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Weekend Wonders

These five, prized California destinations provide the perfect weekend escape. And with the New Year underway, we think a vacation is already in order. Hit the road and never look back, until Monday, that is.

1. Ojai: A retreat for nature lovers and those in need of some local R and R, Ojai has long been a de-facto L.A. escape. And now, on select weekends in January and February, the town is offering culinary tours as part of its burgeoning food scene.

2. Carmel: Known for its tranquil scenery, Carmel is the perfect destination for assuagement after an arduous Angeleno week. Not to miss is a trip up the coast to nearby Monterey Bay, where clam chowder at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto is staple Golden State treat.

3. Palm Springs: A perennial go-to, Palm Springs is standard fare for weekend warriors. Now, with its renowned Modernism Week approaching, art aficionados have another excuse to visit this desert oasis.

4. Santa Barbara: Offering everything from wine tasting to horseback riding, Santa Barbara is welcomed respite from the L.A. day-to-day. Take the scenic route up Pacific Coast Highway, or head inland to Los Olivos, a quaint neighboring wine town replete with vineyards, charming boutiques and local galleries.

5. La Jolla: La Jolla seems to seamlessly pair luxury accommodations, fine dining and bespoke SoCal flair. For those with a penchant for Asian fusion, chef Stephen Window’s venerable restaurant, Roppongi, is a “must.” As is much of this San Diego County outpost.