of privacy to everyone, not just celebrities.

The hotel offers couples a variety of amenities including home-cooked meals from the garden, communal fire pits, or the option to hide away in their own private patios or the secluded cabin room.

Something more traditional for the whole family maybe? The Ranch at Laguna Beach is hosting a “Junior Explorers” camp, an educational retreat for kids ages 6-12 to roam the unique terrain of Laguna Beach and spark an interest in the outdoors. The camp features different daily activities ranging from arts and crafts to meeting some wildlife. Additionally, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, Lost Pier Café, is offering portable Grill ‘N Glow fire pits for guests and locals to rent, allowing families to safely grill hot dogs or roast s’mores right on the sand.

Much further up the coast, Monterey County could be a perfect destination for an end-of-summer “field trip” for families. Monterey Plaza Hotel‘s “Explorers Program” equips children with their own discovery kit, including an educational tide pool bingo card, binoculars and other exploration gear for an immersive program for all ages.

Additionally, Carmel Valley Ranch’s 500-acre playground is another option, where families can learn all about the life of bees in the ranch’s organic garden, try their hand at archery, or enjoy nightly s’mores by a campfire – all with breathtaking views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Cavallo Point: Set over 75,000 acres of national parkland at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, the award-winning Cavallo Point is a luxurious bayfront lodge rooted in history, sustainability and adventure. New this year, the lodge unveiled “Cavallo Point for Kids”, which is a robust-week-long (half-day or full-day) immersive and educational experience. The program offers a variety of games, art classes, science, nature hikes, historic exploration, and access to the property’s local partners for enhanced education such as Bay Area Discovery Museum, Marine Mammal Center, Muir Woods and more.

Redwood EdVentures: Redwood EdVentures Quest is Northern California’s interactive, family-friendly treasure hunt series. Featuring rhyming clues that guide visitors along short trails, families can earn patches as they explore the unique ecology of California’s renowned north coast landscape – including redwood forests and rugged and remote waterfronts. Visitors can choose from over 30 different walking and biking adventures and serve as a low-cost, exciting way to keep the family entertained.

You’re welcome. And no, we’re not there yet.

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