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California has an abundance of weekend getaway spots, from rustic mountains, to sun-baked deserts, quaint villages, picturesque harbors and secluded beaches.


We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots, including a few treasures so special it was hard not to keep them all to ourselves. Whether you stay in a tree house, a cave, a yacht, a lighthouse, lookout station, a real working farm or ranch, at a winery, a historic hotel or a quaint B & B—there is something for everyone.



Big Bear
Big Bear is nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains and is defined by its rustic traditions, rich history, and pristine views. Host to two of Southern California's largest ski resorts, Big Bear provides four seasons of abundant recreational opportunities. Nearby Activities: trout fishing, camping, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and off road excursions. Big Bear Activities Guide

Big Bear Cabin – Classic log cabin
Big Bear Frontier – Over 30 unique cabins
Big Bear Lodge - The oldest operating lodge in Big Bear
Castlewood Cottages - Themed fantasy cabins
Cozy Hollow Lodge - Cozy cabins at affordable rates
Eagles Nest Lodge – Ponderosa-style log cabin
Pine Knot Guest Ranch - Cabins nestled in a quiet, wooded area

Located in Inyo County off Hwy 395, Bishop is a small western town with easy access to beautiful mountain lakes, streams, museums and popular sites like the Bristle Cone Forest. Nearby Activities: Backpacking, climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, world-class fly-fishing, horseback riding, and hunting.

Bishop Creek Resorts - Rustic, mountain cabins that situate you in the middle of the beautiful mountain scenery.
Rock Creek Lakes Resort –Secluded mountain cabins
Rock Creek Lodge – In winter, guests are met by a snowmobile shuttle or may ski to reach rustic, remote cabins, tucked deep into a scenic Eastern Sierra canyon. In summer Rock Creek Lodge presents a wonderful base camp for fly fishing, hiking and backpacking.

Death Valley
Located in southeastern California and in Nevada, between the Amargosa Desert in Nevada and the Inyo National Forest in California. California Highway 190 transects the park from east to west. It is the hottest and lowest place in North America.

Nearby Activities: Sightseeing (spectacular wildflower displays, snow covered peaks, beautiful sand dunes, ghost towns, Scotty’s Castle, abandoned mines and geologic formations), hiking, camping and backpacking. Death Valley Driving Loop Trip

Furnace Creek Resort - situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park
Panamint Springs Resort - small western-style resort located in the beautiful Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park.
Stovepipe Wells - In-park lodging for Death Valley National Park

Idyllwild is located an hour and a half from Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs in the San Jacinto Mountains. It is one of the few places where Southern Californians can catch the seasons. There is a wide selection of lodging accommodations from elegant to rustic. Nearby Activities: Camping, fishing, hiking mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing and rock climbing (at nearby Taquitz or Lily Rock. Things to do. More things to do.

Alderwood Cabins - 1920’s cabins nestled among pine and alder trees.
Idyllwild Treehouse Retreat - Secluded rustic cabin finished in a French Country style.
Mile High Country Inn - Rustic Mountain Cabins
Quiet Creek Inn - Fine accommodations at affordable prices
Silver Pines Lodge - Creekside lodge and cabins. Can accommodate large groups.
Strawberry Creek Inn - Charming, comfortable rooms and rustic cottages set among tranquil gardens and tall pines.
Tahquitz Rock Lodge - Wilderness getaway with all the comforts of home
White Horse Cabin - Classic mountain A-frame with modern amenities and accommodations for horses.
Woodland Park Manor - Cottages with kitchens and fireplace.

Julian is an historic gold mining town located approximately an hour east of San Diego. It is unique in that it has four seasons. Julian is famous for its fall apple harvest and superb apple pie. One can also enjoy cozy country lodgings, hiking and biking amid shady oaks and pines, shopping, and visits to wineries and the nearby Wolf Center. Top 30 things to do in Julian

Julian Gold Rush Hotel B& B - the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California, and Julian's only designated landmark. It has 13 Vicorian-era rooms, a patio cottage and a honeymoon house all decorated with antique furniture and private baths.
Angels Landing - Country inn and resort on 53 secluded acres.
Big Cat Cabin - Craftsman-style cabins designed by San Diego Architect Richard Requa
Black Oak Cabin—Secluded cabin with B & B amenities
Eagle’s Nest Bed & Breakfast –Victorian B & B with great amenities and a high level of personalized service and care.
Mountain High Bed & Breakfast - 3 acres of serenity on natural park-like grounds
Pine Haven Cabin - Pet-friendly cabin on 1.25 acres.
Villa de Valor - Charming and elegant, each of the three private suites in this formal Victorian - style historical home (circa 1898) offer fireplaces, parlors, antiques, and private bathrooms.

Lake Arrowhead
Lake Arrowhead, part of the San Bernardino National Forest, is 90 miles east from Los Angeles. Because of its central location in Southern California, day trips as well as overnight stays are easily accessible.

Nearby Activities: Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, boating and fishing.

Brackenfern Manor - Historic Country Inn
Broken Arrow Bed & Breakfast - A spacious home decorated with Native American, western and mountain art, nestled among large pines and oaks.
Fleur de Lac - Restored 1915 French Chateau
Pinerose Cabins - Lake Arrowhead’s only cabin resort

Lake Tahoe
From the clear cobalt-blue waters of the natural lakes, to the remarkable enchantment of the mountains, the incomparable beauty of the Lake Tahoe area is unforgettable. Located on the border between California and Nevada, near Carson City, it is a premier destination for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. For more destination info on the Tahoe area, click here.
Nearby Activities: Backpacking hiking, camping, mountain biking and cross-country skiing.

