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Weekend escapes for Southern Californians

Forty-eight hours of fun? You've got it. Here are weekend escapes that offer rest for the weary and restoration for the body and soul. Map

  • Discover San Luis Obispo's relaxed, bohemian sensibility on a weekend getaway

    Discover San Luis Obispo's relaxed, bohemian sensibility on a weekend getaway

    San Luis Obispo is a charming college community on the Central Coast where visitors are encouraged to slow down and enjoy all that the city has to offer: good food, good vibes, sunshine and a healthy lifestyle. Downtown is the place to be, thick with tree-lined streets, stores, bars and restaurants....

  • A weekend escape to this Phoenix resort soothes, with hiking, great food and art nearby

    A weekend escape to this Phoenix resort soothes, with hiking, great food and art nearby

    Amazing what a few days at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort on the north side of Phoenix will do for you. It's a short flight or a half-day's drive from L.A., and my husband, Skip, and I can quickly be a world away. The Pointe, 15 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport, has lush grounds and eight pools...

  • San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is a vibrant weekend getaway

    San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is a vibrant weekend getaway

    Some consider the neatly laid-out town of San Miguel de Allende a Mexican Disneyland. Full of stucco colonial buildings whose paint jobs I would describe as watermelon gelato, electric cantaloupe and tres leches, San Miguel is an Instagrammer's playground. With a festive vibe and burgeoning food...

  • Downtown Salt Lake City is a place to play after hitting the slopes

    Downtown Salt Lake City is a place to play after hitting the slopes

    Downtown Salt Lake City is livelier than it used to be. City Creek Center, a 23-acre mall-and-housing redevelopment project (retractable roof, trout pond, completed in 2013) is a big part of that, as is the Greenbike sharing program, also begun in 2013. A loosening of liquor laws hasn't hurt, either....

  • An enlightening weekend in Mendocino's romantic seaside surroundings

    An enlightening weekend in Mendocino's romantic seaside surroundings

    A weekend wedding on the Mendocino headlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean was the ideal occasion to celebrate newlyweds Danny and Amanda, as well as give me an opportunity to enjoy the scenic town of Mendocino, Calif. Fellow wedding celebrants Edna and Ray Morales stayed in the room next door...

  • Finding Ventura County's fine food and shopping

    Finding Ventura County's fine food and shopping

    I didn't often think of Ventura County as a proto-foodie haven, but that was before I learned about Adolfo Camarillo, an early 20th century visionary, landowner and philanthropist (and the town’s namesake). Camarillo introduced new crops to the area, forever altering the local economy. Now you...

  • Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel, is surrounded by natural wonders

    Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel, is surrounded by natural wonders

    Without the massive wall of concrete called Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nev., wouldn’t exist. The town sprouted during the Great Depression to house thousands of workers, mainly men, who had headed west to help build the dam. People often bypass it on the drive from Las Vegas to visit the engineering...

  • This San Gabriel Valley 'staycation' for the holidays includes a night at the lavish Langham

    This San Gabriel Valley 'staycation' for the holidays includes a night at the lavish Langham

    I panic when out-of-state visitors descend during the holidays. How will I keep them busy? To quell my fears, I spent a weekend earlier this month testing an itinerary, which is how I ended up at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia early one morning as several million dollars' worth of thoroughbred horses...

  • Ski Lake Tahoe without breaking the bank

    Ski Lake Tahoe without breaking the bank

    "El Niñoooooooooo!" That's how ski-resort workers at Lake Tahoe are pronouncing the name of the weather pattern that is expected this winter to dump large amounts of snow on the region. The excitement is understandable. After enduring four years of below-average snowfall, resort staff and snow...

  • Surf the waves or stroll the galleries in arty, authentic Todos Santos, Baja California

    Surf the waves or stroll the galleries in arty, authentic Todos Santos, Baja California

    Baja California is dotted with all-inclusive beach resorts, but if you know where to look you can find vibrant arts and culture as well as authentic food and drink. I found all that and more on my recent trip to Todos Santos. The town is so small you can walk across it in 15 minutes, but it's filled...

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