Dana Point is the New Laguna Beach

But way, way chiller

There are oodles of beachy stopovers between L.A. and San Diego: Long Beach…Laguna Beach…Newport Beach. We've recently fallen for Dana Point, a pretty coastal town that’s got a decidedly chill and eco bent. (And it’s nice enough that celebs like Sofía Vergara, George Clooney and Warren Buffett have owned homes there.) Here's a weekend itinerary we just have to do:

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Four Dog-Friendly Hotels in Palm Springs

The best time to take your dog on a warm desert retreat to Palm Springs is right about now.

An hour and a half flight from San Francisco and a two hour drive from LA, the stylish city within the Coachella Valley is beyond dog-friendly—Palm Springs is dog-enthusiastic. To avoid sizzling sidewalks, take your dog November through April, when daytime temps hover in the mid-70s. Mid-century design and casual allure abounds, and most dog-friendly hotels are lenient, letting dogs hang out with you at the pool and trusting to leave your dog in the room alone, if well behaved of course. Just imagine, a relaxing dip in a desert-heated saltwater pool while your furry muse basks in the good life too.

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California’s Capital & Beyond


The state capital of Sacramento was the center of California action during the Gold Rush of 1848, which sparked one of the largest recorded human migrations in the history of the world. People came by the tens of thousands to find their fortunes along the American River and its tributaries. Today, Gold Rush-era storefronts and modern office buildings reference both Wild West heritage and contemporary city life, while art, wine and river activities keep culture pulsing.

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California’s Central Coast Calls


An hour northwest of Los Angeles, Ventura is an inviting alternative to larger California coast cities. “Ventura’s mountain, ocean and island views along the southern tip of the California Central Coast offer great inspiration for meeting planners,” says Annie Campbell, sales manager of the Ventura Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Close proximity to the Channel Islands, a one hour boat ride away, also makes for easy access to kayaking, surfing, fishing, scuba diving and sailing. The visitor center for Channel Islands National Park is located on Ventura Harbor.

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A Condensed Cool Guide to Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney

Up here you may not have heard the word that GQ recently dubbed Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney Boulevard “The coolest block in America.” The reality is that Abbot Kinney (AK for short) is more than one block and it's pretty cool. It has everything a shopper and foodie could consume. It runs through historical beach bohemia. Colorful people abound. And, it's summer in Los Angeles—the perfect time for a quick escape south.

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Dog-Friendly Hotels and Inns Beyond San Francisco

City dog owners often face the predicament of what to do with their faithful companion when they want to make a quick escape. Dog hotels and boarders are a good solution, but costly. Dog-obsessed friends are another remedy. But really, what those puppy dog eyes want is to go with you. So get out of town and take them. Along the coast and in the mountains, dog-friendly hotels abound, here's some of them, and fun activities and places to eat while you guys are there.

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Pacifica: Sleepy, But Far From Boring

So many of us venture over a bridge or down the windy Highway 1 for weekend escapes. But how about saving some gas and spending a few easy-going hours in San Francisco's coastal neighbor, Pacifica? Just 15 miles south of the city, and founded at the same time as San Francisco, in 1769, by Spanish explorers, Pacifica is a sleepy coastal town with bohemian charm and many hidden gems. Sleepy yes, boring no. Even though Pacifica means “peaceful” in Spanish, it's fast growing as a surf town and affordable staycation destination.

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Subtle Luxury and A Gorgeous Golf Game at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Everyone loves Santa Barbara. Perfect weather, California coast, quaint town. But explore further. Head up the canyon 45 minutes and don't look back. Enter the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Founded in 1923, give yourself at least two days and two nights to lap up laid-back luxury, play the premier championship 18-hole golf course that spans the original contours of the Ojai valley, and inhale the sweet lavender-infused air.

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