Leave the gray days of winter behind for one of these sunshine destinations.
STAY Hemmed by mansions, the Casa Malibu Inn offers ocean and garden views, plus easy access to a stretch of Billionaires’ Beach.* (310) 456-2219.
Eat Call in your order at Lily’s Cafe near Zuma Beach, where surfers line up for breakfast burritos and mahimahi tacos (both $6.50). (310) 457-3745.
PLAY On Corral Canyon Road off Highway 1, Solstice Canyon Trail winds to a waterfall. (805) 370-2301, nps.gov/samo .
*Ask about the discount for AAA members.
San José Del Cabo, Mexico
STAY Local Baja California artisans embroidered the pillows accenting each room at hacienda-style El Encanto Inn. (210) 858-6649, elencantoinn.com .
EAT Stroll the loncherías at San José’s Mercado Municipal, where an enchilada plate and an orange soda are $5. Calle Ibarra between Coronado and Castro.
PLAY The mellow break at Playa Acapulquito is a rookie surfer’s best bet. Rent a long board at Costa Azul Surf Shop. (866) 546-2102, costa-azul.com.mx .
STAY Guests at Scottsdale’s 3 Palms can relax in stylish, modern rooms or lounge at the poolside bar. (800) 450-8133, scottsdale-resort-hotels.com .
EAT At La Grande Orange Pizzeria’s happy hour, $5 wines pair nicely with thin-crust pizzas ($11–$14). (602) 840-7777, lagrandeorangepizzeria.com .
PLAY Ocotillos, saguaros, and hedgehog cacti bloom at the Desert Botanical Garden. Five trails crisscross 45 arid acres. $15. (480) 481-1225, dbg.org .
Photography courtesy El Encanto Inn
This article was first published in March 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.