Three Great Socially Distanced Getaways from L.A.

by Scott Wagner

Where to go, eat, and stay just a few hours (or less) from la la land

It’s time for the second in our now ongoing series on socially distanced getaways. A few months ago, we explored socially distanced getaways from New York City. This month, we venture to the opposite coast and explore three escapes for anyone needing a break from Los Angeles.

Pack up, mask up and get away from the city in these destinations, sure to bring some relaxation and sanity back to your life. 

The Ultimate Staycation 

Where to Stay

For the better part of 100 years, the Chateau Marmont has served as a celebrity hideaway and stylish retreat for those in the know. Located high above Sunset Boulevard, it’s the place to go for break from L.A. without leaving L.A. And though its castle-like exterior is instantly recognizable, the overall vibe of the interiors and grounds are tastefully understated. Book a bungalow for total seclusion or check in to a Deco style room with a fully functioning kitchenette for full on self-sufficient seclusion. Just don’t dare take any pictures—this is not the place where people come to be seen. 

Where to Grab Dinner 

Arrange a pickup or delivery from David Chang’s famed eatery Majordomo. Dishes with East-Asian influence—Korean pancakes, marinated black cod, broken tofu with trout roe—serve as luxurious departures from food scene trends. Take your to-go box back to your room, set a full table for one, and enjoy without distraction. 

What to Do at a Distance 

If you’re staying at the Chateau Marmont, you probably won’t want to leave. Veg out in your room for two days and reemerge feeling totally refreshed.  Just don’t forget to take a bottle of great bourbon.

Hike Your Way to Health in Santa Barbara 

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Where to Stay 

Beautiful rooms and 22 acres of manicured grounds make the The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara an ideal weekend retreat. Views of the Pacific are some of the best in the area, which you can enjoy from the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club (a private club right next door to which guests have access). Partake and enjoy a bourbon cocktail while you soak it all in. Sadly, the hotel is temporarily closed, but that’s just fine—this is the kind of luxury you’ll most likely need some time to save up for. Plan for it now and make it your first trip once everything opens up. 

Where to Grab Dinner

Pick up a pizza from Bettina at the Montecito Country Mart and eat it somewhere outside with ocean views. The pies are naturally leavened and Neapolitan in style, lending them the kind of texture and taste that’s nothing short of the real deal. Vegan? In need of gluten free? Bettina’s got you covered. Go for something topped with chanterelles or Kabocha squash and thank us later. 

What to Do at a Distance 

Nothing gets the mind in check like a socially distanced hike and Santa Barbara has plenty of trails to choose from. Catch the sun as it rises over the Pacific on the Cold Springs Trailhead or ground yourself with the sounds of falling water at nearby Nojoqui falls. More than Hollywood, it’s this kind of natural beauty that speaks to what California is all about.  (Oh, and take a picture of your bottle while there to share the view with us!)

Palm Springs 

Where to Stay

Originally built in the 1950’s by renowned mid-century architect William F. Cody, L’Horizon Resort and Spa is a quintessential Palm Springs escape. Brought to life in its current state by designer Steve Hermann, it’s a boutique property that aces all the details. Twenty-five private bungalows allow for plenty of room between you and anyone else staying there, making it one of the more tranquil choices of property in the area. Beds dressed in Frette linens and showers stocked with all things Le Labo make L’Horizon a sophisticated compound that’s hard to leave. 

Where to Grab Dinner 

Make a dinner out of appetizers with a to-go order from Truss and Twine. And if you packed your own bourbon, even better—you can make a cocktail (just the way you like it) to go along with them from the comfort of your patio at L’Horizon. You can’t go wrong with whatever you choose from the desert-inspired dishes at this local hotspot, but we’re drawn to the uni devilled eggs, wagyu beef tartare, and a side of pretzel sticks. 

What to Do at a Distance 

Take yourself on a self-guided architecture tour and see some of the finest midcentury homes ever built. Sure, you could focus on the spots people sit on a bus and pay $100 an hour to see, but we prefer to sightsee in a way that’s a little more loose. Take it easy. Relax. Take a turn and get lost. Palm Springs is a place that calls for just getting in your car and going for a cruise. Put the top down if you can, or all the windows if you can’t, and play some Sinatra (this was, after all, his town) and drive the streets of Vistas Las Palmas, Twin Palms, and Indian Canyon to see modern with a capital M homes that are, quite frankly, too cool for school. 

Editor’s Note: Top photo by Cedric Letsch on Unsplash 

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