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10 Perfect Weekends Outside of L.A.

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Sunny Los Angeles will always be an ideal vacation spot for its year-round beach weather, palm-fringed boulevards, inventive restaurants and cultural offerings like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which debuted at the $54 million, Renzo Piano–designed Resnick Pavilion last fall. But sometimes even locals need to get away for a weekend escape, which is easy when you have California as your backyard and everything from a laid-back beach getaway to a food-and-wine weekend to a rugged clifftop retreat is all within driving distance of the city. Head three or four hours north to Paso Robles for wine, cheese and olive oil tastings, and farther up the coast, Big Sur’s exquisite Post Ranch Inn offers dramatic ocean vistas. Just 80 miles north of L.A. is Ojai, a sleepy artists’ colony that’s the perfect place to swing a nine-iron or while away the afternoon poolside. Closer to the city, Pasadena’s Huntington Botanical Gardens features more than 14,000 plant varieties, along with an afternoon tea service in the rose garden. And to the south, in Laguna Beach, spend the weekend exploring hidden coves or gallery hopping.

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