Every year, the first Monday of September is set aside as a tribute to celebrate the labor movement and all that American workers contribute to the nation…and we call that celebration Labor Day. And how do we celebrate? Well naturally, the best way to pay tribute to a long year of work and drudgery is to take a fabulous extended weekend getaway!
And if you’re in California—you can pack a heck of a lot of fun in one three day weekend. From a pamper-filled holiday in Ojai to a good old-fashioned camp-out in Tahoe, our state definitely has options. So here are three stellar ideas for you to consider as the holiday approaches… have fun!
1. RESORT SPAS
All work and no massage makes for a cranky Californian. Lucky for you, Cali is filled with some of the best resort-spas in the nation. Whether you’re in Southern, Northern or on the Central Coast, there is a premier resort-spa waiting for you this Labor Day weekend.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Set in a picturesque valley just south of Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful towns in California—charming Ojai. And within the town city limits, surrounded by rolling hills and mountainsides, is the fabulous Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Aside from the premier spa services, visitors can also enjoy a world-class 18-hole golf course, wellness classes, sparkling pools and several first-rate restaurants (or in-room dining for those who prefer an evening of tranquil seclusion). Bonus Info: Ojai Valley Inn is in the top 10 of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 20 Resorts in Southern California.
Post Ranch Inn
47900 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
You may come for the weekend but you’ll surely want to stay…well, forever! Post Ranch Inn is 100% paradise, which sounds like a pretty great way to spend Labor Day weekend.
First of all, you’ll be in Big Sur—so obviously the setting of this grand resort is awe-inspiring. Add on the Sierra Mar restaurant (Wine Spectator awarded this establishment top honors with their 2012 Grand Award), gorgeous accommodations (three-floor “Butterfly Rooms,” anyone?) and fabulous spa services (highlights include: The Big Sur Jade Stone Therapy, Coconut Paradise Facial and the signature Post Ranch Massage) and you have the perfect long-weekend getaway. Lucky Northern Californians! Bonus Info: Post Ranch earned a spot on the Condé Nast Platinum Circle and Gold List for January 2013.
Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
2727 Shell Beach Road
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
For those looking for a family-friendly Labor Day spa weekend (including furry family members!), Dolphin Bay in beautiful Pismo Beach is the place to visit. While the grown ups are spending their Labor Day Weekend Saturday being massaged, polished and tanned at the lovely Spa at Dolphin Bay (which also offers yoga sessions), the kids can hang out at the Kid’s Club, complete with arts and crafts, games, a treasure hunt and a visit to the tide pools. Lunch and snacks are included in the $55 charge (money well-spent). After a well-earned nap, the whole family can wrap up their day at Lido, the resort’s signature restaurant. Bonus: If Fido and Trixie come along for the weekend, they’ll be treated to their own beds, waters bowls and special treats.
2. CAMP OUTS
If being a part of nature is your idea of a Labor Day treat, you’re in the right state. Because California has some of the most breathtaking vistas around—and yes, you can camp right out in the middle of many of them. So pack your sleeping bags, cooler, portable grill and a couple of bottles of wine and celebrate Labor Day under the stars.
San Bernardino National Forest
The Serrano Campground by Big Bear Lake is a beautiful spot for Labor Day family camp outings. Hiking and mountain bike trails are all accessible to the campgrounds and the lake is less than a mile away, which means boating canoeing, fishing and swimming are all nearby. The site has all the modern amenities you could hope for, including flush toilets, drinking water, showers, firewood vendors and even electric hookups (for the technically-addicted).
Location: On North Shore Lane—Northside of Big Bear Lake/two miles east of Fawnskin.
D.L. Bliss State Park
South Lake Tahoe
No matter which site you choose as your camp out headquarters at D.L. Bliss S.P., you’re going to be awestruck. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the site gives easy access to great hiking trails, a number of convenient, modern amenities (showers, toilets, electrical outlets) and one of the finest beaches in the region.
Location: 17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89—two miles north of Emerald Bay.
North Beach Campground
Pismo State Beach
Pismo Beach’s North Beach Campground is a favorite for those loving the low-maintenance camping experience. The grassy-field sites here make setting up camp an incredibly easy experience and people rave about the 24-hour security and cleanliness of both the grounds and the amenities. There are great opportunities for hiking here, and—with the beach just yards away—there’s also swimming, “surf fishing” and clam digging.
Location: Two miles south of the town of Pismo Beach, just off Highway 1.
3. BED & BREAKFASTS
Unlike most hotels, Bed and Breakfasts hold a special charm for most. There is just something so captivating about these homes-away-from-home. You feel pampered and comfortable—and more than anything else—welcomed. At least when the place is run right. In California, we’re blessed with quite a few of the best B&Bs in the nation…and one of them just may give you the best Labor Day getaway ever.
The Simpson House Inn
121 E. Arrellaga Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Simpson House Inn is not your everyday B&B. In fact, while it falls under the B&B category, it calls itself a “boutique hotel.” Whatever the title, there’s no denying that this former Victorian estate is one of the most distinguished places you’ll find to hang your hat for a weekend. The Inn is surrounded by an acre of gorgeous English Gardens and accommodations range from a lovely guest room, a cottage or carriage house. In true bed and breakfast fashion, guests are treated to a chef-prepared gourmet breakfast, evening wine tasting and a hors d’oeuvres buffet.
Bonus Info: The Inn has earned AAA’s prestigious Five Diamond rating.
1727 Main Street
Napa, CA. 94559
The Hennessey House Inn is an amazing blend of vintage charm and modern conveniences. Set just minutes from the region’s renowned wineries, this bed and breakfast is one of the gems of Napa. The 124-year-old structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers an array of beautifully appointed guest rooms, all equipped with free high-speed Internet. Guests will enjoy a decadent gourmet breakfast with goodies like Blueberry-Stuffed French Toast or Eggs Florentine and can spend the holiday weekend unwinding in the sauna, exploring historic downtown Napa’s restaurants, galleries and shops and sipping some of the region’s wine under the garden trellis.
Bonus Info: Gayot recommended Hennessey House as a Top 10 Napa/Sonoma Bed and Breakfast in 2012.
255 Ocean View Boulevard
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
If you look on Yelp, Trip Advisor or just about any other review website, you’re going to notice one thing next to the words “Martine Inn”—5 stars. This historic bed and breakfast is steps from the ocean, with a rose-filled courtyard, beautiful soundproofed rooms and a gourmet, chef-prepared breakfast. Just a short walk away, guests will find the famous Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row, as well as opportunities for golf, hiking, horseback riding and wine tasting. Within the B&B itself, there’s an ocean-view sitting room, an old-time reproducing piano, a library, a fully stocked game room and—in the evenings—a complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres gathering.
Bonus Info: You can buy tickets to the Monterrey Aquarium right in the Martine Inn office.
If you’re in the market for a new home, these areas have some gorgeous properties available through CaliforniaMoves.com. Check out a few of the highlights:
8183 Lone Palm Dr.
Cambria, CA 93428
2225 Featherhill Rd
Montecito, CA 93108
What are your Labor Day weekend plans? Share your favorite destinations in the comments below!