July 27 2008 by Matthew Clyde
Yes, we've long heard about the shrinking American vacation. News reports remind us of this tragedy every holiday weekend and throughout the summer season. Despite the statistics, we believe there are endless options for quick getaways. Each week we will highlight an easy escape destination that won't break the bank and doesn't require an entire week off to enjoy. Obviously the quick escape may not work for every geographic location. Some may require a flight versus a drive, but we hope to highlight enough destinations that there will sure to be several options that will fit your budget, geo-location and style. We kick off on the California Coast in a sun kissed and dreamy beach town called Laguna.
From hidden beach coves, cliff side dining spots to trendy art galleries, Laguna offers a simple escape in a pristine setting. It may look expensive, but Laguna offers a lot of charming options without draining your travel budget. Consider that the main attraction here, the beach, doesn't charge admission. So, grab a good book, a cozy beach towel, load up on sunscreen, water and snacks and you have a really affordable getaway. In just 24 hours, we easily had a charming picnic on the beach (packed by the experts at A La Carte Gourmet), explored tide pools (but left everything untouched), read a few chapters beach side, walked through galleries and shops, enjoyed dinner overlooking Main Beach at sunset and relaxed in the hotel hot tub with a calming ocean breeze. For hotel accommodations Best Western features two locations right in Laguna: The Best Western Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel and the Best Western Laguna Reef Inn. If you want to explore other coastal beach towns while on your quick escape, it's a short drive away on the Pacific Coast Highway. Best Western offers over 18 hotel locations within 20 miles of Laguna Beach.
Ideal for: Families, couples, seniors, girlfriend getaway - anyone who loves to relax with a little ocean air, sun, surf and sand.
Departure points: States in the South West and West (including California itself, often the best getaway is the one closest to your own back yard).
Vacation days - off work: 1-2 days
Travel days: Avoid holiday weekends. Weekends are very crowded. Try the reverse. Arrive late Saturday afternoon. Take Monday off to enjoy diminished crowds early Sunday evening through Monday. You may find some extra savings for a Sunday night stay.
What are some of your other quick getaway ideas? Let us know.
Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the companies or entities before planning your trip.