From Pasadena to Paso Robles, some of our favorite weekend escapes just a drive away from L.A.
Peter Malinowski / Four Seasons Hotels
With its relaxed, easy, breezy vibe, it’s no wonder that this beach town 95 miles north of L.A. is known as the American Riviera. Even after 84 years, the Four Seasons Resort Biltmore retains its reputation as Santa Barbara’s grande dame (rooms, from $445; 1260 Channel Dr.; 805-969-2261; fourseasons.com). Located on 20 acres of manicured tropical gardens, the stately, 207-room property has red-tile roofs and ivory adobe archways galore. A $300 million renovation added a 10,000-square-foot spa with locally inspired treatments, like a lavender cornmeal scrub and an avocado oil body wrap. For something a little cozier, there’s the 97-room Canary Hotel (rooms, from $275; 31 W. Carrillo; 805-884-0300; canarysantabarbara.com), which opened downtown in 2008 and has won many admirers for its vibrant, Moroccan-inspired rooms filled with colorful ikat textiles and four-poster beds. On weekends, the hotel’s restaurant-with-a-rooftop, Finch & Fork, serves a delicious brunch with classics such as huevos rancheros and French toast.
For a dose of culture, there’s Telios Design House, which exhibits everything from Impressionist-like landscapes to documentary photography (131 E. Anapamu St.; 805-966-4005; teliosdesignhouse.com). Or take advantage of the surrounding wine country with visits to Kunin Wines (28 Anacapa St.; 805-963-9633; kuninwines.com), where Rhône-style bottles are the highlight, and Municipal Winemakers (28 Anacapa St.; 805-931-6864; municipalwinemakers.com), owned by Dave Potter, who sources grapes from half a dozen Santa Barbara County vineyards to make his Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and sparkling Shiraz. For dinner, visit the classic, almost two decade–old Bouchon for French fare such as maple-glazed duck breast with port-thyme demiglace (9 W. Victoria St.; 805-730-1160; bouchonsantabarbara.com).