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10 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Finding ideal Christmas gifts for everyone on your list is stressful to say the least, making trips to stores packed with holiday shoppers and practically wiping out your bank account. Year after year, we submit ourselves to th...


Fletcher C. Johnson

D.I.Y. Independence

The grass is always greener when you mow it yourself We’re trading big budgets and production teams for frugality and that good ol’ D.I.Y. ethic— this week, the Weekly goes grassroots. While everyone is out enjoying their...


Holiday in Cambodia

As the rains subside and the sun begins to dry the swollen waist of the mighty Mekong has visibly made her mark on the surrounding terrain, the world around is saturated with mother earth’s pourings, if not outright flooded a...



Rail Blazin’

You can leave your car in park and forget about dropping another mint for a full tank of unleaded. Many of SoCal’s best daytrips can be done without Detroit’s finest. Hop on a Metrolink train, give traffic the bird and…


Los Olivos

Cost: $$$-$$$$$ Why You Must Go: The entire Santa Ynez Valley is fairly breathtaking—driving up the 101 you can stop off before the 246 exit and pick your own blueberries. Further on, past rusted roofs, lavender fields and s...


Hollywood

Cost: $$$$-$$$$$ Why You Must Go: This gorgeous hotel is the perfect place to start your Sunset Strip flashback. Its 82-year-old walls have seen Led Zeppelin ride motorcycles through the lobby, Jim Morrison hurt himself playi...



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Fawnskin

Cost: $$$-$$$$ Why You Must Go: Looking for a quiet retreat with your lovely? The Inn at Fawnskin is on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, away from the tourist traffic and McDonald’s drive-thru full of daytrippers. Fawnskin ...


Encinitas

Cost: $$-$$$ Why You Must Go: With so much to do and see in San Diego, it’s easy for weekend visitors to overlook the seaside charms of unassuming Encinitas. And of all the many charms Encinitas has to offer, one…


Dana Point

Cost: $$$$$ Why You Must Go: The St. Regis at Monarch Beach is alright, if by “alright” you mean absolutely awesome. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth the splurge for the private beach access in Dana&he...



Jaco, Costa Rica

Cost: $$$ Why You Must Go:  Pronounced hock-o; this is paradise found. Whether you go for the clean fresh air, clear warm waters, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving, to hang with the monkeys, or merely just to lie under th...


Catalina Island

Cost: $$ Why You Must Go: Located only 20 miles off the coast of Long Beach—or about an hour away in boat-time via the Catalina Express—the island’s main community of Avalon is a blissful, quaint town that offers peace ...


Calico Ghost Town

Cost: $ Why You Must Go:  As the only living ghost town in California, Calico has played host to miners and tourists since 1881. Originally known for its silver streaks of riches, Calico is an inexpensive place to camp and&h...



Buellton

Cost: $-$$ Why You Must Go: Referred to as the “Gateway to Wine Country,” Buellton is a quiet little town on the western edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. While it’s not nearly as heavy on atmosphere as its neighbors,…


Temecula

Cost: $$ Why You Must Go: Tucked away amid the green rolling hills, you’ll feel as if you have been transported to a distant resort with hardly a quiver from your gas gauge. A beautifully landscaped 27-hole championship gol...


Santa Ynez

Cost: $$$-$$$$$ Why You Must Go: On the eastern rim of the Santa Ynez Valley lies the region’s namesake—an antiquated western town situated on a historic stagecoach route just north of the pristine Cachuma Lake. If stayin...



Santa Barbara

Cost: $ Why You Should Go: The Old Yacht Club Inn, located in the East Beach portion of the city, is perfectly situated for those seeking a relaxing getaway that’s steps away from the shoreline and minutes from the downtown...


San Fransisco

Cost: $$ Why You Must Go: Do you regularly TiVo I Love the ‘70s? If so, the Hotel Del Sol is the place to stay for your next San Francisco treat. Located in the picturesque Marina District, this former motor…


San Diego

Cost: $$$ Why You Must Go: While this seaside city’s allures are many—fabulous climate, the Zoo, the beaches—the Gaslamp Quarter in the downtown area certainly needs to get its props. And if you’re gonna pay a visit t...



Palm Springs

Cost: $$ Why You Must Go: A great way to roll back the decades and visit the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. A quaint boutique stay, this cozy hotel is a brief five-minute walk from the city’s cultural mainline, Palm…


Ojai

Cost: $$-$$$ Why You Must Go: Located just 15 miles from the ocean, in a tranquil valley ringed in by mountains and oak groves, Ojai is small town Mayberry with a bite of sophistication. Ojai boasts the world’s largest outd...


Oatman, Arizona

Cost:$ Why You Must Go:  A town with more asses than people (200 to 150) is reason enough.  A lonely cowboy-western style blip that plays host to a large gaggle of local burros is the only one of its kind…



Our Annual Travel Issue

THE VALUE OF VACATION At a time when the economy is taking a Manny Pacquiao-style beating and gas prices and unemployment rates are running a neck and neck horse race, you might be tempted to jump on the “staycation&rdquo...


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Laos

Are you looking for a vacation spot that combines the friendliest people in the world with inexpensive accommodations, fantastic cuisine and a beautiful landscape full of outdoor activities? Welcome to Laos. Pronounced Lao (dro...


Visiting the Ancient City of Damascus

Syria is one of the cradles of civilization and its capital, Damascus, represents one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.   When most people in Western Civilization think of Syria, it’s often associate...



Okavenga Delta, Botswana

It’s roughly the size of Texas and situated directly north of South Africa, to the east of Namibia, right in the lower shelf of Africa—it’s Botswana. This is a country with a rich past and an even brighter future, with&he...


Solvang, CA

Why You Must Go: Who said you had to go to Europe to get good Scandinavian? Nestled northwest of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, just miles from the shores of beautiful Lake Cachuma, sits a piece of Holland…


Cabazon, Morongo Spa and Resort

Why You Must Go: A towering 300 rooms and icon of the I-10 Palm Springs corridor Morongo has grown from its humble roots of a tented bingo hall in the ’80s to a monstrosity in the desert. On the 17th…



Santa Monica Beach, the Georgian Hotel

Why You Must Go: Built in 1933, the Georgian is perhaps the best way to discover the glory of post-war Santa Monica without bothering with the time and expense of building a time machine. The owners spent $2 million bucks…