Looking for solitude in Southern California

Old Feb 17th, 2011, 10:27 AM
  #1  
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Looking for solitude in Southern California

Hey all! I need your help. I live just outside of L.A. and need ideas for a close weekend getaway for me and my dog. I'm looking for a laid back, casual, dog friendly place where we can do some hiking or walking (mountains or ocean...someplace in nature) and spend the rest of our time with no distractons so that I can finish some writing that I've been putting off. I hope to go next weekend.

My usual "go to" place is Yosemite, but I don't want to travel that far. I'm considering Arrowhead or Big Bear, but wonder if it may be a bit too cold. I want this to be an easy no brainer, where I can focus on getting my work done, an inspirational view, and not much else. Will consider a hotel/motel, cottage, condo...whatever it is it must be easy, small and safe.

I welcome your ideas. Thanks!
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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On the outskirts of Barstow, (2700 Lenwood Road) is the Holiday Inn Express. They have a $25 refundable pet policy.
I have enjoyed hiking in the Calico Mountains NE of Barstow.
The ghost town of Calico is also very interesting.
If you want to see the world's tallest thermometer, head up to Baker which is the southern gateway to Death Valley.
Big Bear has a lot of snow and many skiers now.
I now encourage solo hikers to carry at least a handheld GPS and enough water for you and your dog.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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Thanks tomfuller. I'll have a look.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Barstow? Not the first place most would think of as a substitute for Yosemite

Irego: I'd maybe consider Pismo Beach/Shell Beach --several places there allow dogs including these two

http://www.cottage-inn.com/
http://www.spyglassinn.com/
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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When I think of Pismo "solitude", Pismo isn't the first word that comes to mind.

I like the idea of the high desert.

Have you tried 29 Palms Inn or Harmony Motel? You wouldn't be that far from Mojave National Park which doesn't have pet restrictions (in Joshua Tree they aren't allowed outside the car).

http://www.29palmsinn.com/rates.html
http://www.harmonymotel.com/
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Interesting your "go to" choice would be Yosemite(they don't even allow dogs to stay over night in the park). I find most of the State and National Parks are the 'least pet friendly'.

Big Bear sounds a bit a chilly for a trip with the pup along.
Perhaps Cambria might be an option for you. Dogs can roam leash free at Fiscalani Ranch Preserve, stroll the boardwalk at Moonstone, lots of pet friendly lodging for all budgets, dogs are welcome just about anywhere and you have the best of both worlds- ocean and mountains. It's quiet and safe.

There a are various 'dog friendly' beaches along SoCal coast but it sounds like you want something a little more serene.

You can always take a look at dogfriendly.com or head to a bookstore and browse The Dog Lover's Companion to California for ideas.
Good luck.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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www.blueiguanainn.com (if your pet is under 40 lbs)
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Oh -I'd might go to the high desert too (though not Barstow) but just didn't have any specific places to recommend, since Joshua Trees definitely is NOT pet friendly.

The central coast won't be crowded/hectic in late Feb.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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my post was re mlgb's -- didn't see the others since we were all posting a the same time
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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The Blue Iguana tract2cents linked does look like the sort of place I'd go for comfort/solitude.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Kern river, Julian, Ramona, and I too like the Pismo idea for off season
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Idyllwild Inn has a 3rd night free special next weekend and I'm quite sure they are pet-friendly.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Thanks! Will have a look at all of these.

SOCALOC...MY go to place is Yosemite. My dog has never had the pleasure. Even so, it is my understanding that while dogs are not allowed to stay within the park, they are allowed, on leash, in many places within the park.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Cayucos. Here's one pet friendly motel-- www.cayucosbeachinn.com--there are likely others.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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iregeo,
If you don't want to go to the mountains this time of year, I would recommend coming down to San Diego to Torrey Pines State Park. It is on the beach and very relaxing, quiet, and beautiful. We are expecting rain this weekend though.



http://www.torreypine.org/
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 03:11 PM
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I love Cayucos..a lot more relaxed than Pismo.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 04:20 PM
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SOCALOC...MY go to place is Yosemite. My dog has never had the pleasure.
__________________________________________________ ____________
That makes much more sense. Dogs are *only* allowed on very limited PAVED trails in Yosemite. When I think of trips with dogs- I think of places off leash, plenty of restaurants that allow dogs and numerous pet friendly lodging options.

***I would recommend coming down to San Diego to Torrey Pines State Park. ***

They don't allow dogs. Been there. Done that.


If your dog is small- you can probably just go anywhere.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 09:16 PM
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Santa Barbara is a very pet-friendly place and not as expensive as you might think:

http://www.discover-santa-barbara.co...ly-motels.html

There are off-leash beaches and parks everywhere.

http://www.countyofsb.org/parks/parks01.aspx?id=9228

On-leash hiking trails, too. A great place for a SoCal getaway.

Have Fun!
DiscoverSB
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 07:55 PM
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Hiya! I wanted to report back that I chose the high desert and the Harmony Hotel...thanks mlgb. Geez, those prices were unbelievably low! Unfortunately, I had to cancel my reservation and postpone my trip due to a family member's serious illness. But, I'll get there soon.

Thanks for the help. Fodorites rock!!!
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