1. Los Cabos
Sure, San Diego doesn’t have a brutal winter, but when it dips down to 45 degrees, we start dreaming about Mexico. This year Montage Los Cabos opened in Cabo San Lucas adjacent to the Santa Maria Bay, one of the few swimmable beaches in the area. There are multiple pools, menus vetted by a celebrity nutritionist, and shaman-led experiences.
Sunny Santa Barbara is an easy five-hour car or train trip up the coast, and when you arrive you’ll be rewarded with history (a 1786-built mission), cool shops (Make Smith leather goods), a cool new place to stay (Hotel Californian), and of course, wine aplenty.
Former San Diego Magazine staffer Marie Tutko is now back home in Honolulu but she made the easy island hop to Kaua‘i for our July issue, offering recommendations for the best hiking, secluded beaches, authentic Asian cuisine, and more.
The City of Roses has numerous parks, a strong lineup of indie boutiques, and some of the best food in the country. In our July 2018 issue, we break down exactly where you need to go, where you need to stay, and what you have to eat (everything at the restaurant Tusk, pictured here).
We sent self-proclaimed "terrible fisherman" Troy Johnson to the Steamboat Bay Fishing Club in Alaska. What resulted is a hilarious narrative about how he learned to improve his game at "the Taj Mahal of Alaskan fishing."
6. Todos Santos
If Cabo’s hustle and bustle’s got you down, explore this less developed area 70 miles from the Los Cabos International Airport. You can check into Hotel San Cristóbal, the 32-room waterfront property that Austin hotelier Liz Lambert and a local developer opened last year. It’s style all the way here, so hold onto that phone for the ‘grams.
Beyond the Starbucks and Space Needle is a verdant city of cool museums, excellent seafood, and more than a few cozy cocktail bars for when the weather turns. Take our tip and tack on a trip to Taylor Shellfish Farms, a 128-year-old oyster farm where you can see Kumamotos and Shigokus freshly harvested.
8. Big Sur
After heavy downpours in 2017, Big Sur sprang back to life this year and with it came the revamped Ventana Big Sur, a luxe boutique property with 59 renovated rooms, suites, and villas, plus 15 safari-style "glampsites."
Never heard of this Northern California town? Then you need to read this feature about the burgeoning wine region steeped in Gold Country history. There are vineyards pouring New World reds and zinfandels, quaint bakeries, a newly restored inn to serve as home base.
If you’re looking for more vacation tips, check out our February 2018 cover story dedicated to weekend getaways. We have itinerary ideas for every travel type, whether you want water, nature, an urban landscape, great restaurants, family-focused fun, or a desert setting.