SBP Insider’s Guide: 8 Mini Vacations to Refresh & Recharge

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Don’t get us wrong, we love Los Angeles. That should be pretty obvious coming from the Westside’s top real estate team. But one of the best parts of living in the City of Angels is the ability to escape with complete ease, whether by car or a quick flight. So, with spring nearly here, we decided to round up eight mini vacations you can take from LA to refresh and recharge for the new season. Ready, set, GO: 

TAHOE — 1 hr 30 min flight to RNO from LAX

STAY: The Coachman Hotel, a chic motel-style boutique hotel.
EAT: Cafe Fiore for upscale Italian eats or Edgewood Restaurant for fine cuisine and epic views.
DRINK: South of North Brewing Company for cold beer and live music. 
DO: Hiking (be sure to check out Van Sickle Bi-State Park), kayaking, mountain biking, sight-seeing — the options are endless. 

I love Lake Tahoe for its ski resort, lakes (one of the purest lakes in the world) and amazing scenery if you cruise over mountain meadows. 

Sewit Eshetu

Associate Partner


LAS VEGAS — 4+ hr drive or 1 hr flight to LAS from LAX

STAY: Waldorf Astoria, a five-star luxury hotel on The Strip.
EAT: Mastro’s Ocean Club for incredible steaks in Crystals at CityCenter, Bazaar Meat by José Andres for award-winning meats in a strikingly seductive setting, Spago for Wolfgang Puck’s coveted New American eats…seriously, we could go on forever. 
DRINK: Lucky Day Tequila and Mezcal House (enough said), Downtown Cocktail Room for an epic speakeasy vibe, The Laundry Room for a prohibition-era drinking experience; explore countless more options here
DO: Catch a Cirque du Soleil show, see Katy Perry or Lady Gaga live, hit the casinos (if you lose, not our fault…but if you win, let’s just say we get 10%?), eat, drink…the usual.

My favorite thing about Vegas is the ability to eat anything you want 24 hours a day. After that, you’ll be ready for a hike in Red Rock Canyon.

F. Ron Smith

Founding Partner


SOLVANG 2.5 hr drive from LA

STAY: The Landsby, a stunning Scandinavian-style boutique hotel. 
EAT: Mad & Vin at The Landsby for delicious farm-to-table eats or Coast Range for incredible steaks and seafood in a stylish ambiance. 
DRINK: Vaquero Bar at Coast Range for craft cocktails in a speakeasy-style setting.
DO: Explore the Danish village, visit the historic Old Mission Santa Inés, meander the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, reserve a trolley and carriage ride

It’s amazing how quickly you can get to Solvang from LA and even more amazing how quickly you can unwind (with a glass of central coast wine in hand) in this charming Danish village. 

Courtney Welsh

Director of Operations


BIG SUR — 5.5 hr drive from LA

STAY: Alila Ventana Big Sur, a luxury coastal resort and glamping destination. 
EAT: Sierra Mar at the iconic Post Ranch Inn for farm-driven fare above the sea, Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant for creative American comfort food and wood-fired pizzas, Big Sur Roadhouse at Glen Oaks for fresh, local fare in a modern ambiance. 
DRINK: Sur House at Alila Ventana for stellar cocktails overlooking the ocean or Big Sur Taphouse for laid-back beers.
DO: Explore the area’s countless parks, from Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park to Andrew Molera State Park, Garrapata State Park and Sand Dollar Beach; drive the Bixby Bridge and live out your best Big Little Lies daydream; visit the Henry Miller Memorial Library

NAPA VALLEY — 1 hr flight to OAK + 1 hr drive to Napa

STAY: Montage Healdsburg, a spectacular hideaway where warm hospitality meets the scenic beauty of Wine Country.
EAT: The Charter Oak for Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow’s seasonal, family-style menu, Press for high-end steaks, seafood and wines, Ad Hoc + Addendum for a more casual Thomas Keller experience featuring melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken, Gott’s Roadside for a greasy burger after wine tasting.
DRINK: Larkmead, Nickel & Nickel, B Cellars, Stags’ Leap, Domaine Carneros — if you have a favorite Napa wine, we recommend you reserve a tasting at their vineyard (just expect to leave as a wine member). 
DO: Wine tasting (duh), go on an e-bike tour, take a hot air balloon ride, play tennis or go for a swim, indulge in a world-class spa experience. 

It’s a great place to go any time of the year and unwind with family or friends. Add it to the very long list of amazing places to visit in CA!

Katy Yambao

Associate Partner


CABO — 2+ hr flight to SJD from LAX

STAY: Viceroy Los Cabos, an architecturally stunning five-star hotel on the Sea of Cortés in Baja.
EAT: Flora Farms for mind-blowing farm-to-table eats (literally, you’re on the farm), Alebrije at Las Ventanas for traditional, upscale Mexican food, Acre for relaxed yet refined dining in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. 
DRINK: The Rooftop at The Cape for oceanfront cocktails beneath the stars, Arbol at Las Ventanas for an Asian-inspired ambiance and sips, Bar Esquina for live music and inventive drinks in a casual-modern setting. 
DO: Go whale watching (which, depending on the season, can happen right from your hotel), snorkel at Santa María Bay, hike up the Pedegral, ride horses in the mountains, go sport fishing for marlin, dorado and wahoo. 

Two hour flight and you are in a different world. Perfect weather, lots of wildlife, and great food. A true disconnect from LA city life.

Andres Vargas

Special Projects Manager


PARK CITY — 1 hr 50 min flight to SLC + 40 min drive

STAY: The Pendry, a new luxury boutique hotel by Montage in Canyons Village.  
EAT: Riverhorse for upscale American fare on Main Street, Yuki Yama for delectable sushi and Japanese dishes, The Nelson Cottage for pre-fixe eats and a whiskey pairing by High West, Handle for uber-fresh seasonal cuisine in a lively atmosphere.   
DRINK: No Name Saloon for a classic Park City experience, High West Saloon for local-staple whiskey and more, Flanagan’s for an Irish pub moment in Utah.  
DO: Go spring skiing, set out on a hike after the snow melts, explore the Utah Olympic Park, cast a line fly fishing on the Provo River, catch a show at the Egyptian Theatre.  

Park City is a year-round destination; a special place to create life-long memories. We love it!

Jim Ostridge

Associate Partner


PALM SPRINGS — 2+ hr drive from LA

STAY: The Parker Palm Springs, a hip and vibrant five-star hotel by Jonathan Adler.
EAT: Workshop Kitchen & Bar for inventive New American eats in a former movie house, Birba for excellent farm-to-table fare and pizza, Farm for a decidedly French dining experience, 4 Saints for epic modern cuisine in a sultry atmosphere. 
DRINK: Counter Reformation at The Parker for an eclectic curation of drinks, Tailor Shop for intimately posh experience, Truss & Twine for chef-driven cocktails in a SOMA Architects-designed space. 
DO: Visit the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, get inspired at the Palm Springs Art Museum, hike or take the tram to San Jacinto Peak

We love the weather and the mellow vibe in Palm Springs. It’s a great place to golf, swim and relax. Being only a couple hours from the city also makes it an easy trip with the kids. 

Nathan Stadler

Associate Partner


Booking a mini vacay this spring? Be sure to tag us in your adventures on Instagram @smithandberg for a chance to be featured!

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