US warm long weekend destination in February for solo female traveler
January 19, 2016 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I am thinking about taking a solo long weekend vacation sometime in February to get away from the gloomy Pacific Northwest. Usually I would go to LA but I have been thinking of trying something else in SoCal or even elsewhere. Criteria below the fold.

- weather should be generally nice (over 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day)
- no more than 4 hours air travel time from Seattle
- doesn't have to be a city vacation. I've been thinking about just hanging out on a nice beach or a nice courtyard reading a big fat book.
- some nice places to go for good food and (ideally) good cocktails
- safe for a solo middle-aged woman traveler
- I can rent a car if needed
- good supply of Air B&Bs
- I don't do beachy or sporty stuff so activities beyond reading and eating/drinking are not important

I was thinking of maybe Santa Barbara but wonder if it's still not warm enough. SLO is probably too far north for the weather I'm looking for. I also thought of Ventura but my friend who lived there says everything closes down at night. San Diego is maybe a possibility. And are lefty-type people still boycotting Arizona?

I found this thread on Laguna Beach and it's 62 degrees there right now so that might be an option.
posted by matildaben to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
One issue with SoCal this February might be El Nino--is it ok if it's warm(ish) but pouring? Personally, even though it's a couple extra hours in the plane, I would consider Hawaii...
posted by three_red_balloons at 11:07 AM on January 19, 2016

Palm Springs! Get a place with a (heated) pool or hot tub, and a nice mountain view, if possible. And get it near the main drag. And rely on public transportation, including the free (on weekends) Buzz bus, to get into town.
posted by sheldman at 11:08 AM on January 19, 2016 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: BTW, Hawaii and Mexico are off the table for my solo trip because those are in the "travel with spouse" category.
posted by matildaben at 11:16 AM on January 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Tucson Arizona is very, very different from the rest of the state (check out our congress critter Raul Grijalva to give a political indicator). The downtown has nice (but not world class for sure) restaurants and bars and is totally safe for lone females. We have had some el niƱo rain too, but the weather currently is fantastic mid 70s and sunny. The only caveat is that the big Gem Show here runs from Feb 11 to Feb 14, so if you were trying to visit then hotel/airbnb space would be limited. 3 hours non-stop on Alaska airlines.

San Diego may be a good choice too!
posted by permiechickie at 11:41 AM on January 19, 2016

I have travelled as a solo female to San Diego several times over the last couple of years (I asked for to-do hints for my last trip here), and definitely felt safe in the areas I stayed/visited. Specifically, however, I did *not* do city centre night life, I focused on the city proper during daylight hours, and I stayed at the Old Town Inn near Old Town, which is a basic, but super friendly & good value place, and I was comfortable walking from there at night to Old Town for dinner/drinks in the evenings.

I don't drive, so I was public transport dependent and that location was right next to the major metro/bus depot which made things super easy for me.

(I'm not saying that it wouldn't be totally OK to travel to or from the city centre/downtown at night, just that I didn't do it myself so I can't advise.)
posted by AFII at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2016

Best answer: Palm Springs. YES.
posted by jbenben at 12:26 PM on January 19, 2016

I went to San Diego in November and I would suggest reading on the beach on Coronado Island. It was quiet but not deserted, very safe and has great views. Lodging on the island itself might be expensive, but there are buses that go there from downtown. Other places to sit and read include Cabrillo National Monument, Seaport Village and Balboa Park. The airport is also near downtown, so a car is not required.
posted by soelo at 12:44 PM on January 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ahhhh palm springs. Would give my left foot to go back. Ace Hotel pool is super cute and trendy but too expensive to stay in - great day trip while you are there.
posted by pando11 at 12:46 PM on January 19, 2016

What about Austin? Fun town and the weather right now is 67 degrees.
posted by vunder at 1:05 PM on January 19, 2016

How about Carmel-by-the-Sea? You can fly into Monterrey and get the best of both. The weather is moderate for Northern California but it's certainly better than the Pacific Northwest in the winter (that's where I'm from too)

Not to assume you're into beautiful coastline, wine, art galleries, shopping and boutique dining - but all of that's available in Carmel. It's got a quaint, village feel to it and the people have small-town attitudes for sure - which can be great for a solo female traveler. Cute coffee shops and plenty of people that will either make small talk or leave you alone, whichever you're looking for. I love La Playa Hotel - for accommodations. It is perfect home away from home for a soloist.
posted by evcourtexaminer at 1:51 PM on January 19, 2016

Best answer: Keep in mind Palm Springs Modernism Week is Feb 11-21 this year, which means accommodation costs go up and many places are booked already. I enjoyed staying at Orbit In when we went a few years back; it's got a nice pool where you can just hang out and do nothing, and since it's motel-style it's right at your doorstep. Cool view of the mountains, within walking distance of the main strip, kitchenettes, nice hot tub area, daily cocktail hour by the pool, quiet in the evening.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 3:56 PM on January 19, 2016

San Diego was perfect when I was there in February one year! The beaches around Mission Bay are absolutely gorgeous, and the weather was nice. Lots of places to explore and wander all the way over to Sea World within this area. The Zoo is a little closer to town. I felt completely safe, too - as a single woman. Around the water there was best.

I felt a little crowded heading down near the city center and the naval base. It was downright icky near the border crossing. North to La Jolla from Mission Beach is also beautiful.

I got lucky, as there had been quite the wind storm that year, and I stayed in a normally $400+ and 5 star hotel for about $100/night. It had its own pool, outdoor showers, and outdoor deck area for lounging or dining. Just lovely. :)
posted by itsflyable at 6:14 PM on January 19, 2016

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