A Few Days In

Three-Day Weekends From Los Angeles

by Berit Baugher
Ojai Ojai Rancho Inn. Photo by Nancy Neil.

Pack your bags and pick-up your favorite road snacks. It's time to start planning your next long weekend.

LOS ANGELES – From the rolling hills of Santa Barbara wine country to the vast desert plains of Palm Springs, the Golden State has many different terrains — all within a three-hour drive from LA. North, south, east, west. Pick a direction and start moving.

Catalina Blue Water Grill

Photo courtesy of Bluewater Grill.

CATALINA ISLAND

If you're in the mood for a low-key, no frills, beach weekend for the whole family.

Route to take: Head to San Pedro or Long Beach to catch a 1-hour ferry or 15-minute helicopter ride.

Your agenda: For easy access to the water stay at , a charming six-room inn on top of Leo's Drugstore. Park yourself in a h lounge chair at Mediterranean-style beach club . Or get out on the water with . Stop by to sample the island's best fish tacos.

Avoid the Sunday blues: Head inland on a guided jeep tour with . In addition to amazing views and local history, you'll see the herd of bison that call the island home.


Ojai Rancho Inn

Ojai Rancho Inn. Photo by Nancy Neil.

OJAI

If you're in the mood for a relaxing girls getaway with cocktails, spa treatments, and indie shopping.

Route to take: Drive north for 90 minutes.

Your agenda: Stay at , a renovated roadhouse from the 1950s with a killer cocktail bar. Indulge in a full-body massage with herbal-infused oil at or opt for the day pass to access the pool, steam room, and jacuzzi. Spend your hard-earned cash at expertly curated , , and .

Avoid the Sunday blues: Fuel up with a breakfast sandwich from before touring , an old-fashioned rose farm set over fifteen acres.

Read more on Gentedimontagna: Escaping to the Natural Beauty of Ojai


Palm Springs Workshop Kitchen + Bar

Whole grain pancakes with blueberry sauce. Photo courtesy of Workshop Kitchen + Bar.

PALM SPRINGS

If you're in the mood for offbeat exploring, desert plains, and an old Hollywood vibe.

Route to take: An easy two-hour drive east on Interstate 10.

Your agenda: Book a stay at Mediterranean-style and spend the afternoon cruising for midcentury architecture from behind the handlebars of a hotel bike. Stop by , a living museum with 3,000 species of desert cacti. For farm-to-table American eats, reserve a table at , a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award.

Avoid the Sunday blues: Stage a photo shoot at . The brightly painted religious-themed art installation is 1.5 hours south of Palm Springs. The Instagram cred will more than make up for the extra mileage.

Read more on Gentedimontagna: Find Inner Peace in Palm Springs


Santa Barbara Wine Collective

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Wine Collective.

SANTA BARBARA

If you're in the mood for a SoCal surfing retreat for the whole crew.

Route to take: It's a straight shot north on Highway 101. If you avoid rush hour it shouldn't take more than two hours.

Your agenda: hotel is a 10-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara. What it lacks in proximity, it easily makes up for with a California-cool aesthetic, fun pool scene, and open door pet policy. Strike a pose with in-room yoga mats or ride the perfect wave with lessons from . Head to  for wood-fired pizzas at , communal tastings at , and contemporary American cuisine at .

Avoid the Sunday blues: Cool off with a scoop of peppermint stick from  and buy a pint for when you get home.

Read more on Gentedimontagna: History, Hollywood, Heaven: San Ysidro Ranch


Alamos Motel

Alamos Motel. Photos by Audrey Ma.

LOS ALAMOS

If you're in the mood for good food, adult drinks, and laidback fun in Santa Barbara wine country.

Route to take: Head north on America's most iconic highway, Route 101, for two and a half hours.

Your agenda: Book one of the renovated rooms at for crisp white sheets, cowhide rugs, and an onsite wine tasting room run by . For friendly vibes, locally sourced ingredients, and excellent flatbreads and salads, head to . Sample varietals from the local vineyards at and .

Avoid the Sunday blues: Feed the birds at . It's hard to feel sad when you're staring down the beak of a fascinating (and funny looking) creature.

Read more on Gentedimontagna: A Hit-List for Hollywood's Favorite Coastal Town


SLIDESHOW INSPIRATION

See photos from these three-day weekends from L.A.

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