8 Great West Coast Getaways
Get thyself to sunshine
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.
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.
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.
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).