Strawberry On Top: The mile-high town of Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains is a perfect place to unwind thanks to the Strawberry Creek Inn. Cozy up to their wood-burning fireplace in the reading room, dream easy in one of their nine rooms (and one cottage), and wake up to gourmet organic breakfasts like puffed pancakes with fresh fruit and toasted almonds.
Grape Connections: Santa Barbara’s best-known vineyards are in the Santa Ynez Valley, but the tasting action—and some of the best vinification—happens on the urban side of the vine thanks to an imaginative group of winemakers. The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail features a dozen wineries spread across downtown, with everything from less-traveled tasting rooms to relaxing wine bars with live music.
Super Suds: Soak yourself silly in the warm, mineralized waters of Sycamore Springs, just 10 minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo (SLO). Voted one of the top mineral springs resorts in the world, Sycamore’s 17 private, outdoor tubs are scattered on a forested hillside and have names like Shangrila, Twilight, and Tubby. If you can, snag a soak in Paradise; it’s the highest on the hill and the most secluded.
Dog Days of Winter: If your most beloved is a dog (and we mean the four-legged furry kind), lose the leash and cut to the chase at Fiesta Island. This 485-acre stretch inside San Diego’s Mission Bay lets the canine crowd run free. Grab a fire pit on the west side of the island where there’s plenty of shoreline for roaming.