I’ve been dreaming about the days of traveling and not living in fear of germs, and though I know our world will never go back to those carefree (and naive) days, travel will resume once again. To start, I think we will focus on shorter, nearby trips to our home in Los Angeles. I’ve put together a list of places that I cannot wait to return too, all of which are great for kids (or without!).
And yes, I lied. The last one is not in California, but it a very popular destination for us So-Cal folks!
- Channel Islands
You really won’t believe what lies just off the coast. These rugged, uninhabited islands are brimming with life on land, in the sea and in the air. They even have their own species, that exist only on these special islands. Book a day trip with a company like Santa Barbara Adventure company or if you are feeling intrepid, spend the night and camp at the campsite on Santa Cruz Island. Note that you can’t buy anything there, so pack it all in (and out) and store your phones because you won’t have service! Don’t forget your camera because the wildflowers and cliffside views are spectacular.
- Catalina Island
It was love at first sight from the Catalina Express ferry and after my third time, I can safely say that this is not just a passing crush. Catalina has so much history (check out the Catalina Museum), outdoor adventures and laidback island vibes that you really do forget the mainland exists. Descanso Beach Club, the newly renovated Avalon Hotel and the Mini Golf Gardens are not to be missed. If you are looking for a posh stay, Mt Ada is worth it for it’s transporting decor and harbor views–plus a stay includes your own golf cart!
- Santa Barbara
Stunning hikes, quiet beaches, charming shops & a whole neighborhood dedicated to good wine (and good food), it’s hard not to love Santa Barbara. There’s a slew of hotels, b&bs and rental houses but I recommend sticking to those within walking distance of the pier so you can access the beach, the Funk Zone and many parks on foot. Douglas Preserve and San Marcos Preserve are both excellent family hikes, the former being flatter and better for younger kids. Definitely add Shoreline Cafe to your list for a meal with your toes in the sand. And Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Test Pilot Cocktails and Deep Sea Conway Family Winery are our favorite spots for an adult beverage!
**Note: If you want some local wine delivered, Santa Barbara wineries have some excellent deals like $10 and free shipping. Check this list here to find your favorite wineries.
I am hoping that fall will be feasible for a trip up to Sonoma. There’s really nothing quite like that fall sun glinting off the ripened grapes, ready to be harvested. There’s a jovial atmosphere as all the vineyards are buzzing during the crush and visitors are excited to sip and see it all happen. Healdsburg and Sonoma are where to stay if you want to have restaurants and shops within walking distance. I’d recommend Harmon Guest House in Healdsburg and MacArthur Place in Sonoma if you want an excellent room, great food and a perfect location.
- Los Cabos
Whenever flying feels safe, I think we will first opt for a short flight versus longer routes and that’s when Mexico is the perfect getaway. Far enough to have a different language, culture and scenery but close enough to only spend less than 2 hours on a plane; this seems like our obvious option. Montage Los Cabos is a remarkable stay that you will remember all your life, with its unparalleled dining options and that very rare, sandy beach (also the pools, the spa…) but there are many other incredible hotels at all price points. Also on the list to check out is the Viceroy Los Cabos. When you go, plan a night for dinner at Flora Farms–and book this in advance!
Wherever you go, you will have special memories that feel even more important during this time. I always take a TON of photos, as you might have guessed, to hold on to these memories. Recently I’ve been printing my favorite photos and making books, canvases and calendars to remember all these travel moments. It’s a great way to cherish these moments when you are back home. I usually use Snapfish to make these special albums and if you want, I have a discount link here!
Happy Travels my friends–don’t worry. They will come soon enough!