As fall chills the rest of the country, Southern California’s average high temperatures remain steady in the 70s. The beautiful climate and thinned-out crowds make September, October and early November a perfect time to visit the Golden State’s southerly quarters. What better way to do that than a good old fashioned road trip? With six destinations and nearly 30 vacation options within a few hours of each other, Inspirato can fulfill the Southern California dreams of any traveler. Rent a car with our club partner Avis and hit the road.
Start your vacation on the beach and take advantage of an average high temperature around 76 degrees. Further inland, this is an ideal time to visit San Diego’s numerous theme parks and 92 golf courses as peak-season crowds dissipate. Top parks and courses are only 30 to 40 minutes from our accommodations in the area.
Palm Springs/Coachella Valley
From San Diego, the desert oasis of the Coachella Valley is just over two hours away. Always-hip Palm Springs makes for a perfect fall getaway: The triple-digit temperatures of high summer fade away, yet still reach summerlike heights in the 90s. Our Inspirato Residences here include private pools, making it easy to cool off after golfing or attending one of the area’s many fall festivals.
Next, drive about an hour to Dana Point, perched right on the coast of Orange County, for refreshing ocean breezes, idyllic coves and excellent dining. Stay in one of our rooms or suites at the Monarch Beach Resort for golf, tennis and a five-star spa. The resort is a member favorite.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Your next stop is the Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes peninsula, home to several Inspirato Residences. You’ll likely encounter some Los Angeles-area traffic and tolls during the 90-minute journey, but you’ll soon forget about those when you see the resort’s stunning ocean views. Now is a great time to hike the resort’s extensive trail system along the coastline.
Wind your way north, hop on the famed Highway 101 heading west and then make a short detour north to our Casa Elar residence at the award-winning Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Set among rolling hills with sweeping mountain views, the area offers a countryside diversion from sand and surf. The valley’s famous “pink moment” — a rare natural phenomenon that causes the nearby mountains to glow in a brilliant shade of pink at sunset — reaches its peak during fall months. The drive from Rancho Palos Verdes is about two and a half hours.
Your final leg is a mere 45-minute drive to Santa Barbara. Flanked by the Santa Ynez Mountains and situated on the coast, the region boasts more than 100 wineries. Stop by during Santa Barbara’s harvest season – the biggest events generally happen in early October – to sip top-notch vino without the massive crowds you’ll find in its more famous wine-producing cousins up north. Inspirato Members stay at the acclaimed Belmond El Encanto resort.