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10 Perfect Weekends Outside of L.A.

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© Courtesy of Grand Del Mar

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San Diego

Why: Only two hours south of L.A., there’s surf, sand and sun coupled with a friendly, small-town feel.

Stay: There isn’t much reason to leave the four-year-old Grand Del Mar (rooms, from $365; 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct.; 858-314-2030; thegranddelmar.com), with its four swimming pools, two outdoor tennis courts, a 21,000-square-foot Renaissance-inspired spa swathed in Carrera marble and glass tiles, and an 18-hole Tom Fazio–designed golf course—as well as 249 rooms with rich brocade upholstery, dark wood furnishings and plenty of gilded accents.

Do: A stunning backdrop to the Grand Del Mar, the 4,100-acre Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (Black Mountain Rd. on Canyonside Park Driveway; sandiego.gov) is a birdlover’s paradise, with snowy egrets, mallard ducks, red-tailed hawks and starlings; it also boasts 37 miles of biking, hiking and horseback riding trails. For dinner in Del Mar, five-month-old Asian restaurant Market (dinner, $55; 3702 Via de la Valle; 858-523-0007; marketdelmar.com) is already a favorite, with chef Carl Schroeder’s inventive dishes like red snapper-and-sesame prawn tempura and almond-crusted sand bass. In La Jolla, the Brockton Villa (dinner, $35; 1235 Coast Blvd.; 858-454-7393; brocktonvilla.com), a charming 19th-century beach cottage that was converted into a restaurant in the early 1990s, overlooks the water and serves crab cakes, citrus-crusted scallops and fish tacos.

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