Inevitably travel leads to long drives to and from your favorite locations. Nonstop flights from the Central Coast are limited, so the idea of breaking up a long trip with a deluxe overnight stay can be appealing.
Southern Bound + Claremont
The long-term benefits of California’s successful emission control policy is never more evident than when you visit the Inland Empire. These days the gorgeous mountains are in view daily, complementing one of the best climates in the U.S. The town of Claremont has clearly benefited from this becoming perhaps Southern California’s most authentic college town, surrounded by Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, and Scripps colleges.
This array of elite private schools is unmatched on the West Coast and rivals the Ivy League. Successful alumni have contributed an enormous amount of money to college endowment funds leading to numerous updated capital projects. If you have not visited lately you won’t even recognize the place. Spectacular.
Hotel Casa 425 is set in Claremont Village and is the gathering spot for college elites. The stylish boutique hotel is located within walking distance of restaurants, art galleries, nightlife, and of course the famous colleges.
The idea behind the property was to create a structure that would appeal to the upscale and educated market, a hotel that architecturally would reflect the Mexican heritage of the location while incorporating a modern Southern California aesthetic. The result was Hotel Casa 425 + Lounge, with its clean, white stucco exterior and rooms designed around a classic interior courtyard that serves as the inn’s gathering space.
As part of Four Sisters Inns, the new hotel incorporated amenities sought by discriminating travelers. Thoughtful elements throughout the property reflect guests’ preferences, such as plush towels, spacious bathrooms with oversized showers, courtyard fire pits (the perfect place to gather while enjoying a plate of sliders), and a fresh Continental breakfast.
Hotel Casa 425 + Lounge is popular with visitors but also with local residents who come to hear live music, and enjoy small plates, innovative cocktails, and the hotel’s modern airy vibe.
If you are on your way to the desert, Las Vegas, or just visiting relatives in the area, think of diverting to the Claremont area for a night or two. Visit Casa425.com for complete details.
On your way to Lake Tahoe this summer? That is a long haul from the Santa Barbara area with no direct commercial flights. You might consider stopping over one night in Sacramento on either side of this journey for a more pleasant traveling experience.
The Marriott Rancho Cordova would be an ideal stopping point just on the outskirts of downtown and close to the connection for both North Shore and South Shore.
This very comfortable property has been continually updated and offers great dining options with the Formaggio Taverna and Patio as the anchor. Take a good look at the breakfast buffet, which I hear is very good and reasonably priced. The lobby area also has its own Starbucks to complement the dining options. For a little extra, club level service is available, too, with a sumptuous breakfast and light evening fare.
This Marriott also features a resort-style pool with large fitness area adjoining. The location is close to the freeway, but I did not hear any traffic noise even in our lower floor room. Visit Marriott.com for complete details.
From Rancho Cordova it is about two hours to either side of Lake Tahoe. This is also a good stopping point if you are headed up to Oregon or anywhere else in the far reaches of Norther Cal.
About 15 minutes from the Marriott Rancho Cordova lies the Ancil Hoffman Golf Course, one of the best public courses in the state. This Northern Cal gem hosts several large amateur events each year. The course was laid out by the legendary golf architect William Francis Bell, whose work includes the original routings at Torey Pines. The course is easy to walk and lined with huge trees on each hole.
The Sacramento area is home to numerous high quality public courses, and high quality maintenance is a high priority here.