It’s a stressful time for many of us, and therefore the perfect time to plan your getaway to somewhere beautiful and relaxing. Though Santa Clarita is smack in the middle of so many vacation destinations, it’s often hard to pinpoint the perfect destination for a weekend escape with our families or friends. We’ve got you covered! Read on for some of the best getaway options near SCV (some of which may surprise you).
Relaxation and Small Town Charm
For those who enjoy vacationing in coastal areas, Carpinteria should be on your list of getaway locations. Differing from more congested beach towns full of vendors, surfers and traffic, Carpinteria is a relaxed and family-friendly oceanside town with a treasure trove of activities to experience.
Points of Interest
The main attraction is undoubtedly Carpinteria State Beach. This beach is known as “the world’s safest beach” as the nearby Channel Islands protect it from waves and riptides; this results in calm waves that are safe for swimming farther out than most beaches. Beachgoers can take a dip, explore the tidepools, visit the harbor seal preserve, or just kick back and enjoy the sun.
For hiking enthusiasts, Carpinteria is also home to the Bluffs Nature Preserve, a 52-acre sanctuary of seaside trails with breathtaking views of the ocean and Channel Islands.
For a break from the beach or a bite to eat, visitors can explore Linden Avenue, a pedestrian-friendly downtown district of mom-and-pop restaurants, gourmet cafes, antique shops, breweries and more. Whether you are bringing the family to this safe beach haven or making it a getaway for two, there is something for every traveler to discover.
Where to Stay in Carpinteria
Carpinteria Express: Restful Nights and Memorable Days
During your time in Carpinteria, we suggest booking a stay with Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Carpinteria. A community staple for over 20 years, this hotel is located central to Downtown Carpinteria. Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Carpinteria offers a number of different suites and includes amenities such as free parking, free WiFi access, a fitness center, and a heated pool and spa. For those who need to stay on top of business during their stay, the hotel features a 24-hour business center in the lobby with access to computers and a fax and copy machine. Guests can also start their day off with a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast every morning. If you’ve missed breakfast hours, Carpinteria Holiday Inn Express is within a five-block walking distance of many restaurants and coffee shops.
Carpinteria Express Hotel is also a short drive away from Santa Barbara, which is a great place to enjoy wine tasting, shopping, hiking, golfing, or a day at the beach.
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- Dana Point
“Come as you are. Leave as a local.”
If you like a mixture of luxury and carefree beach culture, Dana Point is the perfect getaway destination. Known as SoCal’s “Original Surf Town,” Dana Point is a coastal city that has a little something for everyone–whether you’re into surfing and deep sea fishing, or a luxury spa experience followed by a sunset wine cruise.
Points of Interest
As a surf town with 6.5 miles of beach space, it’s no surprise that Dana Point offers an abundance of ocean activities. At Dana Point Harbor or Doheny State Beach you can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, diving, and even whale watching (fun fact: Dana Point is known as the whale watching capital of the world!).
On leisurely days, you can kick back at the beach or explore the harbor’s family-friendly shopping areas, which tout art shops, clothing, coastal themed jewelry, handcrafted leather goods, home decor, and more. For a bite to eat, Dana Point Harbor has everything you’ll need from seafood at Harpoon Henry’s or a classic gourmet burger at the Harbor Grill. After dinner, treat yourself to a glass of wine at Frisby Cellars or a dessert at the Chocolate Soldier before heading back to your hotel
Where to Stay in Dana Point
The Best Western Plus – Marina Shores Hotel
A few blocks down from Doheny State Beach is Dana Point’s Best Western Plus – Marina Shores Hotel. In addition to Marina Shores’ proximity to the beach, this hotel is unique compared to other hotels in the area because of its spacious rooms. Enjoy luxurious, versatile suites with queen or king sized beds, oversized closets, and double sink vanity bathrooms. For those who want to treat themselves to a little extra comfort, Marina Shores Hotel also offers eight “King Whirlpool” rooms, which are 540 square feet and feature a large roman-style whirlpool bathtub surrounded by beautiful travertine and marble. These bathrooms also have a second HD television mounted on the wall across the bathroom, so you can relax in style after a long day. Whatever the reason for your visit, Marina Shores Hotel offers the perfect blend of luxury and hospitality.
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- Los Padres National Forest – Frazier Park
Scenic Mountain Getaway for All Seasons
Nestled in the third largest national forest in California is Frazier Park, a mountain community with lots to offer as a destination for nature enthusiasts. This hidden gem is the perfect retreat to enjoy some fresh mountain air and some peace and quiet away from the bustle of everyday life. Whether you want to enjoy its snow-capped mountains in the winter or escape the heat during the summer, the four-season climate of the Los Padres National Forest means Frazier Park is beautiful at any time of the year.
During your stay in Frazier Park, you’ll have all of Los Padres National Forest at your fingertips. Enjoy an endless supply of gorgeous mountain views and hundreds of trails for hiking, biking, photography, sightseeing, stargazing, bird watching, and more. Many Frazier Park residents and visitors also enjoy the nearby Hungry Valley State Park, which has hundreds of scenic trails and its own vehicular recreation area for off-roading enthusiasts.
Enjoy water sports or boating? The nearby Pyramid Lake is the perfect place for a day trip to spend some time in the water for swimming, boating, waterskiing, and more.
Frazier Park has maintained its small rural mountain community feel, but offers all the benefits of staying in a larger town. When you’re not off exploring nature, enjoy a wide variety of activities and resources in Downtown Frazier Park including retail and antique shopping, dining, and an array of gift shops, bakeries, and coffee houses. Just a few minutes down the road is Pine Mountain Village, which offers more options including a Pilates studio, hair salons and even a gym. Your mountain getaway is waiting.
