Get Out of LA Without Driving Very Far

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Sometimes you need to get out of L.A. — but you don’t have the time or the inclination — to go very far. For these quick jaunts, all you need to pack is an overnight bag, a few accoutrements, and your toothbrush…and when it comes to the first locale, your dog!

If you want to head north, try the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. A $90 million renovation went down a few years back, and now the spa has become a favorite not only with the rich, but the famous (Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are all fans).

One of the best things they have going here is that you can hit the apothecary, design your very own scented oil, and then go get a massage done with your new creation. Another recent addition — Ojai is hip to the fact we frequently don’t want to leave our little furry friends behind, so it is one of the few resorts that will allow you to bring your doggie along – even to dinner as you can dine outside during the summer months.

If you’re more of a water person, head south to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. When we tell you it’s right on the beach, we’re not kidding. The water’s clearer and warmer and even the air is different.

Raya, the main restaurant, just changed hands a few months ago, (now it is under the tutelage of Chef Richard Sandoval) and suffice to say, the food’s magnificent — but as they say, save room for dessert because it’s not to be missed. There’s really no reason to go anywhere else outside this enclave because here, you can really have it all — sun, surf, relaxation, and of course, the requisite good looking surfers.

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