Three cheers for spring break! While family vacations are still looking a little different right now, we’re lucky to live in paradise with a ton to explore right outside our front door. From snow-covered adventures to fun-in-the-sun, there’s plenty of ways to safely spring break around SoCal. Check out these top trips that are ideal for a socially-distanced getaway. Hip hip hooray!

photo: Welk Resorts

Underwater Adventure at Welk Resorts San Diego

A (virtual!) underwater adventure awaits in the foothills of Escondido at Welk Resorts San Diego. Through their new INSPIRED For You activities program, guests can book a 30-minute virtual adventure in the pool and experience the City of Atlantis, the Great Barrier Reef or an exhilarating skydiving experience without leaving the resort. Book a villa with room for the whole family to stretch out while enjoying amenities like fireplaces, kitchens, private patios and large soaking tubs. 

Online: welkresorts.com

photo: Kerry Cushman

Coastal Glamping at El Capitan Canyon

Just north of Santa Barbara is hidden glamping gem, El Capitan Canyon. Here, yurts, safari tents and cabins to accommodate all family sizes are peacefully situated in nature for the ultimate retreat. On-site, there's plenty of contactless things to do (or not!). A short hike to the resort's Llama Farm and you'll mingle with llamas, baby sheep and goats while taking in stunning ocean views. Or, take the trail down to El Capitan State Beach for sandy toes and wave jumping. When you've worked up an appetite, the resort's Canyon Market has fantastic food options, from kid-approved pizza to tri-tip kits with all the fixings (s'mores included!). Order online and have dinner delivered straight to your own private cabin paradise.

Online: elcapitancanyon.com

photo: Kerry Cushman

Desert Adventures in Palm Springs

With ample al fresco restaurant patios, hiking trails and Airbnbs with private pools, the greater Palm Springs area is a terrific option for a pandemic-era spring vacation. For contactless things-to-do, check out Escape Room Palm Springs, where families work together in their own private room to uncover riddles and solve a themed mystery, like the popular Bank Heist and Titanic games. The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert also has new contactless guidelines for guest safety, including online timed reservations. While you're there, make sure to experience the new Australian Adventures exhibit where you'll get up-close to friendly wallabies.

Online: visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

photo: Hotel Cerro

Central Coast Getaway at Hotel Cerro

The charming city of San Luis Obispo is the perfect home-base to explore California's beautiful Central Coast. The surrounding landscape offers ample opportunities for contactless things to do, like hiking one of the many mountain trails, exploring nearby beaches or toasting the area's famous (family-friendly) wine region. Stay at the beautiful new Hotel Cerro, in the heart of downtown SLO, where small-town vibes mix with relaxed, modern luxury. After a day exploring the beautiful outdoors, relax by the hotel's heated rooftop pool with picturesque vistas of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy artisan pour-over coffee in guest rooms and private balconies overlooking the idyllic tree-lined streets of downtown.

Online: hotelcerro.com

photo: Terranea Resort

Starry Nights at Terranea Resort

Enjoy picturesque ocean views during the day and cozy nights around the fireplace with a spring vacation to Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Select villas have private outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces and outdoor fire pits, which means you won't need to leave the stunning property to relax in paradise. S'mores kits, stargazing kits and family activity kits will keep the whole family happily entertained. Check out their Terranea Promise for enhanced standards of care and cleanliness.

Online: terranea.com

photo: Kerry Cushman

The Mountains Are Calling in Big Bear

Escape to the mountains of Big Bear for a spring vacation that hits the refresh button with some big-time winter fun. Get into nature, while avoiding crowds at popular attractions, by renting snow-shoes and hitting one of the many (free!) mountain trails. Try Towne Trail on the South Shore for picturesque views of Big Bear Lake and an easy 2.5 mile loop. When it's time to settle in for PJ's and hot cocoa, choose one of the many AirBnb options or book a rustic cabin with kitchen and room for everyone at Grey Squirrel. Or, opt for a tiny cabin surrounded by nature at Getaway in nearby Running Springs with contactless check-in, deep cleaning between guests and private firepits.

Online: bigbear.com

photo: The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort

Luxury Dude Ranch at The Alisal

Take a drive through the quirky Danish-style village of Solvang before you settle into a luxury family dude ranch experience at The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort. Here, your family will stay in a private cottage with wood-burning fireplace and western-chic flair. Ample opportunities for family fun, while maintaining social distancing, can be found on-site. Enjoy activities such as kayaking, fishing, barnyard animal visits and over 50 miles of beautiful horseback riding trails.

Good to know: The resort has implemented UV-C disinfection technology to ensure the highest level of safety and cleanliness in guest room spaces.

Online: alisal.com

––Kerry Cushman

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