As summer approaches the warmer months bring afternoon grilling and chilled Prosecco into my backyard. The evenings always end up with discussions about possible getaways and the cost of getting a family of four to an exotic destination. The truth is I always crave a vacation but there is something about kids in the backyard, the warm temperatures outside and my constant need to eat that tempts me to get on an airplane and change the scenery for awhile.
While budget constraints might alter your ability to be spontaneous, it does not always have to be a major production when you pack the family into a car and head for a change of venue.
Here are a few spots that give you an alternative to the expensive vacations and are easy to get to from Los Angeles:
- Palm Springs – I understand it’s hot, but don’t worry about that because you’ll be in a pool all day and the cost of a room is so low that you’ll cool off just thinking about how much money you are not paying. Rancho Las Palmas – Float around in their lazy river and have a water fight with your kids at Splashtopia and you’ll stay cool in this Rancho Mirage Desert getaway. La Quinta – If you need a private casita and an individual pool you’ll find it at La Quinta Resort and Spa . They offer a kids camp and very exquisite spa facilities just in case you find the time to get a little pampering for yourself.
- Yosemite – One of the most popular National Parks in the country is an easy 5 hour drive from Los Angeles but it is really another world. Stay in the Valley and appreciate one of the most beautiful places in the world. I understand you don’t have a reservation yet, but check with Curry Village reservations and you will always find a tent cabin somewhere in the valley. Let me warn you that weekends are harder but if you call the reservations number they can always direct you to a couple of days that have been overlooked.
- Las Vegas – While the city is no longer catering to families there are still plenty of opportunities to have fun with the family and save money. From fun attractions off the strip to indoor them parks to wave pools and lazy rivers the entire family is sure to have fun in Las Vegas.
- Mammoth Lakes – Right up the 395, Mammoth Lakes is a much better choice when looking for a mountain getaway than Big Bear. It is a longer drive but the sights and accommodation choices are far better. Spend time at any of a number of lakes or take a gondola to the top of the mountain for views of the Sierras and dormant volcanoes in the valley. Mammoth Lakes is not just a winter destination and you’ll be surprised by just how much you can do there.
- Catalina Island – “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is waiting…” Don’t know the song? Just a short boat trip from Long Beach, San Pedro or Marina Del Rey and you are in a different Los Angeles. If you feel so inclined, camp at Two Harbors or reserve a room in Avalon and get a dose of our very own Pacific Riviera on Catalina Island.
So, grab a map, a little patience and some good driving music and plan a quick road trip.