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4 Last-Minute California Getaways for Labor Day Weekend

From Napa to San Diego, California masters the art of the quick escape. Here are four perfect 72-hour sojourns up and down the coast

Words by MARIE LOOK

 

With its perfect temperatures, postcard-worthy beaches and unique hot spots for dining and imbibing, The Golden State offers no shortage of pastimes for those looking to unplug and unwind. Whether your ideal respite ecompasses biking the trails between Vallejo and Calistoga to secure the perfect bottle of wine, or whiling away in a rooftop pool with an ice-cold drink and views of the sprawling Coachella Valley, we’ve curated itineraries to make the most of your holiday weekend.

 

Cool Down in Palm Springs

Situated in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, Palm Springs has long been a playground for those seeking secluded R&R in The Golden State. A two-hour drive east of Downtown Los Angeles, the Sonoran Desert city is famous for its midcentury-modern architecture, hot springs, golf courses and stylish hotels and spas. Of course, no visit is complete without a ramble along Palm Canyon Drive, where the main shopping district features interior design shops, vintage boutiques and a wide variety of eateries. Your Palm Springs itinerary.

 

Raise a Glass in Napa Valley

Roughly two hours north of San Francisco, Napa Valley is the West Coast epicenter for oenophiles. With hundreds of hillside vineyards, the region offers of course exquisite sips, not to mention Michelin-rated dining and laid-back leisure activities, all amid the area’s charming, pastoral settings. Explore Oxbow Public Market in Napa for regional gourmet fare, or venture to Yountville or St. Helena to make the most of this paradise for gourmands. Your Napa Valley itinerary.

 

Unwind in Style in Santa Barbara

Dubbed the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is just three hours up the coast from Downtown L.A. and one of California’s most photogenic cities. Nestled between the Pacific and the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains, it features a harbor filled with sailboats; white stucco Mediterranean-style buildings with red-tiled roofs; and a bevy of upscale boutiques and restaurants along State Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. Other highlights include the historic Mission Santa Barbara; the trendy Funk Zone, with its artist studios and excellent dining; and the Urban Wine Trail, encompassing tasting rooms from the area’s finest wineries. Your Santa Barbara itinerary.

 

Be Adventurous in San Diego

The state’s second most populated city, San Diego has something for everyone, ranging from outdoor enthusiasts to culture buffs to nightlife aficionados to resort and spa connoisseurs. With its slew of outstanding museums and gardens, parks and beaches, and the Gaslamp Quarter, which offers lively bars, restaurants and more, a long weekend isn’t nearly enough time to soak up all that San Diego has to offer — but it can be a start. Your San Diego itinerary.

 

Feature image: The pool at KIMPTON ROWAN PALM SPRINGS HOTEL. Photo by Laure Joliet.

 

Aug. 26, 2019

 

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