Before the kids prep their book bags and school supplies and you place that RV in storage, consider one final family getaway this Labor Day weekend. Bid your last farewell to summer by hightailing it out of Orange County to an escape that’s just a few hours’ drive away. Whether you plan in advance or decide to make a last-minute getaway, these end-of-summer hotspots promise to tide you over until the winter holidays.
Hotel Solamar, a Kimpton Hotel
435 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
www.hotelsolamar.comSan Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter is an easy drive south from Orange County. If you love restaurants and shopping, you won’t want to pass up the 16 square blocks of charming Victorian-era buildings housing more than 100 restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and retail shops. Book a few nights at Hotel Solamar and you’ll be in the heart of San Diego where all the action happens. Step out of the lobby and you’ll come face to face with hip cafés, authentic Irish pubs, late-night clubs and dueling piano bars.
Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach
223 Castillo St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
www.brisasdelmarinn.comA weekend escape to Santa Barbara will never disappoint. If you’re willing to brave the traffic through LA to get there, you’ll be rewarded with picturesque ocean views, boutique shops and coastal wineries. Pair a weekend of art galleries and museums with a live music concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This intimate outdoor amphitheater hosts some of the biggest headliners in music. In the evenings, stay at Brisas del Mar, a lovely inn that is reasonably priced with great amenities.
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Always Inn Idyllwild Cottages
25231 Glen Road
Idyllwild, CA 92549
www.alwaysinn.comIdyllwild is the ideal mountain getaway without the crowds and traffic. Get out into nature and relax amidst the pine and oak trees. Strap on a daypack and take a scenic trail hike through the dozens of trails winding through the San Jacinto Mountains. If camping isn’t your cup of tea, make Always Inn Idyllwild Cottages your base camp. Each guest room offers a private bath, fireplace, television sets and even chess sets. Upgrade to a room with a whirlpool spa and you’ll be vacationing in paradise.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
34843 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591
wineresort.comWho needs Napa when the Temecula wineries are just a fox trot away? Sip your way through Southern California’s premier wine country and enjoy your last summer hurrah. With 35 wineries producing hundreds of award-winning wines, you’re bound to find the perfect libation that suits your taste. Vacation in style at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa where you and your family can escape to luxurious accommodations, delectable dining and a re-energizing spa.
Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
renaissancehotelpalmsprings.comChampion golf courses, hot springs and art galleries are just a few of the attractions you’ll find in Palm Springs. To combat the heat of the desert, nearly every hotel and resort in this city comes equipped with a pool. If you want to be pampered this Labor Day weekend, book a room at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Situated in the heart of downtown, this hotel offers spacious guest rooms and an outdoor pool area with cabanas and fire pits. Family-friendly adventures include The Living Desert, walking trails and the world-famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
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Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.