Staycation San Diego
Three great escapes in our own backyard
Stay: Cape Rey Carlsbad
Cape where? Yup, Carlsbad’s Hilton has gone boutique.
This past May, the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort gave itself a makeover, changing to Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort, and it has the potential to quickly become a favorite little getaway for couples and families. With an unassuming entrance on the residential Ponto Road, and general manager Vikram Sood (formerly of La Valencia) on board, it’s going from chain hotel to boutique charmer on primo real estate. They expanded the outdoor patio at Chandler’s this spring, so you can drink craft beer and watch the sunset at a fire pit looking across the 101 to South Carlsbad State Beach. They also added cabanas at the pool and are working on design collaborations with local brands like Reef. Aiming at a younger demo and hoping to woo “adventurists,” Rey offers bike rentals, yoga classes, surfing lessons, and beachside picnics to go. They can also hook you up with whale watching and nature programs. After the excursions, be sure to relax at Ocean Crest Spa, which uses eco-friendly products. And the glass of Champers after the massage? Nice touch. Carlsbad, you’re comin’ up.
Tour: Surfin’ Safari
Sightsee in retro style
At its core, San Diego is a quintessential SoCal beach town, and the Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad is embracing that nostalgic surfer charm. As part of this fall’s Suite California Getaway, seven of the hotel group’s properties from San Francisco to Beverly Hills are curating hyper-local experiences to celebrate the golden coast. At Aviara, the Woodie Beachtown Tour includes a two-night stay in one of their fully furnished rooms and a customizable three-hour cruise along the coast via classic woodie. In the vintage wood-paneled car, a mainstay of the ’50s and ’60s, guests can hit up iconic spots like historic El Camino Real, La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Beach, and even arrange for surfing lessons—all with a dose of retro style. If you can spare more time, the Four Seasons’ California Coastal Concierge can also reserve all seven experiences and arrange transportation for the ultimate road trip. All that’s missing is a Beach Boys playlist for the journey.
Through March 31, 2016; packages start at $695 per night
Taste: A New Crush
Vacation with vino
Temecula’s wine country has time-honored favorites, but what the scene had been lacking is fresh blood. That changed this summer when the wine region 60 miles northeast of San Diego welcomed Carter Estate Winery & Resort, a sister property of the long-standing South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Located kitty-corner from South Coast, Carter sits on a verdant 119 acres, has an on-site tasting room, and specializes in sparkling wines—try the Blanc de Blanc with light floral aromas and hints of vanilla—but also produces red and white varietals, including cabernets, Syrah, merlot, and a fine viognier. Post-libations, oenophiles don’t have to drink and drive. The resort is equipped with 42 bungalows for overnight stays, each with its own private deck and balcony and many with views of the vineyard. Tack on more indulgent fun with a dip in the guests-only pool or a meal at the on-site eatery, Vineyard Grill. Expansions, including a bistro within an art gallery, are on the horizon, but for now, you can sip and savor in relative silence.
Room rates start at $229 per night