Best “Weekend Getaway” From Los Angeles?

Best “weekend getaway” from Los Angeles?

Here’s a Q&A from another saved draft. This is a Travel Blog.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Q: My mom is coming to visit me in Venice for a week in April and we want to getaway! We’re looking for a destination to relax, hit up the spa, wine taste or have a great meal, do some boutique shopping, and maybe go for an easy hike? Since this will be for 1-2 nights, would like to keep it within 3 hours (one way). Out of all the amazing places, if you have to pick 1 destination for a visitor to see, what is the best destination for a weekend getaway from L.A. and why?

A: A fantastic Spa Weekend “Getaway” that meets your description can be experienced at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. It’s a beautiful full-service, luxury four star resort just north of Los Angeles with free self-parking.

The hotel has an amazing spa and pool facility with all the amenities. There’s fine dining on-site and in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura, Moorpark, Malibu or the Pacific Palisades (and the hotel also provides a shuttle that will take you to the beach).

Watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail on the deck at Moonshadows Malibu or have an amazing $u$hi meal at Nobu Malibu. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Saddle Peak Lodge, Cafe Firenze or one of the many fine restaurants nearby. We’ve heard about (and seen pictures of) the fabulous desserts at CHOCOLATINE Café French Pastries.

There is great easy hiking nearby in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. We recommend the Paramount Ranch (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” filming site), Malibu Creek State Park (“MASH” filming site) or Point Dume State Beach.

There are also some nice wineries to visit nearby: Malibu Wines, SIP Malibu, Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards, Cornell Winery & Tasting Room and others are open to the public.

Horseback riding, shopping of all kinds, beach activities, nightlife options and more are all available locally. The hotel also offers cooking classes, other educational programs and fun activities.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Good hikes in LA or surrounding areas?

Q: I have done a few in Malibu and Hollywood but looking for more ideas!

A: A great place to hike in Los Angeles is the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills and other trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Park entry and parking are free! Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Rocky Oaks Park, Stunt Ranch State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, Temescal Canyon Park and Point Dume State Beach all have great hiking. Entrance fees and parking vary by location.

To Paramount Ranch: Exit Kanan Rd off the 101 freeway, turn left towards the beach, just past Agoura Rd make a left on Cornell Rd and drive to the park entrance. Park near the Ranger Station and enter through the Western Town film location.

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Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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**Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!** – My Year in Review.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

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“It is a new year!
What will you do different?
Will you be the same?”

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop San Francisco Civic Auditorium 1983

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop at Midnight – San Francisco Civic Auditorium 12-31-1983

Goodbye 2014! (Wow, this year went by fast!) Hello 2015!

“Wet earth and sunshine
You can smell it in the air
After the rain.”

Here’s my year in review. My Blogs (see previous blogs) and Facebook posts (Joshua Weisel & JoshWillTravel) have stories, details and cool pictures for most events! Please check them out by following the links at the bottom of the page.

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January

LA Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hosted Reception at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City

The Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” Event at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood

"Buy Tuscany" event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

February

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Mexico Tourism Event at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Los Angeles 9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show - Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show – Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

March

Four Seasons Event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On Rodeo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze with Carrie and John in Moorpark

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Sunday Brunch at On Sunset Restaurant at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset!

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Travel Massive Los Angeles Event at The Roof on Wilshire

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Italian Dreams at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Joshua Weisel Departs Willett Travel (effective March 31st)

NOTE: Willett Travel was bought by FROSCH. I became JoshWillTravel (Luxury Travel Advisor, Lifestyle and Travel Writer, Independent Consultant) full time! Read my Blogs!

April – May

Passover

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinners at Le Sanglier French Restaurant (celebrated two birthday parties there this year)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Mother’s Day “The Lion in Winter” Matinee at the Colony Theatre in Burbank and Lunch at Bow & Truss in North Hollywood

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven in Downtown L.A.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Memorial Day “Chef” at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks and Dinner at Versailles in Encino

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

June

World Cup! United States - One Nation One Team!

World Cup! United States – One Nation One Team!

Phyllis Patterson RIP – She Changed My Life!

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP June 14, 2014 “May the four winds blow you safely home!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014

St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco! (and the Road Trip north and south)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

St. Paul's Reunion in San Francisco

Old Friends! Stretch Limosine! St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco – June 2014

Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura 2014 – Visiting Old Ghosts!

Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

Paramount Ranch – Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

July – August

Summer “Staycation” in Los Angeles

San Fernando Valley #2 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Fernando Valley #2 – A view from Mulholland Hwy (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Box Seats for Four Great Summer Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl! Joshua Bell & Friends, Yo-Yo Ma and a nice Dinner on the patio at Patina, Beethoven (with Dudamel and the L.A. Phil doing the 5th Symphony) and “HAIR!”

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A Celebration of Caitlin’s Life in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin’s Life and Memory with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

The Simpsons Marathon on FX

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl!

The Simpsons! Every Episode in Chronological Order…

September

Burning Man! (via the internet)

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 (via UStream) Screen Capture

Burning Man 2014 "Embrace" burns!

Burning Man 2014 “Embrace” burns!

The Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl! EXCELLENT FUN!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Happy Jewish New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Richard Edward “Ed” Whitchurch III RIP September 29, 2014 (a Vietnam Veteran)

“You can get anything you want, (exceptin’ Alice) at Alice’s Restaurant.”

“May the Four Winds Blow You Safely Home”

October

Road Trip! California-Oregon-Nevada (San Jose, Santa Cruz, Ashland, Reno, Lake Tahoe)

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Great vacation! Saw old friends and family, visited UCSC and the Grateful Dead Special Collection, celebrated my father’s birthday and saw some great theatre in Ashland (“The Tempest”, “Richard III” and “The Cocoanuts”), partied in Reno, relaxed at Lakeland Village in South Lake Tahoe, and drove scenic US Highway 395 south to L.A.

(I’m still working on finishing the Road Trip Blogs! Please be patient.)

Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

South Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

November – December

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (Our annual family food fest)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – Dessert! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Otis Redding RIP Dec 18, 2014 – Had to say goodbye to the old boy, very sad.

“He was a great dog. He had a good life. May the Four Winds blow him safely home.”

Otis Redding RIP

Otis Redding RIP

Dinner at the Border Grill & “Blithe Spirit” with Angela Landsbury at the Ahmanson Theatre

Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

At the Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Festivus, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Dinner with Friends!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas in North Hollywood (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Another Year Gone!
Say Buh-Bye 2014…
A New Year Ahead!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014 (she was there in spirit this year)

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~ T. S. Eliot

 

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Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

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Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

Dinner at Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, CA

Friday night: Dinner at Cafe Firenze – Big thanks to my new friend John, an old friend, and Executive Chef Johnathan! Definitely would recommend this restaurant if you are near the Reagan Library or in the Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley neighborhood.

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

On the menu: fresh baked bread, a huge bowl of fried calamari, fettucine alfredo, a homemade cannoli, and a coke.

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

 

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

 

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Musical Entertainment by Kevin James O’Brien – http://www.kevinjamesobrien.com

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And after dinner we enjoyed a wonderful homemade wine!

Chocolate and chambourd infused Port appertif (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Chocolate and chambourd infused Port appertif (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Definitely worth the drive!

Cafe Firenze563 West Los Angeles Ave, Moorpark, CA 93021 http://www.cafefirenze.net

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