Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald
Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

4 SoCal Itineraries for Every Type of Holiday Traveler—#1 Is a Festive Carlsbad Staycation!

Whether You’re Seeking Relaxation or Adventure This Holiday Season, These Destinations Have You Covered

We heard you’ve been California dreamin’. Dare we say we’ve got the solution? Make your winter vacation dreams a reality at these California resorts, all boasting top-notch relaxation and recreation! Step right outside your room for your fill of adventure in each of these centrally located stays ideal for every type of traveler. Whether you’d rather stay in and be pampered or get outside and play, these vacation destinations offer the perfect balance of tranquility and total adventure.

 

For the Relaxing Couples “Slowcation”

STAY: Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

For couples looking to slow things down this season, book a stay at Carlsbad’s Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. This 400-acre Spanish Colonial retreat offers a peaceful escape from the holiday hustle and bustle with its golf course views, on-site wellness experiences and ideal weather year-round. In addition to neighboring local beaches and popular tourist attractions nearby, this relaxing resort also features a championship golf course, 17 tennis courts, eight swimming pools and seven dining options for an easy, all-in-one vacation experience. And when it comes to holiday happenings, Omni La Costa has plenty of programming in store! From Holiday Artisan Markets to the hotel’s Poinsettias, Pajamas and Pancakes Brunch, there are so many ways to celebrate this season! Guests can also enjoy “staycation enhancements,” like adding a pre-lit Christmas tree, decorating kit and keepsake ornament to their guest room or an Elf Stocking Delivery, which includes a stocking filled with fun holiday goodies for the little ones, hand-delivered to by a costumed elf!

@localemag The Holidays have arrived at @Omni La Costa Resort & Spa 🎄 🍫 #localemagazine #localesd #visitcarlsbad #visitsd #omniresort #holidayhotels ♬ Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey

 

DINE

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Get in the holiday spirit at Omni La Costa’s Poinsettias, Pajamas and Pancakes Brunch on Dec. 17! Enjoy a cozy brunch starring jolly Old Saint Nick and his friend from the North Pole, the Poinsettia Princess! Don your most festive pajamas and delight in delicious holiday favorites with your family. And in the evenings on Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15, the resort will host its Holiday Dinner Series at Bob’s Steak & Chop House, where families can enjoy a magical evening under the stars with Santa and snowfall every 30 minutes from 5-7 p.m. To make a reservation, click here.

Local Insight: Don’t miss Omni La Costa’s S’mores & Snowfall experience on select nights in Dec.—reserve a fire pit under the stars and indulge in gourmet s’mores, hot chocolate and a charcuterie board as snowflakes fall around you!

 

DO

Credit: Omni La Costa

We’d recommend arriving with a little room in your suitcase. Omni La Costa’s Holiday Artisan Markets on Dec. 10 and 17 will boast a swoon-worthy selection of handcrafted gifts as the resort’s plaza transforms into a magical open-air market. Chat with the talented artisans and hear the stories behind their work while you shop for holiday gifts. Once you’ve crossed everyone off your shopping list, play a leisurely round of golf on Omni La Costa’s PGA professional courses, then end the day with a swim in one of the resort’s eight on-site pools.

 

DON’T MISS

The Spa at La Costa
Credit: Omni Hotels & Resorts

Complete your couples retreat with a few hours of self-care at The Spa at La Costa. Ease your holiday stress with seasonal treatments like the Cranberry Spice and Everything Nice, a full-body treatment that includes a cranberry body scrub, hydrating gel wrap and a cranberry spice body butter application. The Spa at La Costa is also offering seasonal nail services like the Warm Chai Latte Manicure and Pedicure and the Peppermint and Hot Cocoa Manicure and Pedicure. These rejuvenating holiday services are available through Dec. 31, so don’t miss out!

 

For the Adventurous Millennials

STAY

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Fuel your fire for adventure at Omni San Diego Hotel, located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s bustling Gaslamp Quarter. Surround yourself with endless daytime activities and a lively nightlife scene at this chic escape, which is surrounded by over 200 popular restaurants and bars. The possibilities for fun are endless around Omni San Diego, whether you prefer to keep it low-key with a day at Balboa Park or groove to live music at The Shout! House. And when you’re not out and about, you’ll love lounging poolside with views of the San Diego skyline and sipping cocktails at the Terrace Bar.

 

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DINE

Hop just outside of your comfortable stay for breakfast at Cafe 21, a farm-to-table restaurant serving up French toast, tiramisu pancakes and turkey Benedicts in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Try out Omni San Diego’s West Coast Social, which features a full bar and light bites—perfect for a pre-dinner rendezvous with friends. When it comes to dinner decisions, it’s a tough one given the Gaslamp Quarter is lined with world-class options. If upscale is your vibe, however, Huntress is a sleek steakhouse with the finest cuts of meat, seafood and Japanese whisky selection. We also love Rustic Root for Southern-style comfort food, The Nolen for rooftop views and Lumi by Akira Back for Japanese- and Peruvian-inspired Nikkei cuisine. 