Black Bear Inn –This luxurious, yet rustic inn feels like one of the great old lodges of the Adirondacks, with rough-hewn timber beams, plank floors, knotty-pine cathedral ceilings, and lot’s of antiques and attention to detail.
Cheney House - Lakefront Guest House built by Italian stone mason, Umberto Sprellio in the 1920's. Eighteen-inch thick stone walls, Gothic Arches and massive stone fireplace that reach to the top of the cathedral ceiling give the interior an old European flavor.
Cottage Inn - Studios, cottages and suites decorated with "Old Tahoe" style furnishings. Steps away from one of the finest private beaches on Lake Tahoe
Fireside Lodge - Log cabin-style lodge featuring unique, Tahoe-themed suites and South Lake Tahoe cabins.
Sorenson’s Resort - Choose from cozy bed-and-breakfast cottages to fully outfitted log cabins, situated in an incomparably scenic alpine setting ringed by aspens and criss-crossed by trout-filled rivers.
Shore House B & B - Nine lakefront guest rooms, each with its own special features and charm, decorated with knotty pine, custom-built log furniture, Scandia Down comforters and featherbeds.

Located halfway between Bishop and Lee Vining (the turnoff to Yosemite Valley), the town of Mammoth Lakes is a lively tourist Mecca of only four square miles, situated at the foot of Mammoth Mountain (a premier ski resort), and Mammoth Lakes (a series of mountain lakes that offer great boating, fishing, and other water activities).

Nearby Activities: Backpacking, hiking, boating, fishing, climbing, skiing, ice-skating, mountain biking, horseback riding, and many other summer and winter outdoor sports.

Crystal Crag Lodge - Rustic cabins nestled alongside beautiful Lake Mary
Hotcreek Flyfishing Ranch - Nine housekeeping cabins just steps away from a world class trout fishing stream. Open the last Saturday in April to November 15th.
Mammoth Mountain Chalets - A-frame chalets
McGee Creek Lodge - Eight lodge-style rooms. Built in 1929, McGee Creek was the original lodge for the first ski slope in the Mammoth Lakes area.
Tamarack Lodge Resort - The inn and cottages are a bit distant from the ski trails but a favorite of longtime visitors. It's a good jumping-off point for those who enjoy cross-country skiing. Lodgings range from modern to rustic
Wildyrie Resort - Charming mountain cottages located on Lake Mamie
Woods Lodge Cabins - Rustic cabins located on Lake George

Other California Inns & Lodges

Big Sur
Ripplewood Resort
Bigsur Retreat
Treebones Resort
Postranch Inn

Rankin Ranch

Cottontail Creek Ranch

Blue Heron Farm

Joshua Tree
Rimrock Ranch Cabins

Laguna Beach
Crystal Cove Beach Cottages

La Jolla
The Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla
Redwood Hollow Guest Cottages

Long Beach
Dockside Boat and Bed

Paso Robles
Carriage Vineyards B & B
Hollyhock Farm

Point Reyes
Old Point Reyes Schoolhouse
Point Reyes Seashore Lodge

The Tree House

Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch


East Brother Light Station

San Diego
Heritage Park Inn
San Diego Yacht & Breakfast

Santa Rosa

Safariwest Cabins
Sierra Club Southern California Lodges

San Luis Obispo
Madonna Inn

San Miguel
Work Ranch Farm Stay

Sequoia National Forest
Montecito Lake Resort

Sequoia National Park
Bearpaw High Sierra Camp

Alisal Guest Ranch

Sea Ranch Lodge

The Inn at Churon Winery

Carriage Vineyards


Lost Trail Lodge

Slide Mountain Ranch

Valley Center
Little Creek Acres Farm

Rancho Temescal

The Ahwahnee

Far and Away...

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Jules Undersea Lodge

Rancho La Puerta
Pepes Hideaway

Mt. Ranier 
Cedar Creek Treehouse

New Mexico 
Kokopelli’s Cave

New York
Historic Lighthouse

Ice Hotel


There's no question: over packing tops the list of biggest travel mistakes.
Make a list of things you can't travel (comfortably) without - not stuff you might want to take. Don’t succumb to thoughts of, “I might need this.” With each trip, eliminate items from the list that are unnecessary for your specific trip.

Budget Travel
One of the best ways to enjoy a getaway for less is to go off-season.

Car Rentals

Beware of "Free" Upgrades

Whether it's lounging in a hammock, tooling around town or going to dinner, active lifestyle clothing by Horny Toad has just the right relaxed, broken-in feeling. More respectable than t-shirt and jeans, but not too formal. Perfect.

Remember, don’t overpack! Bring only one bag - aka gear bag, duffle, man purse, satchel - such as Timbuk2’s Messenger Bag or Cargo tote - constructed of sturdy ballistic nylon and a waterproof vinyl interior for all-weather use.

Socks are not just socks. Once you’ve tried a pair of extraordinarily comfortable Smartwool socks, you’ll never want to wear any other brand again.

When you can’t go barefoot, we recommend Keen’s. Way comfortable shoes with great performance features such as toe protection, moisture-wicking lining, and all-day comfort.



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Hiking, backpacking, and other wilderness activities, are potentially dangerous and unpredictable. Adventure 16 assumes no liability for injuries associated with the use of information provided on this site. The trails, activities and areas described on this site are to be used for informational purposes only and should not be your sole source of guidance. Always thoroughly research any outdoor area you plan to visit using various resources - including contacting local ranger stations - to obtain the most up to date information for your destination. Contact your physician if you are unsure about your health or physical abilities.

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Juli - 35 Rep in this Positive (Adventure 16) • 1.5k Total
Wow. Fabulous list!!
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Keep close to Nature's heart and break clear away
Climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods
Wash your spirit clean
John Muir