Is your staycation starting to feel like a stale-cation? The way 2020 has gone so far, we all could use a real vacation, or at least a few nights away from home. Europe's off the table right now, but California hotels are beckoning travelers with substantial perks and deals. Check out these great spots to get out of town while maintaining social distance and scoring big discounts.
Southern California Coast
A little time by the seaside revives the spirit, so do it in style at luxurious Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes peninsula. Terranea's "California Coastal Escape" promotion offers 25 percent off best available rates for guestrooms or bungalows, so transport yourself to 100-plus acres surrounded by endless Pacific waves. Start each day by strategizing how to divide your time among the resort's four swimming pools and dozens of outdoor fire pits positioned for optimal blue-water views.
In Dana Point, Monarch Beach Resort's "Reopening Sale" invites you to stay for two nights and get the third night free, plus a $100 resort credit. It's easy to social-distance on the resort's private beach (they'll supply the chairs, umbrellas, and water toys), and when you've had enough sun and sand, just kick back in your posh room to soak in the ocean view. If you're feeling energetic, join an outdoor spinning or yoga class or play a round of golf on the oceanfront course.
For families with young kids, the next best thing to an amusement park trip is a stay at LEGOLAND Resort Hotel. Take advantage of "First to Stay" deals of $169 per night to celebrate the hotel's reopening in mid-July. Even though the park remains closed, your kids will love this LEGO wonderland with over-the-top theme rooms like Pirate, Kingdom, and Adventure. When it’s time to mix things up, beautiful Carlsbad Beach is just one mile away.
Napa and Sonoma
Wine country wants you back, and who couldn't use a glass of wine right now? The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, a grand 1927 resort in storybook California Mission style, is offering a "Stay Close" deal—book one night and get a second night free. You could easily while away two days lounging by the inn's four geothermal swimming pools and admiring its flower-filled courtyards and splashing fountains. (Book by July 24 for any dates before the end of the year.)
If you'd rather stay at a smaller property, reserve a guest room or suite among the lush gardens at Sonoma's MacArthur Place before Aug. 31 and receive a 20 percent discount. Or in Napa, take advantage of Wine Country Inn's "Re-emerge and Travel Again" special rate of $199, including breakfast and evening wine. Note: If you're planning to visit vineyards in either Sonoma or Napa, remember to make advance reservations. Wineries are open and welcoming visitors for outdoor tastings on shady patios and terraces, but you can't just walk in.
A lot of Californians hoped to visit Yosemite this summer but haven't been able to score day-use reservations for the park. Luckily Evergreen Lodge and Rush Creek Lodge have your back. Book a stay at either of these sister properties and add on a reservation for one of their guided trips—like the hike to Upper Yosemite Falls or Glen Aulin Falls—and you'll have guaranteed park entrance. You'll get to see Yosemite while staying just a few miles outside the park boundary in a modern lodge with a soothing saltwater pool and restaurant serving upscale mountain cuisine. Take advantage of late summer discounts at both lodges: 20 percent off weekday room rates from Aug. 23 to Oct. 8.
August is a month for slowing down, and Mendocino's Brewery Gulch Inn invites you to "Dilly Dally Dawdle This August Away." Book four nights and take 15 percent off your entire stay or book five nights and take 20 percent off. Either way, you'll enjoy a luxurious room in this hilltop property with a cozy, laidback vibe, hearty breakfasts, and epic Pacific views. Filling several days in Mendocino is easy—a string of nearly a dozen state parks lets you wander trails across picturesque headlands, hike or bike to a secluded waterfall, or kayak in California's longest undeveloped estuary.
San Francisco Bay Area
In San Francisco's vibrant Union Square, Hotel Nikko's "Stay Safe With Us" package drops its nightly rate to $215, which includes a grab-and-go breakfast, self-parking for one vehicle, and no amenity fees. Get in your 10,000 steps each day by walking San Francisco's hilly streets, or visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to shop for hyper-local produce. Across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, boutique-style Casa Madrona is offering a "Spritz into Summer" deal with discounted lodging rates and an Aperol cocktail kit at check-in (valid through Sept. 7).
Greater Palm Springs
In the Coachella Valley, famous for its summer heat and deep discounts, it's easy to socially distance when you're the only one in the pool. Book a room before Sept. 30 at Palm Springs' steeped-in-Hollywood-history Ingleside Inn at 15 percent off the best available rate. This legacy property defines old-school glamour with its midcentury-modern swimming pool, wrought-iron gates, and white-glove service. It's no surprise that Frank Sinatra, Salvador Dali, and Elizabeth Taylor have stayed here.
The colorful Saguaro Palm Springs combines resort perks with boutique-hotel ambience, offering poolside breakfasts, fresh-fruit margaritas, loaner bikes, and private patios. Its Cali Local Love rate starts at $89 (just show your driver's license); or, everyone can get 15 percent off stays of two nights or more.
At the ultra-modern Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, take advantage of deals lasting until September (stay two nights and get the third free, or stay as long as you like with a 15 percent discount). Seven stories high, the Rowan boasts an incredible mountain and desert view from its rooftop lounge and swimming pool, making it a perfect spot to ride out summer's sweltering days.