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There’s really only one way to beat the winter blues: Start planning a getaway to the sunshine, beaches and vineyards out west. But where exactly should you go, you ask? We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite Cali destinations (and one great Mexican coastal town), ranging from poolside relaxation at a ritzy hotel to an arty desert weekend.


Palihouse, Santa Monica

Our favorite boutique hotel opening of the year, this Santa Monica inn has been spruced up with vintage oil paintings, velvet upholstery and whimsical wallpaper. Plus, what’s not to love about playing bocce on the front lawn?


The Outbound Collective, Bay Area

If you like a little bit of adventure travel but aren’t exactly a seasoned mountain climber, sign up for the North Beach-based Outbound Collective. The online marketplace sends you weekly trip suggestions for all sorts of activities--from backpacking to surfing--all customized to your skill level.


Cal-Earth, Hesperia

Forget the frozen margaritas and outlet shopping--there’s another reason to drive out into the desert around Los Angeles. It’s Cal-Earth, a fascinating compound of earthen buildings erected by an architect as prototypical homeless shelters. You can even learn to build one of the domed structures, called superadobes, in on-site classes.


The Rose Hotel, Venice

In need of some beach time? Head to this converted former seaside brothel turned minimalist getaway, which is just a block from the ocean. If you feel like venturing farther afield, there are bikes you can borrow to explore the Venice boardwalk.


Mohave Sands, Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is the sort of place where you take a desert hike, ponder a prehistoric cactus, climb a boulder--then fall into an interesting conversation with a local sculptor over a beer and go gallery-hopping. Your home base for this arty-rustic getaway is a renovated 1950s motel with no TVs (to encourage stargazing).


Wine Tasting, Healdsburg

No list of California-based getaways is complete without a wine-centric trip. Our recommendation: Skip Napa and head to Healdsburg for an excursion filled with food, antiquing and, of course, wine tasting.


Glamping Across the State

If you want to get away from everything except comfort, opt for cabins, converted airstream trailers and A-frame houses. See our favorite places to overnight, from the High Sierras to creekside in Santa Barbara.


Todos Santos Music Festival, Baja California

Every year in January, the hillside town of Todos Santos hosts a super-cool music festival where the tequila and Pacific whale-watching is as important as the tunes. Reserve your space now.

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