Travel

6 California Travel Guides for an Epic Road Trip

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Napa and Sonoma

No trip to California is complete without a wine-country jaunt, so we’re starting things off with a guide to the best of Napa and Sonoma. From a luxurious resort where you can soak up the sun to our favorite tasting rooms to a can’t-miss old-school diner, this list is essential.

Get acquainted with our wine-country guide →

Next stop, San Francisco! Find out what our favorite creatives love to do in S.F.

Big Sur

Nestled along Highway 1 in a narrow sliver between the Pacific’s rocky cliffs and the soaring redwoods of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur has long attracted creative types looking to lose themselves in one way or another. Jack Kerouac came to dry out. Hunter S. Thompson came to be a caretaker. Our contributing writer Kerstin Czarra shows us why hippies and hipsters alike flock to this California town for its magical, mythical vibe.

Get a peek at the breathtaking views, quirky lodging, and chill scene →

Photo courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch
Featuring impeccable antiques, Persian rugs, and Italian linens, this guest suite at San Ysidro Ranch opens to a grove of oak trees, lush palms and foliage, and a serene creek.

Photo courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch

Featuring impeccable antiques, Persian rugs, and Italian linens, this guest suite at San Ysidro Ranch opens to a grove of oak trees, lush palms and foliage, and a serene creek.

Santa Barbara

Heralded as the American Riviera, the central California coastal city of Santa Barbara is every bit as breathtaking, picturesque, and downright charming, with an unmistakably European air. We recently visited fashion designer Kendall Conrad in her 1942 Mediterranean home there, and she gave us a proper tour of the town with an insider guide to farm-to-table restaurants, old-fashioned ice cream shops, and other local hangouts.

Find out where Kendall Conrad spends her time in Santa Barbara →

Photo by Nicole LaMotte
A Morocco-inspired seating area at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

A Morocco-inspired seating area at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Ojai

Earlier this year, stylist and Vogue contributing editor Lawren Howell gave us a tour of the relaxed small town of Ojai, which is nestled in a valley of the Topatopa Mountains and where she escapes to from her home in Venice Beach. “There’s such a cultural savviness here,” Lawren says. “Ojai draws interesting, creative people from all over. The vibe here is not vastly different from that of the cities I’ve lived in.”

Read Lawren’s Ojai travel guide for where to shop, sip, and stop→

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Palm Springs

Fashion designer Trina Turk is certainly an expert when it comes to style and beautiful living, so when we visited her Streamline Moderne home in Palm Springs, we couldn’t help but ask her to share her favorite spots in town. From the best place for “really cool tchotchkes” (necessary) to a breakfast spot that serves a flight of bacon, she has us covered.

Tour Trina Turk’s home and read her Palm Springs guide →

Want more? Read our own Palm Springs travel guide.

 

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Venice

One of the hippest enclaves of Los Angeles, Venice Beach is a marriage of creative cool and a laid-back surfer vibe. We asked fashion designer Julia Leach, who runs simple-chic clothing and accessories line Chance, to show us her Venice. She didn’t disappoint, with a stop by the farmers’ market, a killer lunch spot, a minimalist design shop, and more.

See where Julia likes to eat, browse, shop, and hang →

Want more? Check out what’s hot in East Los Angeles.

Related: Learn How to Snag Napa Valley Style in Your Home

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