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Weekend escapes for Southern Californians

Forty-eight hours of fun? You've got it. Here are weekend escapes that offer rest for the weary and restoration for the body and soul. Map

  • Between the rocks and the river on a weekend escape to Marble Canyon, Ariz.

    Between the rocks and the river on a weekend escape to Marble Canyon, Ariz.

    When we sisters-in-law (one in California, the other in Nevada) agreed to a midway Western weekend for the brothers, we should have known better. The setting and scenery would be grand, the river inviting and the amenities, well, less so. Arizona’s Marble Canyon and the upper Colorado River near...

  • Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif.

    Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif.

    Wine lovers appreciate Saratoga’s laid-back sipping experience. But I wasn't hunting for a great new Cabernet or Pinot Noir on a recent visit to this peaceful town in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. My daughter and I were lured to Saratoga to watch two of my favorite vintage ’80s bands...

  • Join the bull ropers and steer wrestlers on a weekend escape to Pendleton, Ore.

    Join the bull ropers and steer wrestlers on a weekend escape to Pendleton, Ore.

    Tens of thousands of cowboys descend on Pendleton, Ore., each September during Round-Up, the huge rodeo for which this town is best known. (It’s Sept. 13-16 this year.) But as I discovered during a winter visit, the boots, hats and saddles don't disappear once the bull ropers and steer wrestlers...

  • Try beach camping on a weekend escape to Carlsbad, Calif.

    Try beach camping on a weekend escape to Carlsbad, Calif.

    Carlsbad struck it rich with, of all things, water. The city got a boost when pioneer John Frazier tapped a mineral spring in the 1880s and its “miraculous curative powers” were a hit. You can still buy this magic elixir today at the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa (once Frazier’s Well) in Carlsbad...

  • Is Murphys, a village in the Sierra foothills, the new Napa?

    Is Murphys, a village in the Sierra foothills, the new Napa?

    I’d heard whispers about Murphys, a speck of a village in the oak-studded Sierra foothills, a six-hour drive from Los Angeles. At each tasting room my husband and I visited, the same claim was repeated: Napa Valley’s biggest distributors source much of their red grapes from these hills. Murphys...

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