All "Overnight Escapes" Stories in Southern CA

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    Camping Hendy-eed!

    Just a few hours north of San Francisco, lovely Anderson Valley is throwback wine country. This land of pinot noirs is enjoying a burgeoning reputation for premium wines, with tasting rooms still pouring for free, or as low as $5 per tasting. Who knows how long such prices will…

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    Palomar's Star Power

    Palomar Mountain State Park in northern San Diego is like having a friend in a high place. There are perks to be had! The 6,138-foot namesake mountain offers cooler climates during the hot summer, and a way-up-there campground brings you even closer to the stars—and closer to one…

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    Julian's Star Treatment

    Want the full celestial experience where you can spend the night or just drop in for an experience that’ll have you all starry-eyed? There’s a cozy B&B for that. Nestled under the straggly pines and scrubby oaks of Julian, the 4.5-acre Observer’s Inn is a bed-and-breakfast…

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    Sycamore's Star Parties

    Sunset hikes are beautiful, but they shine naturally brighter when paired with stargazing afterwards. Make it happen in Sycamore Canyon, which hosts a Star Party every other month on the third Friday. The next one is August 21. Nestled between the rush of San Diego’s Interstate…

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    Victoria Lap

    Known as North America’s most English city, Victoria is so much more than high tea and crumpets. This energetic and stylish seaside city on Vancouver Island is home to the globally renowned Butchart Gardens and has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city. The good news is…

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    Whistle While You Hike

    It’s famous for its winter skiing, but here’s a secret: Whistler, BC, might actually be better in summer. Take to the high country and explore Whistler-Blackcomb’s spectacular alpine scenery. With over 30 miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty to choose from, but one stands out…

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    Whistle While You Hike

    It’s famous for its winter skiing, but here’s a secret: Whistler, BC, might actually be better in summer. Take to the high country and explore Whistler-Blackcomb’s spectacular alpine scenery. With over 30 miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty to choose from, but one stands out…

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    Rainforest Hike to Hidden Hot Springs

    Located on the far flung rugged west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Tofino is set on Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with old-growth rainforest, barely touched beaches, and mountains skyrocketing from the sea. If you just have a day here, don’t miss…

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    Victoria Lap

    Known as North America’s most English city, Victoria is so much more than high tea and crumpets. This energetic and stylish seaside city on Vancouver Island is home to the globally renowned Butchart Gardens and has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city. The good news is…

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    Who's Your Caddy?

    Love _Caddyshack? _Channel Bill Murray’s character, Carl Spackler, by doing the next best thing to golfing. Go frolfing! Also known as disc golf, the game has gained popularity over the years. You toss discs into chain-link baskets and move along to the next section of course…

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    Hike Hendy

    We’re lucky to have some remarkable redwood parks in the Bay Area: Muir Woods, Big Basin, Redwood Regional Park. The only challenge? They’re popular! Welcome to Hendy Woods State Park. Hendy isn’t hidden, but it’s rarely crowded, and so quiet at times that all you’ll hear is the…

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    Counting Sheep

    There’s nothing stinky about Sheep Dung. As in Sheep Dung Estates, a 500-acre gem with a collection of secluded, modern cottages spread all across the beautiful rolling landscape overlooking Anderson Valley. It’s the ultimate private escape. Couples should go for “The Oaks,” a…

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    Save Some Green

    It won’t cost a lot of green to sleep at Green Valley Campground. Located halfway between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake, this campground is right where you need to be for a quiet weekend in the mountains. There are 37 sites spread over a few loops, both in sunny fields and…

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    Arrowhead Adjacent

    Sometimes a little forest bathing (aka a healthy dose of the outdoors) is all you need to feel right with the world. Breathe in the mountain air from North Shore Campground, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, three miles from Lake Arrowhead Village and even closer to the…

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    Serrano Serenade

    Marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and ghost stories. Time to gather around the campfire at Serrano Campground. Located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, this spot is hidden in the national forest just a few miles from the city of Big Bear Lake. Some of the 13…

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    Up a Creek

    Want to go on a camping trip minus the cars and RVs? The three first-come, first-served campgrounds along the Upper North Fork Matilija Creek Trail in Los Padres National Forest can be reached only by foot. And as a bonus you’ll be pitching your tent along a creek that’s still…

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    Yurt's So Good

    If your idea of recharging means your smartphone, perhaps it’s time to unplug in a different way. The Ojai Foundation Land Sanctuary in upper Ojai Valley is just 6 miles from town, but its 40 acres of semi-wilderness gets you off the grid, where the only tweeting is the sound of…

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    Down by the River

    Carmel might be one of the best-known enclaves in the Monterey area, but its nearby Carmel River State Beach is much more of a local’s secret—especially the southern end of it. On this short and easy 1.5-mile (round-trip) walk, you’ll be right beside the crashing Pacific until…

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    Real Spring Break

    You’ve hiked Joshua Tree’s high peaks, gone into its desert wilds, and camped under its starry sky. Now it’s time to enjoy a little R&R nearby. And by R&R we mean retro resort and really warm mineral water. Take a dip at the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel. While it might not be a…

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    Take the High Road

    You don’t have to rock climb to reach a brilliant panorama of Joshua Tree. A 3-mile (round-trip) hike up Ryan Mountain takes you to one of the highest peaks in the park. The trail is uphill from the get-go. Begin by following stone steps constructed from nearby rock that lead to…

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