Where to Stay in Frazier Park
Cabin on Lowry Lane: Enjoy a relaxing vacation with your favorite people.
The full experience of retreating to the mountains wouldn’t be complete without the perfect mountain cabin to return to at the end of the day, which is why we suggest booking a stay at Cabin on Lowry Lane. This Frazier Park cabin can host up to six guests, is beautifully furnished and features two bedrooms, a bathroom, full sized kitchen, a living room, and a playroom for those who bring their kids. After a long day of adventuring, visitors can come back to the cabin and relax by the outdoor firepit, cook dinner in a well-stocked kitchen, play board games with friends and family, or enjoy a movie in the living room (this superhost even supplies popcorn to make movie nights more enjoyable). If you need to work remotely, Cabin on Lowry Lane also provides high speed WiFi, a work desk, and fresh coffee. Whether you’re heading to the mountains for a weekend getaway with friends or a family vacation, Cabin on Lowry Lane is the perfect place to stay.
- Santa Monica
The Bread and Butter of California Beach Towns
As far as beach town vacations, Santa Monica is your quintessential go-to destination for all types of travelers because it has all the boxes checked and more. Offering a beautiful 3.5 mile long beach, picturesque hiking trails and over 8 miles of pedestrian friendly streets full of activity, you’ll never run out of things to do and leave eager to come back.
Things to Do
Located west of Downtown LA is Santa Monica State Beach, which because of its length of 3.5 miles is separated into two sections: north of the pier and south of the pier. North of the pier visitors will find a convenient array of bridges, bike paths and walkways that make the beach easily accessible from the city (yes, this means you can grab some coffee and a bagel sandwich and be at the beach in five minutes or less). North of the Pier you will also find the North Beach Playground, which is the perfect place to bring your kids during your stay. South of the pier is level with the city and offers convenient parking options, the famous Muscle Beach with gymnastics equipment, and parks alongside the beach. Santa Monica Beach keeps visitors coming back because it is well-maintained and easily accessed from the city!
For biking enthusiasts, visitors should take advantage of the Marvin Braude biking trail, which begins in Santa Monica alongside the ocean and stretches for 22 miles all the way to Redondo Beach. Click here for more information about bike trails and rentals in Santa Monica.
In the middle of Santa Monica State Beach you’ll find Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park, which has been an iconic staple of this oceanside community for many years. Though Pacific Park’s rides are not currently open–worry not: the pier is still open for guests to enjoy an immersive oceanside shopping and dining experience (click here for more information on Santa Monica Pier’s Covid-19 safety precautions).
Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian-only shopping district, is only two blocks down from the beach and a must-visit location during your stay.
Where to Stay in Santa Monica
SureStay Santa Monica by Best Western
SureStay Santa Monica is a standout because its staff emphasizes the importance of making guests feel pampered on every level. This means a special attention to providing remarkable cleanliness and top-notch hospitality. Best Western SureStay Santa Monica is located central to all of the city’s must-visit spots, and is also conveniently located next to two major freeways for those who want to take advantage of the greater Los Angeles area.
With a variety of room options, there is something here for every visitor. If you’re looking for a more authentic, home-away-from-home experience, select rooms at SureStay Santa Monica offer whirlpool bathtubs for extra comfort, or kitchenette style amenities with a countertop, full-size fridge, overhead cabinets and microwave oven. Half the rooms at this hotel open up to beautiful gated and tiled courtyard spaces furnished with umbrella covered tables, lounge chairs and barbecues, which makes for an ultimate at-home feel. Of course, typical amenities also include free WiFi in each room, free parking, and on premises ice, snack, and laundry machines. Limited pet rooms are also available for those who want to bring their fur babies along for their stay. When you return at the end of each day, SureStay Santa Monica’s staff is dedicated to making you feel at home, whether you’re flying solo or on vacation with friends and family.
- Choose Your Own Adventure with Jeep Camping
Rather than your average hotel or one-location-destination, many travelers desire a little extra freedom or adventure. If you’re itching for either of these, Get Away Overland is for you. The central idea of Get Away Overland is simple: Step one: Rent a Jeep fully stocked with all camping necessities including bedding and kitchen essentials. Step two: Escape the stresses of everyday life, adventure outdoors, and drive just about anywhere (first 100 miles per night are free).
An Authentic Camping Experience, Without the Drawbacks
There are a myriad of factors that make camping trips stressful, including:
- Buying the gear.
- Camping gear can be expensive, and even the energy that goes into acquiring all of your must-need items can be harrowing.
- Let’s be honest. The excitement of picturing a relaxing camping trip can be dulled down by the thought of all the preparation and organization that goes into it.
- Sleeping on the ground.
- Most of us love nature and relish the thought of an outdoorsy getaway, but sleeping on the ground is less than luxurious (and not all of us have an RV or trailer on-hand).
With Get Away Overland, you can skip the preparation, stress and discomfort of traditional camping trips. These Jeeps can sleep 2-4 people and are fully equipped with all kitchen utensils and items including a dual propane stove and table (propane included), a french press, pots and pans, can openers, dish soap and more. Bedding includes a memory foam mattress, linens, blankets, and pillows. You won’t even need to pack camping chairs, flashlights or a first aid kit–Get Away Overland has you covered on all of the camping essentials (Click here for the full gear list). The Renegade camper option includes a rooftop tent that sleeps up to 3 people.
If you’re unsure of how to use the gear, upon pick-up or drop-off a team member will be there to walk you through any questions you may have. It really is the most stress-free way to enjoy a trip to your favorite campground or nature spot.
Whether you’re a beach lover, a mountain enthusiast or a camping junkie, we hope this list helped you find the perfect travel destination and lodging to unlock the adventure you need.