SoCal Staycations: Suite Summer Destinations

SoCal Staycations: Suite Summer Destinations
PHOTO: The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, CA
Early sunrises, late sunsets, there's a magical wonderland in the mountains, deserts, luscious forests, and deep blue seas across the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The sounds of Sade's "Paradise," Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity," Smokey Robinson's "Crusin," and Fresh Prince with Jazzy Jeff's "Summertime" on rotation, coming through loud on the speakers. Dancing feet dangle outside the passenger side windows, and furry friends enjoy the light winds kissing their faces. Teenagers are taking selfies, posting, and hashtagging to ensure their social media presence doesn't feel barren. Roads are piling up with rainbow-colored buggies, Jeep Wranglers with mountain bikes on the rooftops, Broncos trucks with surfboards, and RVs towing jet skis. The time has come to fill glasses with sweet tea, freshly made strawberry lemonade with a hint of mint and basil leaves, alongside cucumber, lemon, and lime-infused alkaline water.

Summer is here.

She has arrived to greet us with her abundance of warmth and solstice energy. In each of us awakened is a motivation to experience new adventures and create new memories as we permit ourselves to wanderlust around the world without ever needing to board a plane or have a passport.

Step into a different world with infinite possibilities—one where staycations are vacations that re-energize and re-awaken the mind, body, and soul. Whether for just a day, two, three, or even four, you are not on autopilot. Your routines, schedules, tasks, and never-ending to-do lists have been laid to rest and reset. New energy ignites and sparkles by new environments, scenery changes to encourage and inspire all to continue to work hard towards their life goals. However, there is a much-needed balance of slowing down enough to see heart shapes in the leaves of blooming flowers or bees pollinating.

We invite you to discover, explore and enjoy the hidden gems of Southern California that will have you thinking you have transported to the Mediterranean.

Catalina Island

At the top of our list is Catalina Island, where it is perfectly gorgeous all year round for a weekend or day trip that is just an hour ferry ride out of Los Angeles and Orange County: Dana Point, Long Beach, and San Pedro. Tailor your trip according to what you would like to experience. Is it romance with strolls at the beginning of the town to Lovers Point? Relaxation at Descanso Beach, where you can enjoy a mid-day cocktail? Touring the food scene will lead you to experience the plethora of waterfront restaurants and bars. There is also an adventurous list of excursions to partake in, such as a jeep tour of the Avalon backcountry where you'll see bison, hiking at Garden-to-Sky, ziplining, jet-skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding, golf, island tours, sailing, and more. 

Santa Barbara County

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara - Santa Barbara

Miles and miles of sandy shores, beautiful natural surroundings bringing you an abundance of delicious seafood, locally-sourced cuisines, tranquil beaches, breathtaking sunsets with painted skies of blue, yellow, pink, and purple. Enjoy the luxury resorts of The Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s 78 acres overlooking the Pacific, or cocktails at the Four Seasons or The Biltmore. And when you're ready for entertainment and shopping, State Street is where you want to be in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara. 

Orange County, aka the OC

Victoria Beach - Laguna Beach

Victoria Beach is one of Laguna's most famous beaches. It draws in locals and visitors to take in iconic sights such as the "Pirate Tower" located on the mystique Victoria Beach, accessible only by climbing over rocks. A hidden Treasure Island is worth the day trip. Ensure you also leave time for shopping and sunset dinner from a vast selection of ocean view restaurants.

San Onofre State Beach- San Clemente 

Start your day off enjoying an excellent breakfast or brunch before heading over to the beach. The ideal destination for surf lovers and to beat the crowds for a more peaceful day by the shore. For surfing and less populated beaches to enjoy peace and calm without the crowds. 

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club-Dana Point

A beautiful destination to enjoy everything from whale watching, golfing, fishing to beautiful yacht harbors, seafood restaurants, bars, and small boutiques for shopping. And of course, the beach!

San Diego County

La Jolla

On your adventures to San Diego, be sure to pit stop in La Jolla and take in the essence of the seals jumping in and out of the beautiful waters of the cove. Don't be surprised by the sea lions, pelicans, and other coastal wildlife that pop in to say hello. This charming seaside community has all that you need from secluded beaches with massive boulders of rocks, scenic hiking trails along the coastline, upscale dining, and boutiques. 

San Diego Botanic Garden - San Diego

There are no shortages of things to do. From visiting Balboa Park for walks along the harbor, the authentic Mexican cuisines of Old Town, enjoying a winery tour, happy hour in the Gaslamp district, or taking up some history or culture at a museum. Another must on your itinerary is to visit the magical San Diego Botanic Garden, a 37-acre urban oasis in Encinitas. It is known for its four-mile-long garden trails, blooming trees, vista views, and the nation's most extensive bamboo collection. 

Coronado Island

Within the San Diego city limits is one of the world’s largest resort hotels with beautiful beaches and delicious food. Whether you drive over the Coronado Bridge or take a boat to Coronado Island, you will have plenty of sights to admire.

Los Angeles County


Stretching for more than 30 miles along the Pacific and Highway One, Malibu's Surfrider Beach has some of the most perfect waves anywhere. Just off Malibu Pier, the beach was named the first World Surfing Reserve; nearby, Zuma Beach is a sun magnet for locals and families. In winter, Point Dume, at Malibu's north end, provides an ideal perch for spotting migrating grey whales.

Riverside & San Bernardino County  

Joshua Tree

"The Park" is a massive cosmic desert. It's over 790,000 sq. acres. An essential part of the Mojave Desert ecosystem, providing habitat for numerous birds, mammals, insects, and lizards. No matter what the length of your stay is, make sure that you put the Keys Views, Skull and Jumbo Rocks, and Cholla Cactus Garden on your list.  

The Parker - Palm Springs

Palm Springs, a city in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California, is known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, and spas, which is why you will want to make sure to check out the Parker, a luxury concept full of color, designed by Jonathan Adler. A 13-acre Eden is a splurge that will cater to all of your needs and beyond. You won’t have a need to leave.  Palm Springs is also noted for its many fine examples of mid-century-modern architecture. Its core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive features vintage boutiques, interior design shops, and restaurants. The surrounding Coachella Valley offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.