When you think about summer, notions of carefree fun and vacations come to mind filled with laughter and adventure. While a staycation has its benefits and is easily accessible, sometimes venturing out a few hours away from home can give you the necessary R&R you are looking for. Within hours of Los Angeles, you and your whole family can experience the tranquility of a weekend away without the expensive price tag.
Saga Motor Hotel
1633 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Pasadena has many sights and events to choose from aside from just the classic Rose Bowl stadium. Book a room at the Saga Motor Hotel for only $99 per night and enjoy the amenities of Pasadena. Visit the Norton Simon Museum and view the broad collection of Impressionists. The Huntington Library is an historical estate featuring more than 100 acres of Botanical Gardens and research libraries focusing on American West and American and English Literature. Another great outdoor activity is strolling through Descanso Gardens. Exploring over 160 acres of pristine gardens as well as a lake, and tram tours will give your Pasadena getaway that finishing touch.
Silver Pines Lodge and Creekside Cabins
25955 Cedar St.
Idyllwild, CA 92549
With a true western vibe and history since 1923, the Silver Pines Lodge and Creekside Cabins will give your vacation weekend just the right amount of relaxation. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of tinsel town and explore the numerous mountain activities of Idyllwild, CA. Prices range from $79-$229 and most rooms come equipped with fireplaces and a few also offer kitchens for your convenience. The Silver Pines Lodge and Creekside Cabins is nestled into a forest of pine with wooded scents that will clear your mind the minute you arrive and gives you a beautiful view of Strawberry Creek. Known for its rock climbing, Idyllwild has many outdoor activities for visitors of all ages.
Cachuma Lake Recreation Area
2225 Highway 154
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
When you think of Solvang, images of kitchy storefronts with European flair come to mind. The town can get pricey in the summer and full of tourists from all over. Visit Solvang, but then retreat to Cachuma Lake Recreation Area for camping fun. Fees are $10 per vehicle and the rec area is ideal for RV hook-ups, tent and yurt camping. In addition, you can also reserve one of the private cabins for your comfort. Wile staying at Cachuma Lake, you and your fellow travelers will enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including nature walks, fishing, boat rentals, guided lake tours and even a lazy afternoon of picnicking. In addition, enjoy summer weekend camp fires with the Cachuma Lake Fireside Programs. The fireside programs are free with your $10 parking fee. For more information, contact the Naturalists’ Office at (805) 688-4515.
Gold Point, NV
Gold Point Ghost Town
Gold Point, NV 89013
An old western ghost town is a spot your whole family will love. With very reasonable $99-$169 per-night rates, visiting Gold Point Ghost Town is worth the drive. Approximately 180 miles from Las Vegas, the ghost town offers comfortable accommodations including four cabins. Four additional cabins are currently being renovated to accommodate more visitors. The Old Miner’s Cabin illustrates the old west with unique decorations and furnishings. There is a television and shower facility in the main house for your use as well. During your stay, make sure to take full advantage of all that the ghost town has to offer including a tour of the Gold Point Museum, story and history hosted by the local sheriff, Sheriff Stone, and fossil hunting.
Related: Quirky Weekend Getaways Near LA
Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Spa
1650 S. Casino Drive
Laughlin, NV 89029
If Las Vegas is on your mind, but the expense and crowds cramp your style, stop in Laughlin and book a room at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort & Hotel. Starting at $52 per night, you will get the experience of being on the strip, but on a calmer, more vacation and family-friendly level. Book a room or hook up your RV, either way you will be immediately enveloped into an array of activities including free admission to an antique car museum, outdoor swimming pool and pampering spa facility. Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort & Hotel has plenty for the kiddos too including an arcade, bowling alley and movie theatre. When the kids are tuckered out, the adults have many entertainment choices such as the property’s casino and bingo parlor. Now through December 2014, participate in Tom & Sharon’s Ballroom Dance Party ($12.50 per person), which features dance instruction for the fox trot, the rumba, tango and disco hustle.