Latest Best of LA

Best Memorial Day Getaways Near Los Angeles

May 17, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: Paradise Point)

(credit: Paradise Point)

(credit: Mission Inn)

(credit: Mission Inn)

Living in Los Angeles seems like Nirvana to most locals, but sometimes a change of scene not far from home is in order. This is especially true during a long weekend when work and school are put on hold. But where to head? That answers are endless since so many fine places deliver the best of what Southern California has to offer. The following are five terrific hotels close to the City of Angels yet far enough away from the fray to truly embrace your Memorial Day weekend.
(credit: Ritz Carlton)

(credit: Ritz Carlton)

The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage
68900 Frank Sinatra Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
(760) 321-8282

While Palm Springs and environs can accommodate any kind of customer in its myriad of hotels that offer all kinds of desert diversions, the Ritz-Carlton Rancho, Mirage is one of the most recent to make this scene even more special than it already was. The prime hotel sits on a bluff overlooking the entire Coachella Valley. Expect wonders at this newly debuted property, including cliff-side swimming, serenity pools and a destination spa to die for. Also on tap is a California-cuisine eatery creatively called State Fare that features an interactive chefs market table, table side cocktail trolley service and some of the best artisanal food the Golden State has to offer.

(credit: Susan P./Yelp)

(credit: Susan P./Yelp)

Inn on Mt. Ada
398 Wrigley Terrace Road
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-2030

If you’re looking to be in good company, know that guests such as the Prince of Wales and President Calvin Coolidge once stayed at this outstanding mansion originally serving as the home to William Wrigley Jr. and his wife, Ada. The Wrigleys were king and queen of Catalina back when this mansion was built in the early 1920s since Junior owned 99 percent of the entire island. Now his former address is an enviable place to stay especially for its location that hovers over the entire scene from on top of a hill, looking down into Avalon and the thriving harbor. Staying at the Inn on Mt. Ada hearkens back to the time of the Wrigleys where dining is as formal or informal as you prefer, especially enticing on the wrap-around terrace. Meanwhile, guest amenities are top notch, including fluffy robes and your own golf cart to tool around Avalon.

(credit: Paradise Point)

(credit: Paradise Point)

Paradise Point Hotel and Spa
1404 Vacation Road
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-4630

Looking for an island resort easily accessible to Los Angeles? Book a stay at the Paradise Point Hotel and Spa. Not only does this focal point of Mission Bay offer everything you could want without stepping off the property, but the retreat is also conveniently located near California’s second largest city’s busy downtown. Talk about getting the best of both worlds! While on the premises of Paradise, expect to use any one of the five pools, dine at one or both of this property’s waterfront restaurants and take part in all kinds of activities, from riding bikes to playing croquet. Summer also brings such fun flights of fancy as surf lessons and dive-in movies. Happy Memorial Day!

Related: Best Romantic Getaways Close to Los Angeles

Credit, Mission Inn

(credit: Mission Inn)

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 784-0300

Placed right in front of the check-in desk at The Mission Inn & Spa is a massive chair in which President Taft sat while waiting to be assigned his spiffy quarters. This National Historic Landmark is a fascinating place to stay on Memorial Day weekend, especially if you’re wanting to go back to the a bygone era since this celebrated hotel presides over historic downtown Riverside and its Fox Theater and many antique shops. Back at The Mission Inn, satiate yourself in any one of six top restaurants, including the AAA Four Diamond Duane’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. Even spa treatments come courtesy of the Old World (and some expert hands) as do the private poolside villas that bring a touch of Tuscany to Southern California.

(credit: Belmond El Encanto)

(credit: Belmond El Encanto)

Belmond El Encanto
800 Alvarado Place
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 845-5800

Looking for a glamorous atmosphere for your Memorial Day hideaway? Head north to Santa Barbara for the chance to experience the hilltop manse known as El Encanto. This is the place to stay in this part of seaside California, alluring for so many reasons, from the beautiful gardens on the premises to the stellar location high up in the surrounding hills. Accommodations are top notch, with heated bathroom floors to serious soaking tubs to your own private fireplaces, used for warmth as well as cuddling.

Related: The Best Luxury Hotels In Los Angeles

What are your favorite Memorial Day getaways? Share in the comments below.

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TEST Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on


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