Bummer. You know summer’s really over when Pacific Standard Time bops you over the head with 4:30 sunsets and pitch-dark streets at 5:15 p.m.
I like to pretend it’s still summer long after the calendar says otherwise. It’s not difficult in Southern California, where 90-degree days are common in the fall.
This year I decided not to give in to shorter days.
I contacted some of my favorite beach hotels to see whether they were offering winter specials — for about $200 or less — so I could create my own Endless Summer. I was asking a lot; some hotels charge upward of $800 a night during the summer.
But 12 hopped on board right away. I found more than enough to share with readers.
Our beach bonanza hotels stretch from San Diego to Pismo Beach. Some high-end hotels, such as the Balboa Bay Resort, Paséa Huntington Beach and the Santa Barbara Hilton, are offering fabulous savings.
But smaller places are great buys too, giving families a chance to enjoy surf and sand in the off-season for as low as $139 per night. Some are offering bonuses; the Pavilion Hotel on Catalina Island, for instance, is throwing in two tours, breakfast and a wine-and-cheese hour.
The best deals are midweek, but you’ll find some on weekends too. Taxes and resort fees aren’t included. Don’t wait too long to book; these specials may get snapped up quickly.
Happy endless summer. Cowabunga!
Everybody needs a taste of San Diego once in a while, and Mission Bay’s Paradise Point Resort & Spa offers the best of both worlds: It has the tranquillity of a private island, and it is centrally located. This 44-acre Southern California icon, which was recently renovated, has five pools, beach bonfire pits, a marina, five dining venues, a spa and lots of recreation options.
The deal: November and December rates as low as $139.
Info: 1404 Vacation Road, San Diego; (800) 344-2626, (858) 240-4913
Surfer wannabes and true surfers all love Doheny, which gained fame decades ago when it popped up in “Surfer Joe,” by the Surfaris, and “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” by the Beach Boys.
Today you can sit on the rooftop lounge at theDoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach-Dana Point and watch the waves roll in, or take a five-minute walk to the beach.
The deal: This all-suite hotel has rooms from $144 if you join the Hilton Honors club (no charge). And many weekends cost less than $200. Free cookies and complimentary breakfast too, if you join Hilton Honors.
Info: 34402 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point; (949) 661-1100
Hey, dude, grab a board and make some waves in Laguna, where the Laguna Beach House offers a laid-back retreat for folks on a budget. The ocean-view hotel, which opened in April 2015, is about a three-minute walk to the beach and has the look of a vintage beach cottage. Don’t miss the complimentary light breakfast, wine hour at sunset or the cookies and milk before bedtime.
The deal: From $169 a night weekdays; less than $200 most weekends. Rates will remain low through early April, except for busy periods and holidays.
Info: 475 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach; (800) 297-0007 or (949) 497-6645
Whenever I want to pretend I’m part of the Orange County glitterati, I zip down to the Balboa Bay Resort for drinks and tapas at its waterfront A&O gastropub. The hotel complex faces the bay and has an assortment of multimillion-dollar yachts tied up in front. Now I can afford to stay at the hotel, which is Newport’s only waterfront resort and is one of the region’s swankiest.
The deal: From $199 per night from November through January, based upon availability. Promo code to book: EndlessSummer
Info: 1221 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach; (949) 645-5000
This 2-year-old high-rise, perched at the edge of the sea, offers laid-back luxury, a fun-in-the-sun vibe and is a great place to catch some rays or a wave. Paséa has a rockin’ rooftop bar and pool and is an anchor for Pacific City, a new mall where you’ll find oh-so-cool boutiques and trendy restaurants.
The deal: Rates for the hotel’s SoCal Locals special offer start at $195 per night. You’ll get a partial ocean-view room, with breakfast for two, through Dec. 30.
Info: 21080 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach; (866) 478-9702. Use the link to access the Locals Offer
Climb the stairs or take the elevator to the Kimpton Shorebreak, which rises over a series of ground-floor shops on Pacific Coast Highway. You won’t find a beach here — it’s just across the street — but ocean-view rooms are available. You’ll find beachy decor throughout; a daily wine hour and s’mores around the courtyard firepit.
The deal: Kimpton’s Outlaw the Inlaws package is designed to keep peace in the family during the holidays, but you can take advantage of it too. Rates from $189 per night from Nov. 15 through Jan. 13; includes a bottle of wine.
Info: 500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach; (714) 861-4470
Lucky us. We have a tropical island that’s only an hour away. One of my faves on Catalina is the Pavilion Hotel, overlooking the Green Pier and Avalon Bay. Besides the great location and plush room decor and bedding, the hotel offers guests a free hot breakfast, complete with an omelet bar, and an evening wine-and-cheese hour.
The deal: You’ll stay busy with the hotel’s Best of Autumn & Winter special, with midweek rates from $175. The Avalon Scenic Drive excursion and the Glass Bottom Boat tour are included as part of the hotel stapy. The package is available Nov. 5 to March 28.
Info: 513 Crescent Ave., Avalon; (877) 778-8322
How about mixing beach time with shopping or sightseeing? Long Beach has a lot to offer, and the Hotel Maya gives visitors a panoramic view of it all. The Maya, on 11 landscaped acres, is on the waterfront across the harbor from downtown Long Beach. It offers great views and is a short walk from the Queen Mary. Take a bike ride to the beach, the Long Beach Aquarium or downtown.
The deal: I found $175 rates in November and as low as $147 in December at the Hotel Maya by booking the Winter Warmerland package. It will also give you prices at less than $200 at the tony Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, and several other Southern California hotels.
Info: 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach; (562) 435-7676
This expansive ocean-view hotel, formerly the Fess Parker Resort, completed a $16-million renovation in April when it became the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, with new colors, flooring, room decor and a lighter look. It has a great location facing East Beach and is close to the city’s historic Stearns Wharf.
The deal: From $169 in November and December. The hotel also has an Explore Santa Barbara package, starting at $234 a night, that includes a $50 dining credit per night, plus parking, a reduced resort fee and other perks.
Info: 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara; (805) 564-4333
Lush rolling hills, Monterey pines and crashing waves set off the town of Cambria, north of San Luis Obispo. Pacifica Hotels has several motels and inns in the area, all offering 20% off winter deals. Some of the best rates are at Oceanpoint Ranch and Fireside Inn. The Ranch stretches across nine acres and was recently renovated. Fireside Inn offers great views and fireplaces in every room. Both have picturesque Moonstone Beach in common, one of Central California’s most beautiful stretches of oceanfront.
The deal: The Oceanpoint Ranch special, called 20%-Off Fall Adventure, is valid through the end of the year. I found midweek prices as low as $127 per night. The Fireside Inn special, also called 20%-Off Fall Adventure, is valid through the end of the year. I found midweek prices as low as $148 per night and weekends as low as $150.
Watch the sea from a clifftop vantage point at the 80-room Cottage Inn on Pismo Beach. It may be a bit chilly this far north, but the pool and spa are heated, and you can always snuggle up by the fireplace in your room. Continental breakfast, plus a fridge and microwave in your room, add to the package.
The deal: The 20%-Off Fall Adventure is valid through the end of the year. I found midweek prices as low as $127 per night. You might want to splurge for an ocean-view patio room at $195. By the way, non-view rooms are usually less than $200 on the weekends.
Info: 2351 Price St., Pismo Beach; (805) 773-4617