California’s car culture may get a bad rap, but that commitment to two wheelers makes for an easy getaway to dynamic, scenic cities nearby. And with San Diego’s unique location near the border, you can even work in an international excursion. Here, three top day trips from the SoCal city, from an upscale resort town and wine country in the north, to culinary and cultural pursuits in Tijuana. Don’t forget your passport!
This tony Southern California enclave has set the stage for TV shows about the rich and famous (Real Housewives, The O.C.), but in the last few years, Newport Beach has become pretty…cool. Alongside jaw-dropping real estate and Bentley fleets, there now are minimalist cafes, indie boutiques, and Manhattan-trained chefs turning out cuisine on par with big city restaurants. Here, the best sights, tastes, and sips in Newport Beach. By Archana Ram
The Resort at Pelican Hill
The Resort at Pelican Hill, located in the ultra-exclusive Newport Coast ZIP code, has a luxurious Tuscan vibe, well-manicured hills overlooking the Pacific, beautiful villas and bungalows, and Roman aqueduct-style architecture. At 504 acres, it’s huge—so huge that you’ll likely need your car to get to your room. It’s also surrounded by 50,000 acres of protected green spaces. You’ll want to leave plenty of time to relax by The Coliseum Pool, the property’s crown jewel.
Lido House, Autograph Collection
Slated to open in late March 2018, Lido Beach is already a promising, much-anticipated entrant to Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The building once housed Newport Beach’s City Hall, and its central location (near the marina, beach, restaurants, and boutiques) makes it an ideal jumping off point for exploring the area. Like other parts of Newport Beach, the exterior has a nautical, all-American feel, as do the guest rooms, which are all crisply decorated in blues and whites. Be sure to dine at The Mayor’s Table, the property’s elegant and unpretentious restaurant.
Lido Marina Village
In 2016, Lido Marina Village got a major facelift, emerging from disrepair as a posh and Instagrammable shopping complex. You’ll find high-end brands like Clare V., Warby Parker, and Jenni Kayne; beyond clothing and accessories that range from Gucci slides and Marine Layer basics to Eberjey lingerie, there are also Aesop bath products, Warby Parker glasses, and Charlie & Me pet items. There’s a strong lineup of food options as well, including Lido Bottle Works and Zinqué. Oh, and if that weren’t enough cool cred, consider this: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop hosts a pop-up here every holiday season.
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