December is a wild month. It's still sunny, but it dips into legitimate sweater weather. There's tons of holiday parties –– both office and personal –– but we're still expected to show up to work during regular business hours. We're almost mandated to shop, but not for ourselves. There's just a lot going on.
It wouldn't be outrageous, then, to have a sudden urge to escape it all and just unwind for a minute. To check out from reality for a night or two once you have your holiday shopping list all checked off. You kind of deserve it.
Luckily, Los Angeles has an abundance of getaways that are just beyond the city limits. It’s actually pretty reasonable to pack up our travel essentials, grab some basic necessities, maybe a close friend (or just your dog), and get off the grid for a minute. We’ve rounded up our top three suggestions for easy-to-get-to-and-totally-doable-for-a-night holiday excursions that will help you re-charge from Christmas crazies.
For Angelenos, Palms Springs has been synonymous with “getting away from it all” for decades. It’s an easy two hour drive from the city, it’s out in the middle of the beautiful desert, and it has a gondola that scales a mountain side. What more could you need? For a little holiday respite, borrow and pack up our quick weekend bag and book a room at The Ace Hotel or The Saguaro for a little #SelfCare in the hippest of settings.
If you’re looking to realign your chakras, or just lie in a quiet room for a few minutes, book some time at the Integratron Sound Bath. Or, if you want to get a little closer to nature, hike the Indian Canyon trail at the base of the San Jacinto mountain range.
Though it’s recently been dubbed “Little L.A.,” this sleepy little town in the heart of Santa Ynez wine country still has a pretty chill vibe to it. The main street, which is roughly seven blocks long, has had a few hip new businesses added to it recently which adds just the right amount activity to the strip. Grab a room at the Alamo Hotel, a hip, converted motel that was mostly frequented by truck drivers but given the Ace Hotel treatment a couple of years ago (they still give their truck driving clientele a discount). It sports a nice fire pit out front and one of the only physical outposts of Santa Barbara winery Municipal Wines.
For daytime activities, the main sport (outside of wine tasting) is antique shopping. Head to the Depot Antique Mall for endless rows of someone else’s junk that’s about to become your treasure.
Gaviota State Park
If you need a true escape from the urban holiday rat race, grab a camping spot at Gaviota State Park, an oft overlooked beach spot just north of Santa Barbara. All you need is a tent, a sleeping bag, a couple layers of warm clothing, and a willingness to not check your phone every 5 minutes. We got you covered with our camping essentials. Supes romantic!
During the day you can fish, hike, try your hand at a little nature photography, or just lounge on the beach and read. At night, take advantage of the campsite’s fire pits for a little roasted marshmallow action under the stars.
Don't feel bad if you need to get away during a time of year when we're all supposed to be together. It's exhuasting, but getting away for a pre-madness Friday - Sunday reatreat can really put you in the holiday spirit.