Beaches and Dreams – Exploring So Cal Getaways during a pandemic

Well, 2020 has been rough right? Disneyland is still not open, COVID-19 is still very much a threat around the world (we are all excited about the promising vaccine news!), and people are getting antsy and wanting to travel and have a change of scene. We did a lot of road tripping over the summer, and now that we are back on campus for school, are still sticking to local getaways that provide stress relief but also allow for social distancing and safety. I wanted to highlight a few of the places we’ve stayed the last few months, all of which have been new to us and a lot of fun!

Starting with the local Orange County scene, we have really enjoyed the Hyatt Huntington Beach The kids and I stayed at Huntington for an impromptu overnight over the summer, and decided to return with the whole immediate family this fall for a weekend getaway once they opened their famous waterslides. The hotel is ideal with all of its Resort amenities – pools, waterslides, hot tubs, spa and sauna – all open at the time of this writing with social distancing protocols and CDC guidelines. Best of all, the hotel is right on Pacific Coast Highway and has a pedestrian bridge across to Huntington Beach, where the Resort provides beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels. The sunsets are absolutely beautiful! There are plenty of dining options as well, including a grocery store (fridges and Keurig coffee makers are in the rooms), pizza place, and some nicer dining establishments. A lot of chains and local fare are within walking distance in Huntington Beach as well. We personally loved having take out and cocktails from the pool bar on our balcony! As far as local excursions, I had a great paddle in Huntington Harbor with OEX Sunset Beach for a very low cost, and even saw a green sea turtle! We will definitely be returning here for a fun staycation option!

Just down the highway is the Hyatt Newport Beach, which is also fun but has a very different feel. It is an older hotel and less of a “resort” feel, located across the street from Newport Dunes Resort. However, it does have a fun waterslide (our daughter couldn’t do the big slide in Huntington because she’s on the smaller side, so she was happy to make the cut on this one!) and several quiet pools spread out for each area of the hotel. While we didn’t take advantage, you can even text drink and food orders from each pool! We found the breakfast and local food options lovely with very accommodating service. We loved our covered balcony and quiet, shady ambience. It was super to be able to walk to Newport Dunes and easily grab a board with Pirate Coast paddle – we were even blessed with seeing dolphins in the Back Bay! Our ten year old took his first paddle and has fallen in love with it, which has been a lot of fun!

Further south in our beloved San Diego, we’ve had a few good getaways this fall as well. In September, my husband and I stayed at the Manchester Grand Hyatt with a great water view. He laid low relaxing in the window seat, while I visited with a good friend and did a stand-up paddle over on Coronado. We also enjoyed relaxing with drinks on the rooftop pool! Mr. CT and I loved the take out dining options (not quite ready for the indoor restaurant thing yet with COVID) from nice establishments and being able to walk along the bay with views of the USS Midway. The service was outstanding as well!

Most recently, I met some dear friends for my annual birthday weekend getaway. Our stay in La Jolla was absolutely wonderful, and very conducive to social distancing and staying safe. We had a gorgeous corner beachfront room at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, with plenty of covered balcony seating and a live soundtrack of the waves to fall asleep at night! The weather was blustery and a bit stormy, but the wind and ventilation were a great Covid-19 deterrent! While an older resort, the room was huge and extremely clean, including a full seating area and robes in the closet. We loved walking on the beach and had some great coffee at the local Brick and Bell, along with a fantastic outdoor dinner at the hotel restaurant itself. I would highly recommend this spot for a relaxing getaway with plenty of outdoor dining within walking distance, either for couples or families (there’s a playground right next door!)

What have you been doing to scratch the travel itch until the promising vaccine makes its way out? We are so impressed with how some of our favorite destinations have made safety a priority and are happy to have found some local staycation spots we didn’t know about before!

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