12/18

 

DO

Fill your days with activities like a stroll through historic Balboa Park, complete with captivating museums, botanical delights and of course, The San Diego Zoo. Explore seasonal delights at the Little Italy Christmas Village, which is home to a variety of seasonal vendors and live music. Soak up the sunshine and salty air with a Flagship San Diego Harbor Cruise, offering tours that showcase historical ships, a scenic skyline and vocal harbor seals. Had your fill of adventure? Relax back at Omni San Diego, where you’ll find an outdoor terrace, stone fireplace, heated pool and hot tub.

12/27

 

DON’T MISS

 

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Skip the nightclubs and spend an evening at The Shout! House in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter for a change of scenery. From Tuesday through Sunday, this dueling piano show consists of two piano players performing at two face-to-face grand pianos. The performances are vibe, and feature comedy, audience participation, staff dancing on stage and sing-alongs. You’ll get to hear everything from classic rock ‘n roll hits to modern-day chart-toppers. 

 

For the Young and Young at Heart

STAY

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa - California Vacations
Credit: Omni Hotels & Resorts

Few places are more picturesque than the city of Rancho Mirage, where you’ll find world-class resorts, scenic mountain views and outdoor activities fit for the entire family. The only way to one-up your getaway is by booking a stay at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa—a family-friendly poolside paradise complete with five on-site restaurants, 23 tennis courts, six pickleball courts, a lazy river and more. You’re free to sip and savor or pay a visit to the on-site spa as your kiddos slide into Splashtopia, the resort’s fun-filled water park.

 

DINE

Begin your day with a Belgian-style brunch at Si Bon! Opt for the delicious mango-stuffed Belgian waffle with rich espresso to start your morning off bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. When it comes to lunch, keep things light with a chopped chicken cilantro salad from Las Casuelas Nuevas, a history-rich staple of restaurant row in Coachella Valley. End your day elegantly at BluEmber, Omni Rancho Las Palmas’ resort restaurant showcasing the area’s rich harvest. Local Insight: At BluEmber, guests under 10 receive a postcard redeemable for one meal donation to Say Goodnight to Hunger, an initiative helping Omni’s Junior Chef Program aid in the fight against food insecurity.

 

DO

California Vacations - Credit Omni Hotels & Resorts
Credit: Omni Hotels & Resorts

Tee up like a pro on one of Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa’s three palm tree-lined golf courses or schedule a lesson to learn the game in the most scenic setting imaginable. Afterwards, trade your golf clubs for a racket and head to the tennis courts for your second swing of the day. You can either play tennis or get with the trend and try your hand at pickleball on the neighboring courts. And when the little ones are ready to make some waves, head to the lazy river at Splashtopia.

12/9

 

DON’T MISS

Living right next to your little slice of luxury are over 150 species of wildlife at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Gaze at gazelles, zebras, jaguars, giraffes and so much more with over 500 incredible animals to learn about. Take advantage of their seasonal Wildlights festival, a winter wonderland event featuring dazzling light displays and seasonal surprises to get you and your family into the holiday spirit. This seasonal showing starts Nov. 25—check the zoo’s calendar for more info!

 

For the Sophisticated Couples Without Kids

STAY

Omni Los Angeles Hotel - California Vacations
Credit: Omni Hotels & Resorts

For an upscale escape, consider staying at the 17-story Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza. This luxurious hotel sits atop Bunker Hill in the center of it all and reflects the sophistication of downtown Los Angeles. Here, couples can enjoy modern conveniences, like an outdoor heated lap pool, two restaurants, spa services, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an Executive Club Floor and Lounge. And when it comes to experiencing the local culture, Omni Los Angeles offers easy access to iconic LA staples like The Broad Museum, Grand Central Market and the historic Angels Flight Railway.

 

DINE

 

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Nothing says couples getaway like dining at a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant. Head to Beverly Hills to experience Maude by Curtis Stone. With only 24 seats in the restaurant, you two are bound to love the intimate atmosphere and charming vibe. Maude emphasizes seasonal and local cuisine, offering a unique tasting menu that changes every month.

 

DO

 

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Los Angeles is home to a multitude of incredible museums and cultural experiences. For contemporary art and to snap your picture in Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, head to The Broad. For a festive performance, get your tickets to The Nutcracker, performed by Los Angeles Ballet at Dolby Theatre, Royce Hall, UCLA, Alex Theatre and Redondo Performing Arts Theatre throughout December.

DON’T MISS

Credit: The Varnish

For an after-dinner libation, head to The Varnish—a sultry prohibition-era speakeasy tucked behind Cole’s, an iconic French dip sandwich joint on 6th Street. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails in a moody setting, where live music permeates the space Tuesday-Sunday. We couldn’t think of a more fun and romantic way to end the night with your sweetheart!

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Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.

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