Looking for Travel Spots

Updated on July 21, 2008
A.B. asks from Whittier, CA
8 answers

My husband and I are looking to celebrate our anniversary next month without the kids! Any specific suggestions in the Southern California area? I need recommendations for things to do and places to stay. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

My husband and I came back on Sunday from a fantastic anniversary trip visiting Julian and Warner Springs. I want to thank all the moms who gave wonderful recommendations. We tried the "Julian Gold" from the Menghini winery and we were very impressed! In Julian we had a carriage ride, stayed at a great Bed and Breakfast, attending their annual Starfest (saw nebulas (sp), shooting stars, and two galaxies colliding), and had their famous apple pie. In Warner Springs we relaxed at the mineral springs pool and enjoyed a professional massage. I highly recommend both places if you need a vacationing spot or romantic trip. Thank you again!

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answers from Los Angeles on

We love Julain, CA pretty close to San Diego, cute wineries and great apple pie. Try there. They have a few great b&b's and I forget which city is close but some hotels there. Get to the Mengini winery and ask for the "Julian Gold", you won't be dissapointed!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

It's not exactly SoCal, but my husband and I love the central coast...Santa Barbara (Wine Cask and Bouchon are great anniversary dinner places...fabulous food and wine)), Santa Inez wine country, San Luis Obispo (Madonna Inn is a truly unique experience with theme rooms), and Cambria (stay on Moonstone Beach). You can't go wrong with any of these areas.

If you definitely want SoCal, Laguna Beach is an outstanding place. We stay at the Surf and Sand. It's a beautiful hotel on the beach. The restaurant is alright, the bar is great (they serve a terrific martini), and the view is fantastic. The location is great because it's a bit south of Main Beach, so you're out of the weekend traffic and congestion, but it's a nice walk downtown. Lots of great restaurants and shopping. The art festivals are going on now too...Sawdust Festival, Art-a-Fair, and Festival of Arts. If you're looking for something really special and unique, try and get tickets to the Pageant of the Masters. This is where they recreate massive reproductions of famous artwork using real people inserted into the paintings. It's one of those things everyone should see at least once. It's also lovely because it is done in an outside amphitheater under the stars. There's a nice restaurant there, called Tivoli Gardens (just had lunch there on Friday) but I would make reservations because I'm sure it will be very crowded before a performance. If you're in the mood for theatre, my friend's play just opened in Laguna at the playhouse. It's called "The Marvelous Wonderettes" and is a fantastic, fun, musical set at a Senior Prom in the 50's. It just finished a long, award-winning run in North Hollywood and is getting ready to open in New York. It's a feel good, fun evening. Another special restaurant farther south in Laguna is Tabu. Tiny place filled mostly with locals, interesting decor, fantastic food, and a great wine list. Make a reservation as it gets very crowded. The Beach House (anytime), the Cottage (breakfast), Las Brisas (drinks on the patio), and the White House (drinks and jazz) are Laguna institutions. Other wonderful dinner spots 230 Forrest Avenue and Sorrento Grill. Taco Loco for a late night snack.

Hope that helps. Congratulations on your anniversary and have fun without the kids!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.! Well, our favorite little weekend getaway (we got married there as well!) is Catalina Island! You really feel like you are going on a romantic vacation...it's got a Mediterranean feel to it. You get there by boat or by helicopter...and there are almost no cars allowed on the island. You travel around by golf cart!!!

We stay at a place called Hamilton Cove...they are privately owned condos that you can rent. During the summer it's usually a 2-night minimum. Most of the rental units come with a golf cart, and the complex has a private beach, a pool, gym, tennis courts, a croquet court and putting course. Most of the units overlook the ocean...it's so beautiful, relaxing and romantic!!

You take your golf cart into town (about a 5 minute ride through the hills) and walk around...there are shops, restaurants, there is a 9-hold golf course, sight seeing things to do, a beach, scuba diving, snorkeling, boat rides, etc. Or you can take a tour of the island by bus and see wild buffalo, bald eagles and all kinds of animals native to the island. It all depends on what you want to do!

We take the boat out of either San Pedro or Long Beach...it's about a 45 minute ride. You can reserve the "Captain's Lounge" on the boat for an additional fee...it's a private room and it comes with a bottle of champagne! It's a great way to start out a perfect weekend!

Here are a few recommendations if you go:

Eat lunch or have drinks at the Blue Parrot, have a romantic dinner at the little Italian restaurant Antonio's (at the beginning of the walk streets), happy hour at Luau Larry's, a homemade waffle cone ice cream at the local ice cream shop (you will smell them far away!!). A few websites that might help too:

http://www.catalinavacations.com/ (this is the site where you will find the best deals on Hamilton Cove Villa rentals)

Hope this helps. For us, it's a magical and amazing place! We can get lost there for a weekend and feel like we are on a major vacation without going far from home! Best of luck and Happy Anniversary!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you're just looking for an overnight getaway with a wonderful dinner, try staying on the Queen Mary (staying in the rooms is like traveling back in time) and have a fantastic fine dining dinner at Sir Winstons on the ship. Drinks after dinner in the bar at Sir Winstons ends a wonderful evening and you just have to walk back to your room.

Good luck and congrats!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I like to stay at Paradise Point in San Diego. It's beautiful there. You can rent a beach front room and they have little firepits on the beach right outside of your room so you can have a mini bonfire (so romantic). You can also rent bikes or a boat and cruise Mission bay. If you need to check prices on travel you can check out my website: www.chickstravelcompany.com
Good Luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Cambria is BEAUTIFUL and rather inexpensive. Can be very romantic if youa re up for the drive!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Here's a few places that come to mind.
Julian - near SD
Temecula Wineries - you can stay the night and do some wine tasting.
Catalina Island
Santa Barbara
Pismo Beach/San Luis Obispo

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would love to hear what you get for responses. I am looking for the same thing.

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