We're all eager to get back on the road after a year of socially distanced quarantine. Enjoy t-shirt weather and outdoor adventures throughout California at these spring getaways.
Surf, sand, and sun are San Diego's calling cards, but there's even more to explore beyond the beaches. In La Jolla, you can kayak through seven sea caves and explore the rocky sandstone cliff formations in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for leopard sharks, sea lions, and even the occasional dolphin.
If you'd rather take to the skies than the sea, you can run off a cliff and soar like a bird at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, the premier destination for paragliding and hang-gliding in Southern California. Tandem rides allow you to fly safely with experienced pilots, but you can also take intensive training courses to learn how to fly solo.
Stay at Lodge at Torrey Pines for access to one of the best public golf courses in the country – many of the rooms boast fairway views. Or opt for Carté Hotel in Little Italy and workout at Fit Athletic gym next door. Carté Hotel is within breezy walking distance to Little Italy's great nightlife and dining, with standout restaurants like Born and Raised steakhouse for carnivores, Current Fish & Oyster for pescatarians, and Parakeet Cafe for flavorful plant-based options. End your evening on a sweet note at Salt & Straw or Bobboi Natural Gelato.
Just 30 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma is among California's best food and wine destinations, calmer and less commercial than neighboring Napa Valley. There are more than 425 wineries here, including the regal chateau at Jordan Winery. Book the chateau block vineyard tasting to enjoy three vintages of Jordan Winery's iconic Cabernet Sauvignon, paired with locally made salumi from Journeyman Meats. As of Earth Day, Jordan's vineyard hikes are back too, providing guests with the opportunity to traverse pollinator sanctuaries, gardens, and vineyards over a four-mile hike before enjoying a picnic lunch with wine pairings.
Drop by Flatbed Farm in charming Glen Ellen for locally roasted coffee and donut holes at Flora Coffee. You can also shop for sustainably farmed produce, cage-free eggs, herbs, and flowers here to stock your home-away-from-home. Get your heart rate up by biking along the Pacific coastline or hiking among towering redwoods in between wine tastings.
Beloved local chef Dustin Valettte is opening a new multi-concept project this spring at The Matheson, with an intimate fine dining room and a more casual, convivial rooftop cocktail lounge with rustic shared plates. In the meantime, eponymous Valette is one of the best restaurants in Healdsburg. Tortilla Real is another new favorite in Petaluma, and the Jalisco-style restaurant is known for carnitas tostadas, chicken tinga, and five-napkin torta ahogada with chile sauce, tomato sauce, and shredded pork — messy but absolutely delicious.
Check into the new Montage Healdsburg and treat yourself to a luxurious spa day, then rent a bike to explore Healdsburg and its surrounding countryside. The environmentally conscious bungalow-style guestrooms here all blend seamlessly into the rolling hills and 15 acres of vineyards on property. Montage even has their own wine label, in partnership with winemaker Jesse Katz, bottled at Aperture Cellars down the road.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Palm Springs, an easy two-hour drive from Los Angeles. It's not too hot yet and with more than 300 sunny days each year, chances are good that you'll have ideal weather for playing a round on one of more than 100 golf courses in Greater Palm Springs, including the two championship golf courses designed by Ted Robinson at Desert Springs Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa.
Hiking or mountain biking in the San Jacinto Mountains are marvelous ways to enjoy the rugged scenery, and Joshua Tree National Park is just an hour away for a one-of-a-kind desert landscape filled with Joshua trees galore, molten magma monoliths, and a cholla cactus garden. If you have the time and stamina, there are hundreds of granite rock formations great for rock climbing and bouldering too. Adrenaline junkies will enjoy off-roading around the San Andreas Fault with Red Jeep Tours, while car connoisseurs can race the latest BMW models on a track at the BMW Performance Driving School.
If you're traveling with your partner, L'Horizon Resort & Spa is a discreet and romantic getaway of individual bungalows featuring the city’s signature mid-century modern architecture. Start the morning with a bird's eye view of a serene sunrise from an in-flight hot air balloon. It doesn’t get any better.
- Explore La Jolla’s beauty by kayaking the coastline.
- Paraglide or hang-glide at Torrey Pines Gliderport.
- Have a luxurious stay at Lodge at Torrey Pines or Carté Hotel.
- Work out at Fit Athletic.
- Savor the flavors of Born and Raised, Current Fish & Oyster, or Parakeet Cafe.
- Indulge your sweet tooth at Salt & Straw or Bobboi Natural Gelato
- Book the chateau block vineyard tasting at Jordan Winery.
- Snack on donuts holes over coffee at Flora Coffee.
- Dine well at The Matheson, Valette, or Tortilla Real.
- Live it up at Montage Healdsburg.
- Unwind at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa.
- Explore the wilderness with Red Jeep Tours.
- Race like hell at BMW Performance Driving School.
- Treat yourself at L'Horizon Resort & Spa.