Top 5 California Coastal Getaways

the California Coastline

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fun in the sun at one of California’s many beaches. The sunshine state’s coastline offers a diverse array of experiences – from the north’s mountains thrusting straight up from the sea to the pristine beaches of San Diego. Here is a roundup of the top 5 spots  to soak up the California scenery.

 

 

 

Casa Del Mar

Santa Monica
Casa Del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
310/581-5533

Santa Monica is a vibrant beachfront community with an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants.  From the lively shopping on the Third Street Promenade to the vintage carousel on the pier, Santa Monica has something for everyone.

Perched on the Santa Monica shoreline, the stately brick and sandstone Renaissance revival-style seven-story Casa Del Mar seaside resort is a perfect local beach getaway.  The 129

rooms feature ocean views, breezy butter-yellow walls, hand-painted armoires, wooden Venetian blinds and opulent Italian marble bathrooms.  Head to the pool for an outdoor massage before

enjoying unobstructed ocean views and delicious seafood and sushi at the resort’s Catch restaurant.

Lodge at Torrey Pines
Lodge at Torrey Pines

La Jolla

Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 N. Torrey Pines Road
858/453-4420

Atop a rocky peninsula 10 miles north of San Diego rests the idyllic community of La Jolla, filled with drop-dead views of the surf, coves, hills and lagoons.

You could easily spend your entire visit at the luxurious Lodge at Torrey Pines.  The Craftsman architectural style popularized in early 20th century California inspired this 171 room retreat which sits perched just above the 18th green of Torrey Pines Golf Course and the rugged coastline of Torrey Pines State Reserve.

The Lodge resembles a large wealthy country house brimming with clinker-brick masonry, dark rich wood accents, art glass windows and doors and Stickley furniture.  If money is no object, book one of the Palisades rooms overlooking the golf course and the sea where you can snuggle by the cozy fireplace amidst Tiffany-style lamps, period wallpaper, oil-rubbed fixtures, leather chaise and easy chairs and lush natural surroundings.

Carmel

L’Auberge
Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue
831/624-8578

L'Auberge Carmel

This seaside village on the Monterey Peninsula houses storybook cottages, pines and some of Cailfornia’s most beautiful beaches.  In the heart of Carmel, four blocks from the beach lies the 20 room intimate L’Auberge Resort.  Modeled after a building in Prague, guestrooms contain luxe furnishings, antique travertine tiles and stand alone tubs.  The 12 table restaurant offers an elaborate tasting menu and a 4,500 bottle wine cellar.

 

Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Avenue
619/435-6611

For well over a century, local families have headed over the bridge from San Diego to enjoy beaches in the small tree-lined seaside community of Coronado.  The peninsula houses 18 miles of white sand beaches which literally glimmer under bright sunlight due to its high mica content.  Coronado is also home to beautiful Victorian houses, stucco bungalows and Spanish-style haciendas surrounded by pine, eucalyptus and orange trees.

The single most recognizable image of San Diego is the monumental Hotel Del Coronado.  Crowned with red-shingled turrets, cupolas, gables and domes, Hotel Del Coronado is the largest beach resort on the North American Pacific Coast.  The chandelier-lit richly decorated hallways, massive spaces filled with pictures of celebrities and days gone by, intricate woodwork, expansive and manicured grounds and old-fashioned birdcage elevator add to its charm. Each room in the main building is uniquely decorated with Victorian period decor. .  Open the balcony doors and enjoy the mesmerizing view across the lawn to the powered-sugar beach before letting the surf serenade you to sleep.

 

San Francisco

Hotel Nikko lobby

Hotel Nikko
222 Mason Street
415/394-1111

Each year, hundreds of visitors come to San Francisco and fall in love with its unbelievable vistas, graceful architecture, cuisine-defining restaurants and bountiful activities.   At the heart of “the city” as locals call it, are its diverse neighborhoods – many of which offer scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

This modern Japanese-style hotel offers cool comfort and tranquil luxury just a few blocks from Union Square.  Design highlights include the white marble lobby and chic modern rooms with emperor-sized beds and fantastic floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views.  Guests are welcome to use the hotel’s glass enclosed rooftop lap pool and fitness center.  Foodies can savor sushi and seafood dishes at the hotel’s Anzu restaurant.

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About the author: Shaena Engle

Shaena Engle is a food and travel writer based in Los Angeles. She is a freelance writer for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena magazine, M Lifestyle and PokerPro magazine. Additionally, she is a contributing writer for the websites AOL.com, Sherman'sTravel.com, www.lowfares.com and www.hotelhostes.com, providing reviews of hotels, restaurants, spas and city guides. She has authored three books, The Best Places to Kiss in Southern California (a romantic travel guide), Silver Linings: Triumphs of The Chronically Ill and Physically Challenged, and The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Las Vegas. She is also creator of www.thedivinedish.com, a food and travel website. Her iphone application, The Best Places to Kiss in LA, features romantic places and restaurants in LA. She is currently researching and writing The Best Places to Kiss in Las Vegas, Food Lovers Guide to Las Vegas and The Best Places to Kiss in Palm Springs iphone applications. Shaena is also an amateur magician and often writes on gambling, poker and magical happenings.

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