Southern California Getaways on a Budget
By Vanessa Payes
Just about everyone is Los Angeles needs the occasional break from the hustle and grind of city life. Last week, we tipped you off on where to go for the sexiest Southern California getaways but some of you don’t really need a snazzy hotel or resort to feel relaxed and cozy.
If you just want to keep it simple and go away for a few days without blowing your summer vacation budget, check out these fun and carefree weekend getaways in Southern California.
Just North of Los Angeles in Ventura County, lies the quiet little city of Ojai. Kick back bohippie style in your own funky little private yurt and take your steamy showers outdoors. Wake up and grab a delicious farm-to-table breakfast at Farmer and The Cook then hit the Shelf Road Trail for an awe-inspiring look at the Ojai Valley. Visit the Ojai Farmers Market and grab some goodies to snack on when you cool off with a dip in the dreamy clear blue Santa Paula Canyon Punch Bowls.
Be sure not miss Ojai’s infamous “pink moment” as the Topatopa Mountains take on a glorious blush at sunset. Tune out and relax your mind at Meditation Mount then visit outdoor bookstore Bart’s Books. With clear night skies above, gaze up at the stars and keep your eyes peeled for a sighting of one of Ojai’s rumored unidentified flying objects zipping by. Reboot your mind and body on dime with this über chill getaway.
Leo Carrillo Beach
Gather up some camping gear and run off to Leo Carrillo State Beach for the weekend. You’ll stay cool under the shade of the sycamores that surround the camp site and have access to a convenience store and bathrooms. Spend a couple nights cuddled up in a cozy tent within walking distance from the water.
Explore the caves and walk the tide pools or chill on the rocks and watch the waves break over starfish and sea urchins. Take a walk up to the Northern end of the beach for surfing, boogie boarding, swimming or just laying out on the soft sand.
Hitch one of these awesome little vintage camper vans to your ride and take a cruise up the coast on Pacific Coast Highway. Emma Wood State Beach, The Malibu RV Park, and Doheny State Park are just a few of the places you can park along the 101 and take in the California coastline.
Why limit yourself to one locale, with your funky camper you can hit up all the beaches you want and enjoy the free-flow of this open road weekender.
For a full on rustic getaway, check out Rancho Oso Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley. Stay in an old Western cabin, a covered wagon, a tipi or even a safari tent. The resort serves up down-home barbecue on Saturday nights and offers guided horseback rides along the scenic trails. Explore the historic Native American paintings of the Chumash painted cave and take the Cachuma Lake Bald Eagle cruise for a chance to see one of these magnificent creatures up close.
Take a dip in the heated pool or grab a trail map at the resort’s country store and hike the Waterfall trail where you’ll find a serene and peaceful secluded waterfall to get your sexy on. There’s no more ideal way to escape the city than with this old frontier throwback.
If you wanna get away but don’t want to rough it, check into a quaint little rental in Laguna Beach. Lounge around on the outside deck and take advantage of all the comforts of home those romantic evenings nestled in with your babe.
Catch some rays at Cleo Street Beach and if you got scuba skills, bring your gear and check out the fifty year old Cleo Street barge shipwreck. Hit up Crystal Cove State Park for a sexy afternoon, watch the sunset on the Pelican Point Boardwalk Overlook or snuggle up on the secluded Shaw’s Cove beach. Hit up Zinc Cafe and Market and grab some yummy prepared foods for a beach picnic.
If you don’t like horses or eagles, and just want a classic Angeleno stay-cation, keep it local at a robot-themed bungalow in Venice Beach. Be a tourist in your own town and visit the Venice Canals. Hop on a beach cruiser and ride along the boardwalk to the Santa Monica Pier. Known to be one of Los Angeles’ most popular make out spots, The Pacific Park Ferris Wheel is also a memorable way to take in the panoramic view of the coast.
Stick around the park for a free twilight concert before grabbing a bite at gastro-pub, The Misfit. Check out Abbot Kinney in the morning and stop by 26 Beach for one of their eighteen different flavors of stuffed French toast. Taste, see, and hear all the things you’ve been missing out on in your own hometown.
Settle into a private little beach front rental in the laid back seaside town of Seal Beach. Chill on the sand or take a stroll along Main Street to Old Town Seal Beach and check out historic Los Angeles trains at the Red Car Museum. For an unforgettable meal, drive down to Belmont Shores and grab lunch at local favorite, Olive’s Gourmet Grocer. Their fluff and crispy hand tossed pizzas are made with homemade dough.
You’ll dig the variety of fresh salads, dips, paninis, sandwiches and sweets that are all made from scratch in house. The store also boasts an impressive charcuterie and selection of fine cheeses and olives. This place is a cornucopia of mouth-watering bites. Take a short drive up to the hidden community of Naples Island and enjoy a Venetian Gondola Ride along the canals. This is a perfect laid back, no-frills local getaway on a dime.