Get inspired to strike out on an independent adventure
April 19, 2017
| Updated November 14, 2019
1 of 10Eden Batki
Bainbridge Island, Washington
From Seattle, take a day trip to Bainbridge Island by ferry! (PRO TIP: Walk on; leave the car in the city.) The main commercial area is just a quarter mile from the island ferry terminal. Plan your day around meals at all of chef Brendan McGill’s incredible farm-to-table spots: Verjus for a healthy (and tasty) breakfast, Hitchcock Deli for a coffee and sandwich, and Hitchcock or Bruciato (a pizzeria) for dinner. (Sit at the bar.) Check out the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, shop your way down Winslow Way, and take a walk along the waterfront on your way to The Public House for a local beer.
2 of 10Jeremy Pelley
Train or plane to Portland and forget a rental car. Get a room at the Ace Hotel (a walk from Amtrak, or an Uber/Lyft from the airport) and feel like a local in their cozy lobby while sipping a cappuccino from Stumptown Roasters next door. Dine at Clyde Common (also next door) or Tasty n Alder up the block. Check out the shops across the street along Union Way (Danner! Spruce Apothecary! Quin Candy!). You’ll be within a few blocks radius of a dozen of Portland’s best shops (don’t miss North of West), and the legendary Powell’s Books that takes up an entire block.
More Videos From Sunset
3 of 10Thomas J. Story
Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs, CA
Feel like you’re visiting the Mediterranean, but with a fraction of the plane ride. Inspired by Moroccan style, the Korakia in Palm Springs feels a world away. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning in the courtyard, spend the day by the peaceful poolside (saltwater pools!) or borrow a cruiser bike to check out the architecture of the neighborhood. Consider an outdoor or in-room massage, and don’t miss the classic and foreign films projected nightly.
4 of 10Courtesy of The Alamo Motel
The Alamo Motel, Los Alamos, CA
The best trips are the ones where you can park the car until your return trip to the airport, right? With a cozy ranch-style vibe and a Municipal Winemakers tasting room on site, it’ll be hard to want to leave the premises of The Alamo Motel in Los Alamos, CA. (And that’s just fine.) But do wander down the street a bit when you get hungry: the town—with excellent food and drink options—is only three blocks long. PRO TIP: Rooms start at just $109/night, so make it a long weekend.
5 of 10Courtesy of Alderbrook Resort
Alderbrook Resort and Spa, Union, WA
Along the shore of Washington’s Hood Canal, savor the waterfront views at Alderbrook Resort & Spa while sleeping in the ultimate comfort expected of a coastal resort. Enjoy walks on the beach, a massage at the spa, and a dining menu featuring some of the Puget Sound’s best seafood (paired with local wines, of course).
6 of 10Dave Lauridsen
The Jennings Hotel, Joseph, OR
For a true break from urban life, get yourself to The Jennings Hotel in Joseph, OR. Slow down in the thoughtfully designed rooms (each by a different designer), explore the Wallowa mountains and lake, and relax in the hotel’s sauna. (PRO TIP: Contact local herbal goddess Tai Marie Jaques for an in-room massage.) Ask owner Greg Hennes for hike and water adventure recommendations. For breakfast, grab espresso and a scone downstairs at Arrowhead. For dinner, pick up fresh produce and meat at the 6 Ranch Farmstand and make use of the hotel’s beautiful kitchen.
7 of 10Chris Leschinsky
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, CA
About 90 miles north of LA, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has been nestled in the peaceful natural beauty of Ojai since 1923. Between the pools, the spa menu, and the dining options, it’ll be hard to want to leave the property (or even your luxurious room) but do take an afternoon to explore the charming town of Ojai. (Have lunch at Hip Vegan or dinner at Farmer and the Cook.)
8 of 10Courtesy of Chautauqua Cottages & Lodge
The Chautauqua, Boulder, CO
Need a quiet getaway? A writer’s retreat? Book a studio or 1-bedroom cabin at The Chautauqua in Boulder, CO. At the base of the Flatiron mountains, you’re within reach of 40 miles of open space hiking trails (but still just a couple miles from downtown Boulder). Cozy cabins have fully equipped kitchens, so swing by Whole Foods on your way into town. (Or place an order via Instacart.) There’s a restaurant and general store on the property; check the calendar for concert dates. PRO TIP: Book a week here. (Yes, there’s WiFi.)
9 of 10Carmel Zucker
The Crawford Hotel, Denver, CO
Book a weekend at The Crawford Hotel at downtown Denver’s Union Station. The lightrail from the airport drops you right there, where you’ll be sleeping in luxury and within reach of great food and drink (right there at the expertly renovated and revitalized Union Station). When not exploring downtown Denver by foot, consider a massage at Oxford Club Spa & Salon, an afternoon at the famous Tattered Cover Bookstore (right across the street), and definitely allow some time for a drink at Terminal Bar for people-watching in the bustling urban hub.
10 of 10Ian Shive
Indian Springs Resort & Spa, Calistoga, CA
Just 75 miles north of San Francisco, Indian Springs Resort & Spa is an oasis for escaping the city hustle, even if just for the day. Book a massage and a mud bath and relax in the thermal mineral water pools (typically 82-102 degrees) which are open until midnight (so you can float under the stars). Explore downtown Calistoga by bike, savor dinner at Sam’s Social Club, stay in a cozy room or cottage, and do it all again the next day.