Camp out, rock out, dive in — just don’t stay in this summer
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a picturesque white sand beach at the edge of Ellen Browning Scripps Park and a swimmer’s paradise (its protected Underwater Park means no surfing allowed). Between two sandstone cliffs, the turquoise water beckons snorkelers and scuba divers to spy rich marine life, including Garibaldi (California’s marine state fish), guitarfish, kelp bass, sea stars, seals and sea anemones.
The Rolling Stones
Following Mick Jagger’s heart surgery, The Rolling Stones are hopping the pond once again and bringing their hotly anticipated No Filter tour to West Coast audiences for the first time this summer with two scheduled California performances: in Santa Clara on Aug. 18 and at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on Aug. 22.
With mahogany Chris-Crafts whizzing across its cobalt blue waters and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the not-so-distant backdrop, Lake Tahoe is the destination of choice for a summer sojourn. You can’t go wrong, no matter which pole you choose: the south’s bustling arts scene; the north’s quiet, dog-friendly beaches; Tahoe City’s restaurants on the west bank; and Nevada to the east. Must-do activities around the majestic lake include kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming and hiking. Stick around for the prestigious Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance wooden boat show, held every August at Obexer’s Boat Company.
Ventana Big Sur
Going off the grid has never looked this good: Ventana Big Sur features a “glampsite” within its 160-acre property, complete with safari-style canvas tents (with daily housekeeping service), a fire pit with a s’mores kit, a picnic table and a bath house outfitted with teak-enclosed showers, heated floors and marble vanities. Campers have access to resort offerings that include yoga and tai chi classes, guided meditation, nature walks, picnics, garden tours, and a sommelier-hosted wine and cheese hour.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
In the realm of beautiful hotel pools, Pelican Hill’s Coliseum Pool (aptly named after the Roman landmark) continues its reign. Perched over the Pacific, it is 136 feet in diameter and features over 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles glistening beneath 3 feet of saltwater. Book one of the 18 super-luxurious cabanas on the upper deck to soak in the view.
Santa Barbara Sailing Center
The crew at Santa Barbara Sailing Center offers fully customizable voyages to the Channel Islands on their 42-foot and 50-foot Catalina yachts with chef-prepared meals and fun extras like kayaks and paddleboards. Excursions range from two to 10 days, giving groups of up to six plenty of time to snorkel, hike, swim, explore archaeological sites of the native Chumash Indians and just relax.
Malibu Beach Inn
Following an elegant remodel by designer Waldo Fernandez, brunch-goers at Malibu Beach Inn’s Carbon Beach Club can book a table on the oceanfront terrace or cozy up with a blanket by the fire inside. The menu features locally sourced ingredients from One Gun Ranch and farmers markets, pastries from Gjusta bakery, restorative concoctions from Pressed Juicery along with our personal favorite, the Frites et Rosé, a platter of truffle fries paired with a bottle of Fâire La Fete Brut Rosé.
Bay Area adventure-seekers are spoiled for choice when it comes to local trails, but nothing compares to the breathtaking landscape of Point Reyes. At this coastal preserve, you can meander through a meadow filled with wildflowers or trek through a dense forest. The Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve affords views of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean, and the 8.4-mile path to and from Alamere Falls is worth the glimpse of the 40-foot-high waterfall cascading onto the beach. Bring your swimsuit and take a dip in Bass Lake on the way back.
When Bill Harlan, the man behind such legendary Napa Valley establishments as Harlan Estate, Bond and Meadowood, opened the by-appointment-only Promontory in Oakville with his son Will at the helm, it was touted as the future of Napa winemaking. Unlike Harlan Estate, which is closed to the public, Promontory’s Howard Backen-designed minimalist compound is open for oenophiles seeking a taste of the family’s exquisite cabernet blends.
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
Few activities rival the refined experience of dressing up on a Sunday afternoon to watch polo with a flute of aged bubbly in hand. The pedigreed Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is host to a number of key matches this season, including the 2019 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open, which spans three weeks, culminating in a final match over Labor Day weekend. Onlookers can expect to see top players like Jesse Bray, Paco de Narvaez and Lucas Criado.
Feature image: Beachside lounge chairs at the MALIBU BEACH INN. Photo courtesy of the Malibu Beach Inn.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of C Magazine.