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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   GET OUT OF TOWN
Get Out of Town!
10 Years, 10 Favorite Destinations
July, 2015 - Issue #129
On the occasion of Inside SCV's 10th anniversary, I was asked to select the 10 most memorable "Get Out of Town" destinations. Over the past decade, my family --wife April, and kids Laurel, Drew, Brooke, and Amber - have wandered all over California, from the shores of San Diego to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, visiting everything from back-country camps to four-diamond resorts.

That's a lot of lot of miles, and even more memories. So the resulting list is necessarily eclectic. Some selections represent the best of a locale or lodging category. Others are included solely for sentimental reasons. They're not presented in any particular order, chronological, alphabetical, or otherwise.

Ready? Let's take a road trip down Memory Lane.

Jalama Beach
There's simply no better way to experience coastal California. Just south of Lompoc, a winding 14-mile road leads to a rustic campground surrounded by miles of unspoiled coastline. Spend the day walking north or south on deserted beaches, then return to the campground store for a juicy Jalama Burger.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Hotel & Spa
This Palm Desert resort is ideal for kids - and for grown-ups to feel like kids again. Our adjoining rooms overlooked the 2-acre Splashtopia Water Park and its lazy river, water slides and sandy beach. I spent hours in the water splashing with my kids and riding water slides again and again.

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
A 10,000-acre ranch outside Solvang where you can spend the weekend as a pampered cowboy? That's The Alisal. Take a morning trail ride, follow it with golf or a yoga class, then unwind at the pool before a barbecue dinner. Don't bother with your cell phone. There's no service. And you'll be so relaxed you won't care.

The Sanitarium
This seven-room San Luis Obispo inn began as a Victorian-era place of respite for people recovering from illnesses. Today, it is a destination for mental recovery from modern life. Soak in a Moroccan tub, savor a decadent breakfast or sit and contemplate the local art hanging throughout the house.

Ancient Peaks Winery
California history intersects on the Santa Margarita Ranch just north of San Luis Obispo. It was home to Chumash Indians, Spanish missionaries, cowboys... and now an award-winning winery. Tasting is a must. But a tour brings the history and the wine to life.

The Beachcomber
Hidden away in Newport Beach's Crystal Cove State Park, there's no better beachside breakfast destination. Snag a patio table, order a batch of freshly-made beignets and watch the waves roll in. They do lunch and dinner too, but there's something special about breakfast on the sand. Go see for yourself.

Saddlebag Lake
Just east of Yosemite National Park, this lake is a gateway to classic Eastern Sierra scenery - granite peaks, glittering lakes and grassy meadows. Cross the lake on a water taxi and then hike an 8-mile loop through a 20-lake basin. And at 10,000 feet, you might find enough snow for a summertime snowball fight.

Treebones Resort
You can pitch a tent in Big Sur. Or you can book a yurt perched above the Pacific that comes with a queen-size bed and gas fire place. Did I mention the heated pool, the hot tub, the organic garden and Oceanview Sushi Bar? Now you know why it's called "glamping."

Langham Huntington
Indulgent. That's best way to describe this posh Pasadena hotel that excels at pampering guests with timeless luxury. Upgrade to a room on the top two floors and you'll have access to The Langham Club, a private lounge featuring five food and drink presentations throughout the day.

Lake Sabrina
We never caught any fish at this little gem of a lake outside Bishop. But spending time with my dad, Laurel and Drew floating in a motorboat and enjoying the scenery ensured that we reeled in plenty of memories.

That's why we get out of town. To unwind.
To explore. To make memories together as a family. And to inspire you to take your own adventures. So hit the road and see what's out there. You never know where the next decade might take you.

Make the Trip
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Hotel & Spa

www.rancholaspalmas.com

Jalama Beach
www.jalamabeach.com

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
www.alisal.com

The Sanitarium
www.thesanitariumspa.com

Ancient Peaks Winery
www.ancientpeaks.com

The Beachcomber
www.thebeachcombercafe.com

Saddlebag Lake
www.saddlebaglakeresort.com

Treebones Resort
www.treebonesresort.com

Langham Huntington
pasadena.langhamhotels.com

Lake Sabrina
www.lakesabrinaboatlanding.com

Eric has been writing for us "since the beginning," which means that we haven't had to come up with our own vacation ideas for a decade! His schedule is more hectic now; he and wife April have four young children and Eric's now the the vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations at College of the Canyons to boot. But he still manages to take them, and us, out on the town at least once a month. We couldn't be more grateful! You're right, Eric - time does fly when you're having fun!
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